Bariatric Surgery New Patient Diet Questions

Question Below Submitted By:  

Teresa (a patient from Valparaiso, IN)

I’m 47 and just had bariatric surgery, I’m 4 weeks post op. I really needed the surgery for my health and self esteem.

I am so new to this I really have questions on things to eat, artificial sweeteners, (some give me bad headaches) and how to get enough protein.


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA , Arcadia , California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi Teresa,

You have made a great decision to give yourself a tool to get healthy for life. Congrats!

All the responses you have received look like fine ideas. No magic here, but, I tell my patients to get in 80 grams protein/day.....This can be difficult to do with only regular food, so you should write down how many grams you get from each food you eat.

Then make up the difference with protein shakes.

For example, if you get it 30 grams with regular food, then you need 50 grams from shakes. Become a label reader of the foods you choose, and you can get a good idea of how many grams of protein you are getting.

Good luck on your weight loss journey.

Troy LaMar MD

los angeles bariatric surgeon

(click here for Dr. LaMar's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

Related Pages:
- Bariatric Diet (What you eat)
- Bariatric Eating (How you eat)
- Bariatric Vitamins
- Life After Weight Loss Surgery
- Weight Loss Surgery Support
- Life after bariatric surgery - experiences from other patients


Patient Responses to the Question Above


by: Julie

Good for you!!! Welcome to the rest of your life.

I was also banded at 47 years old ;) One of my favorite things is sweetened ricotta cheese. I would take 1/4 cup of part skim ricotta and add some splenda and DaVinci syrup. Occasionally I even put a teaspoon of mini chocolate chips. It is like canolli filling.

Another thing I discovered is flavored liquid Stevia. You can get it at some grocery stores, as well as health food stores. The brand I pefer is "One" it has a brown label. The french vailla is so good. I put a couple of drops in a bottle of water for something a little different.

It is also really good in the ricotta I mentioned above instead of splenda.

Best of luck, I'm sure you'll do well.

So Proud of you!!!

by: Emily

First of all, Congrats on taking the steps to get your health back from the disease of Obesity! There is so much to learn in this post op life and at 2 yrs. out I still learn things every day!

The most important thing for you to focus on right now is protein and staying hydrated. Drink your water, it is so important. There are several flavored and unflavored protein powders that are great for making sure you can get it in when you are only able to consume about 600-800 calories right now. Isopure has great flavored and unflavored powders, Unjury is also a great one. Nectar is good too. Having both flavored and unflavored powders around the house will help to ensure that you are able to add it to anything you eat and drink.

So at 4 weeks post op, I ate a lot of mashed potatoes and homemade "refried" black beans and I would add protein powder to them. I would add my powders to water with a Sugar-Free Hawaiian Punch packet. Cook a healthy casserole dish for the family and in one corner stir in your protein powder and put a toothpick in it so you know that it is your portion with added protein.

There is an artificial sweetener online that is really good, it is called Whey Low if you can't use the others that are out there. Just remember this is a journey, not a destination. Stay the course of what your weight loss surgeon and dietitian tell you and you will have optimal success!

Well done you!

by: Lonicera The Bandit

Hi Teresa - making the decision to have the surgery is the hardest step, from now on your body will be telling you what it can stand and what it can't. They suggest mushy food to begin with - say sloppy mashed potato or polenta, then gradually stiffen the mixture.

But you need to be cautious, because although at some point you'll need to find out how it feels when your band rejects food - i.e. you're sick - try to postpone it for as long as possible to give your insides plenty of time to heal. At 4 weeks I was past the mushy phase because I had gotten so bored with it, and was having minced beef, or finely chopped food with plenty of liquid with it.

Bread, pasta, and rice just caused blockage (then). The other important issue is drinking liquid - never use it as a way to wash down food, with a band that simply doesn't happen. You can only drink well before or well after the solids, or you'll know all about it.

About sweeteners: I use Stevia (generic name), a sweetener originally from a Paraguayan plant, available on the internet, possessing none of the horrible metallic tasting flavours of saccharine, I'm glad to say.

Newbie stuff!

by: Yvonne McCarthy

Congrats on your surgery! I had mine at 47 also and that was in 2001.

Let me say that you are not alone in having difficulty getting protein in. Do you have a nutritionist at your bariatric doc's office that will help you?

Also, don't be scared to call the office and ask questions because sometimes it's hard to listen to all the info they give us in the beginning. Do your best getting in the protein and please don't hesitate to ask questions here or at your doc's office.

You may find that sweeteners and/or food that bothers you now might not in the future.

I hope that helps some!

Food Suggestions

by: Mindy

As far as Specific Foods to eat, if that is what you're looking for, here are a few things I eat protein-wise:

- Chicken (can't be too dry)
- Steak (again not too dry)
- Morning Star Burgers Pork Chops
- Re-fried beans
- Cottage cheese (I Hated this by the way before surgery)
- Tuna Fish
- Ham
- Sausage
- Eggs
- I cant eat a lot of cheese and dairy Ground Turkey (Makes great meat loaf and burgers)

Hope that helps a little,

Newbie Questions

by: Mindy

Congrats on your surgery!

Artificial sweeteners give me migraines which made post op difficult as far as protein shakes go. There is one protein drink I drink that is natural - it does have caffeine in it - it's called Bolthouse Farms (in the product section of your grocery store). You can also try Agave Sweetener (it looks like honey in the sweetener section).b

I will say this about post op eating, food becomes more about quality than quantity - the fresh, good-for-you food is better. Try staying on the outside of the grocery store aisles (this is a trick for my migraines as well). This may not be what doctors will tell you about getting in enough protein after surgery, but in my experience, when you're in the post op phase (and I'm not an expert) you won't be able to get in the 'recommended' amount while you're still healing.

So the best thing you can do is just try to eat until you're satisfied.

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[ Last editorial review/modification of this page : 05/24/2021 ]

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