May 30, 2024

Bariatric Surgery Nutrition

Comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Nutrition and Recovery Guide


Embarking on the journey of bariatric surgery is a significant step towards a healthier life. Success largely depends on strict adherence to pre and post-operative nutrition and care guidelines. This comprehensive guide outlines the essential steps to prepare for and recover from bariatric surgery, ensuring optimal outcomes and long-term health.

Pre-Op Nutrition Guide

Pre-Surgery Expectations

To prepare for surgery, start adjusting your diet based on your BMI and follow these guidelines closely.

Seven Days Prior to Surgery:

• Medications: Consult your surgeon to determine which medications need to be discontinued. Commonly stopped medications include anticoagulants, NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin, and certain supplements.

• Medications to Stop: Coumadin, Plavix, ibuprofen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs. Baby aspirin and most arthritis medications should also be avoided.

Fourteen Days Prior to Surgery:

• Vitamins and Supplements: Discontinue all vitamins and supplements unless approved by your surgeon.

• Caffeine: Stop consuming caffeine to avoid acid reflux post-surgery.

• Hormones: Discontinue oral birth control and supplemental hormones, though IUDs and implants are safe.

• Alcohol and THC: Avoid alcohol and THC products to reduce bleeding risks.

Bariatric Surgery Nutrition

Pre-Op Guidelines

The goal of the pre-op diet is to shrink your liver by depleting stored glycogen. Your meals should consist of three main macronutrients: protein, healthy fats, and fibrous carbs.

Approved Protein Sources:

• Grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, organic poultry, and protein alternatives like vegan protein powder and Fairlife Milk.

Approved Fats:

• Avocado, olive oil, nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and fatty fish like salmon.

Approved Fibrous Carbs:

• Unlimited vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, and bell peppers.


• Grains, dairy, starches, sugars, desserts, and most fruits except for minimal servings of berries, bananas, or apples. Also, avoid carbonated beverages and certain supplements like ginseng, ginger, and garlic.

Two Days Prior to Surgery:

• Switch to a clear liquid diet including water, caffeine-free herbal tea, broth, and sugar-free beverages. Avoid protein shakes and non-clear liquids.

Day of Surgery:

• Fast from midnight before surgery. Do not consume any food or liquids, and bring all prescribed medications in labeled bottles.

Post-Op Nutrition Guide

Phase 1: Hospital Post-Op (Days 1-7)

After surgery, focus on hydration and protein intake to aid recovery. Your goal is to drink up to 64 fluid ounces of liquids daily.

Approved Liquids:

• Clear broths, water, sugar-free drinks, and decaffeinated herbal teas. Avoid carbonated drinks, dairy, protein shakes, and sugary drinks.

Phase 2: Thick Liquids (Days 8-14)

This phase starts seven days post-op. Gradually increase your protein intake to 60-90 grams per day through thick liquids like blended soups and protein shakes.

Recommended Foods:

• Blended soups, protein shakes, fruit and vegetable purees, Greek yogurt, and high-protein oatmeal.


• Tomato or cream-based soups, high-sugar yogurts, ice cream, smoothies from chain restaurants, and alcohol.

Phase 3: Soft Solids (Days 15-21)

Transition to soft solids, focusing on protein-rich foods. Ensure each meal includes 4 ounces of food, with 3 ounces being protein.

Recommended Foods:

• Soft dairy products, well-cooked vegetables, eggs, beans, flaky fish, and dark meat chicken.


• Raw vegetables, white bread, steak, popcorn, processed snacks, and seeds.

Phase 4: Solids (Day 21 and Beyond)

Introduce a variety of solid foods while continuing to prioritize protein, healthy fats, and fibrous carbs. Chew food thoroughly to an applesauce consistency and avoid drinking during meals.

Long-Term Goals:

• Maintain balanced meals with appropriate portions of protein, vegetables, fats, and carbs.

Macronutrients and Tracking

Understanding macronutrients is crucial for maintaining a balanced diet post-surgery. Use food tracking apps to monitor your intake and avoid nutritional stalls.

Post-Op Vitamin Guide

Vitamins and minerals are essential for recovery and long-term health post-surgery. Begin supplementation 14 days after surgery with chewable, crushed, or drinkable vitamins.

Required Supplements:

• Bariatric-specific multivitamin, iron (with vitamin C), calcium citrate, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, and B complex with thiamine. Optional supplements include zinc and biotin to minimize hair thinning.

Post-Op Recovery Guide

Managing Acid Reflux and GERD

• Eat small, frequent meals, chew thoroughly, and avoid overeating. Incorporate foods that assist with acid reflux and avoid those that trigger it.

Wound Care

• Keep incisions clean and dry, avoid ointments and waterproof bandages, and monitor for signs of infection like pain, fever, or foul-smelling pus.


Following these comprehensive pre and post-op guidelines is crucial for a successful bariatric surgery journey. Adhering to the recommended dietary and vitamin protocols will support recovery, prevent complications, and help achieve long-term health and weight management goals. For all your further questions and inquiry about private bariatric support please contact us.

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