The Ultimate Shopping List for Your Gastric Sleeve Post Op Diet

March 28, 2019 / Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul


Gastric sleeve surgery involves removing a portion of your stomach and joining together the remaining portions to form a “sleeve” about the size of a banana. This surgery is designed to help patients feel fuller at a faster rate which should greatly help with their weight loss journey.

Patients will be required to adopt a specialized diet to aid the process of recovery and to promote long term weight loss and health. While adopting a new diet immediately after surgery may be simple enough, it takes dedication to maintain over time.  The first step is to research an effective post-op diet for gastric sleeve surgery patients, and from there, personalize it to work for you.  In this article, we aim to give you a jumping off point for your own gastric sleeve post-op shopping list.  


What Happens if You Don’t Follow a Proper Diet?

Make a healthy lifestyle a habit.


Many people assume once they’ve had bariatric surgery, they can eat whatever they want. This couldn’t be further from the truth.


Consuming highly processed foods (such as hot dogs and hamburgers from fast food chains) will have the same effect on you post-surgery as they did pre-surgery – you can and will continue gaining weight, and your health will continue to suffer.


This procedure requires the commitment to a new lifestyle. It’s vitally important that anyone who decides to have gastric sleeve surgery understand they will have to change their diet for the rest of their lives.


Adopting The Right Gastric Sleeve Post Op Diet


Adopting the right diet has a twofold effect – not only will it speed up the recovery process, but it also promotes long term health and wellness. A gastric sleeve post op diet consists of four phases.


Each phase will last around a week and will transition the patient from an all liquid diet to more solid foods. Be mindful that the right dietary choices vary from person to person, so speak with your doctor to see what choices are right for you.


Phase 1


Phase one requires you drink only clear liquids. Keeping yourself hydrated will speed up the process of recovery and help you manage post-op symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. The goal is to drink around 64 ounces of liquid a day. 


Most people who undergo bariatric surgery will initially experience little to no appetite post-op.

Foods to avoid:

  • Soda
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeinated drinks (tea and coffee for example)
  • Sugary drinks

It’s important to note you should drink 8 glasses of water per day.

Foods to include:

  • Sugar-free popsicles
  • Broth
  • Decaf coffee or tea
  • Sugar-free Jello


Phase 2

Fresh juice for bariatric post-op

Patients who undergo bariatric surgery will begin to regain their appetite one week to ten days post-surgery. Once this occurs, they’ll need to incorporate protein into their liquid diet. Patients should focus on nutrition packed foods.  It is important to focus on adding protein into your diet in this phase because it helps with healing the surgical area and assists with maintaining adequate muscle mass during weight loss. 

Foods to avoid:

  • Whole-milk yogurt and other high-fat foods
  • Vegetable soup and similar chunky foods


Phase 2 patients need to continue drinking copious amounts of water while incorporating an appropriate amount of protein into their diet.


This can be done by consuming protein powder. 20 grams (g) of protein a day is recommended for most patients but speak with your doctor to see what’s appropriate for you.

Foods to include:

  • Sugar-free instant breakfasts
  • Thin soups
  • Sorbets
  • Sugar-free pudding
  • Diluted juice


Phase 3


Phase 3 will consist of a soft food diet. Patients must remain well hydrated and consume 60g to 80g of protein per day.  Make sure to take small bites, chew well and eat slowly to ensure proper digestion.

Foods to avoid:

  • Bread
  • Raw vegetables that are tough to eat
  • Rice
  • White pasta
  • Sugary foods


You’ll need to focus on foods that offer sufficient nutrition and protein to help speed up the recovery process and to help with feelings of fullness while eating.

Foods to include:

  • Soft fish
  • Softened vegetables
  • Soups that include chunky ingredients
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Greek yogurt
  • Baby foods
  • Thinned oatmeal


Phase 4

Healthy shopping list for bariatric surgery patients

Phase 4 will take place around 4 weeks post-surgery and will transition patients onto a solid, yet healthy diet. Keep in mind protein shakes should still be taken on a daily basis, and hydration is still crucial. Furthermore, patients should stop drinking at least 30 minutes prior to their meals.


It’s recommended most patients begin taking daily bariatric multivitamins during phase 4, so speak with your doctor to see what vitamins will be appropriate for your diet.


Try to stick to a regimen of three sm

all meals daily supplemented by two smaller snacks.

Foods to avoid:

  • Fast food
  • Sugary snacks
  • Sodas
  • Bread
  • Cooking oils
  • Desserts
  • Cooking oils

Foods to include:

  • Lean meats
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Fruit (small quantities)
  • Fish


Creating the Ultimate Shopping List Post-Surgery

Shopping for produce after bariatric surgery


It’s important to note that gastric sleeve surgery does not “cure” obesity. Eating the wrong foods will ensure you continue packing on the pounds and can significantly hinder the healing process.


This list is not all-inclusive, so speak with your doctor for recommendations on foods that are appropriate for you to eat after gastric sleeve surgery.


You should also speak with your doctor about when it’s safe for you to exercise. Eating right is only a part of the question to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. You’ll also need to exercise on a regular basis.


Weight loss is no easy endeavor, but we can help you during your time of need. If you have any questions regarding nutrition or diet turn to Olde Del Mar Surgical.


We are a great resource for any questions you may have regarding your weight loss journey, and our specialists are more than happy to help you put together your ultimate shopping list. Contact us today for more information.

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Posted in Recipes and Food Information, Weight Loss, Bariatric Surgery