The key to your success after gastric sleeve surgery is your exercise and more importantly your diet. Your diet will impact more of your weight loss than your exercise. Post gastric sleeve, your stomach is only 3 or 4 ounces in capacity. This diminished capacity will affect what you can eat, when you can eat, and how much you can eat. The diet is typically in four phases to help allow the stomach to heal:
- Phase I
- Phase II
- Phase III
- Phase IV
Phase I – Clear Liquid Diet – First 7 Days
The first 7 days are crucial, the goal is to consume 64 oz, while consuming the necessary proteins, vitamins and supplements to keep you healthy. Because the size of the stomach is small, patients need to always consume in sips. Patients must calculate their daily intake of calories and protein.
Liquids to Avoid:
- Sugary Drinks
- Caffinated Drinks
- Carbonated drinks
Approved Clear Liquids:
- 100% Whey Protein Isolite Bullets 42 or 25 gram
- Propel Water
- Ice chips
- Flavored water
- Chicken or beef broth
- Skim milk
- Sugar-free Jell-O
- Sugar-free Popsicles
- Crystal Light, Sugar-free Tang
- Mild tea (no cinnamon), green teas
- Low-sugar apple juice, cranberry juice
- Fruit ices (without chunks of fruit)
- Sugar-free Kool-Aid
Phase II – Full-Liquids Diet – 8 through 21 Days
The second phase is when patients include other liquids to their diet. This stage is where the patients try to consume around 60 to 70 grams of protein daily. The idea protein supplement should contain 150 calories, while still providing 15 g of protein. Here is a list of protein supplements approved:
- Body Fortress® 100% Whey Protein Powder
- 100% any whey protein powder (Isopure,® Nectar,® Unjury® )
- 100% Whey Protein Isolite Bullets®
Approved Full Liquids:
- Milk-skim, 1% or 2 %
- Soy beverages
- Fruit juices without the pulp (low-sugar versions)
- Plain sugar free gelatin
- Creamed soups – blended so no chunks are present (these tend to be higher in calories, so watch the content; use low-fat or fat-free versions)
- Chunky soups – put in the blender and thin out with liquid (broth or water) (Use the meat and veggie types, not pastas or rice varieties.)
- Drinkable yogurt without fruit chunks
- Blended fruit smoothies
- Carnation Instant Breakfast
- Ice milk
- Popsicles made from sugar-free juices
- Egg custard – thin
- V-8 Juice
- Sugar-free hot cocoa
- Aktins® Advantage Shakes
- Slim-Fast®Low-Carb Shakes
- 100% whey protein powder
- Labrada® RTD Protein Shakes
- Hood® Low-Carb Chocolate Milk beverage – use with your protein powder to make a great shake (Walmart® carries these in the dairy section)
Phase III – Soft Foods Diet – 22 to 28 Days
The fourth week is the transition from liquids to soft liquids. Patients again should consume 60 to 70 grams of protein (men should consume 10 to 15 grams more), and no more than 40 grams of carbohydrates a day. Patients should also avoid:
- High Surgery Foods
- Food High in Fat or Carbohydrates
- Scrambled eggs (soft, boiled, poached)
- Egg salad
- Tuna fish moistened well with low-fat mayo
- Chicken salad, salmon moistened with low-fat mayo
- Low-Fat Cottage cheese
- Mild low-fat cheese
- Fruit (mashed, can – anything soft)
- Veggies (mashed, can, and slow-cooked to tenderize)
- Refried beans with a bit of low-fat cheese
- Meats pressure cooked to tenderize
- Sweet potatoes, and potatoes (mashed – only)
- Yogurt (no frozen)
Things to Note
- Ideally three meals per day, but some patients may consume five meals per day.
- Depending on how active you are, you may include a snake to the 3 daily meals.
- Eat until you feel full – no more! Never force foods to consume.
- Goals: High protein but low sugar, low fat, low carb.
- Consume soft foods, like eggs or yogurt (no chunks or fruit).
- Never eat and drink at the same time.
- Never eat more than 4 ounces of food at once, and eat small bites.
- Goal is 600 to 800 calories per day.
- Avoiding Eating before you go to bed.
- Be cautious of spicy foods, skin, seeds.
- Check labels for high fat, sugar, or carbohydrates.
Phase IV – Solid Foods Diet – Week 5 and Beyond
By this stage, your stomach should be in better shape to handle solid foods. From now on, these foods are the foods you’re going to be eating for the rest of your life.