What will I be able to eat after Lap-Band Surgery?

Depending on your doctor once your weight loss surgery is complete and you are ready to go home you should get a visit from a nurse or a dietitian.

This person will review with you the diet that you will have to follow for the next week following your surgery. Usually your doctor will require you to maintain a clear liquid diet for at least 4 to 5 days. It is very important that you follow the prescribed dietary guidelines as you may experience several different side effects, such as vomiting, nausea, or something more serious like band slippage which may require you to have a second surgery.

If you are the type of person that lives on diet soda or other carbonated or caffeinated drink like tea or coffee you will have to forego these beverages for at least 3 months as they can cause uncomfortable gas and bloating. Remember that your stomach has to get used to its new method of operation so you can't just jump right back to old habits.

Once you have finished the clear liquids hurdle your next phase will be what some Lap-Band® patients call the "mushies" these are foods like soup, jello and even baby food. Keep in mind timing and actual diet and when you should move to the next phase is to be determined by your doctor.

Once past the mushies you will then be able to graduate to foods that can be chopped up in a food processor or blender. This includes vegetables, meats, proteins, and salad.

We are not quite ready for any carbohydrates as yet so stuff like rice, bread and other starchy items are off limits for the time being. As you start achieving goal weights and milestones you may spend more time in a phase or breeze right through one sooner than you expected, in any case follow your healthcare providers instructions.

Sea Bass
Small meals high in protein are the
ideal diet after
Lap-Band® Surgery

Keep in mind that after surgery you will now have a small stomach pouch, usually 3 to 6 ounces and because that pouch is so small you will want to make the most use of that space and not waste it with empty calories. Be sure to eat a balanced meal and make sure you have your protein well represented. Without sufficient protein your body will be very unhappy and if your body becomes unhappy with your lack of protein intake it will respond by causing you hair loss, fatigue, depression and in general slow healing. Make sure you get at least sixty grams of protein each day. You can also get sick easier and suffer irregular heart rates and stuff like headaches and irritability so get the prescribed amount of protein each day for your continued good health.

Another practice Lap-Band® patients will have to acquire is the art of eating slow and with small bites. Learn to put the fork down between bites, chew slow and long, your body is going to have to re-learn how to digest food at a much slower rate and if you rush things, again your body will be unhappy. Take your time, chew and enjoy your food.

Many foods may be forever off limits to Lap-Band® patients, Some of these foods probably will not come as a surprise to you, things like very dense meats like steak and pork chops take a long time to break down in your system and you don't want them sitting in your new smaller stomach blocking the way for the other items you may be eating. You will probably have to steer clear of dehydrated fruits and meats as they will tend to re-hydrate too soon in the digestive process and again cause an unpleasant sensation. Some doctors may want you to stay away from spicy foods and foods that are very high in fiber, like sweet potatoes and oatmeal. If in doubt contact your doctor when the time is right. Too much fried food will also not be a good idea. Check with your doctor on rich dairy foods like cottage cheese and other cheeses, you may not be able to tolerate them as much as you could before you had your weight loss procedure.