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Dietary Guidelines


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Dietary Guidelines

Eating Right with Your Gastric Band is Key to Success

It's important to review and follow the post-operative dietary guidelines closely after your gastric band procedure, as they are critical to your recovery and weight loss success.

Right After Surgery

Weeks 1 - 2

Weeks 3 - 4

Week 5

Week 6 & Beyond

Foods To Avoid

Best Results

The First Few Days after Surgery

In the early weeks it's important not to stretch the small stomach pouch above the band. Vomiting can do this, so it is important not to vomit, as this can also increase the chance of stomach tissue slipping up through the band.

Right after surgery, you can take a sip of water or suck on an ice cube. You should not drink more than this. The day after the surgery, you can take a little more fluid but only a small amount at a time. Besides water, you should also choose clear liquids that have an adequate number of calories. To prevent nausea and vomiting, don’t drink too much.

Liquid Diet: 1-2 Weeks Post-Op

During this time, only thin liquids can be tolerated. It’s important to keep hydrated with lots of water. Other liquids recommended during this phase include:

Clear broth or soup (with no vegetables or meat and not creamy)

Skim milk

Fruit juice

No-sugar added popsicles

Pureed Foods: 3-4 Weeks Post-Op

During this phase, you may start having slightly textured foods. Aim for the consistency of baby foods. Eat protein-rich foods first and then move on to fruits and vegetables.

Foods in this stage may include:

Pureed skinless fish or chicken

Mashed potatoes


Low-fat yogurt or pudding

Soft Foods: 5 weeks post-op

Your meals can now include tender cooked foods like fish and ground turkey. Make it a habit to chew foods well. If you don’t, you may experience vomiting, stomach irritation and swelling. You could also have a stoma obstruction.

If solid foods cause nausea and vomiting, go back to the liquid diet. Then, slowly add soft foods and eventually transition to solid foods.

Solid Foods: Your New Nutrition Plan

When you are able to eat solid foods without problems, you will need to pay close attention to your diet. The gastric band system was designed to restrict solids, not liquids.

Liquids will pass through the upper stomach pouch quickly and will not make you feel full. Drinking liquids during or immediately after meals tends to flush food through the pouch and you will not get the prolonged feeling of satiety needed to help you eat less.

A lot of patients have difficulty with solid foods in the morning. If this is the case for you, open the gastric band by starting with a couple glasses of liquid before your first meal.

Too much food or big chunks of food can block the stomach pouch outlet. Avoid this by chewing your food thoroughly and eating small bits at a time. Remember, your new stoma opening is the size of a dime.

Eat only three meals a day and make sure these meals contain adequate nutrients. Your stomach can only hold about ¼ cup of food, or 2 ounces, at a time. Stop eating when hunger is gone or when you feel comfortable.

Foods to Avoid

After you have transitioned to solid foods, you should try to avoid certain foods. Such foods include, but are not limited to:

Dried fruits




Corn (especially popcorn)


Nuts and seeds (walnuts, whole peanuts, almonds)

Carbonated beverages

High calorie foods/drinks

Best Results: 10 Important Rules

Once you are eating solid foods, follow these 10 rules for eating, drinking and exercise to achieve the best results:

Eat only three small meals a day

Eat slowly and chew thoroughly

Stop eating as soon as you feel full

Do not drink while you are eating

Do not eat between meals

Eat only good quality foods -- no junk!

Avoid fibrous foods

Drink enough fluids during the day

Drink only low-calorie liquids

Exercise at least 30 minutes a day

There is a great wealth of information on the Web that can help with the post-op care. I am so ready for this!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Doctors vary on the post-op diet they give. The diet above may be from one doctor, but it is important to follow the guidelines given by your specific doctor. OCC is clear liquids the first week, full liquids weeks 2 - 4. After that it's on to solids. You'll be given a packed containing a detailed post-operative diet when you speak with Dr Miranda.

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I understand that all docs give different guidelines, but since this is OCC's forum I felt like I should point out that this isn't OCC's guidelines. It was a confusing post for me because I used this guideline to plan ahead and studied it extensively, then once I went to OCC and received the real guidelines it was a bit frustrating to change gears. When I met with Dr. Miranda and she said no mushy stage, I said "oh I thought there was" and all the other discrepancies made my meeting with her confusing.

It wasn't a big deal, I just wanted to point this out to future banders.


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