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Bariatric Program

Bariatric Surgery Nutrition Guidelines

As part of your initial bariatric surgery consultation, you’ll meet with a Temple dietitian for a nutritional assessment and customized diet plan. You’ll learn how to eat and what to avoid before and after surgery, and receive guidance on how to maintain long-term weight loss.  

Nutrition Before Weight-Loss Surgery

Your dietitian will advise you to start losing weight, even before your surgery. The following guidelines will get you started:

  • Eat at least three meals per day

  • Include healthy snacks between your meals if feeling hungry

  • Drink only calorie-free beverages

  • Avoid carbonated drinks, including regular and diet soda

  • Skip fried foods and added fats, such as butter

  • Make healthier choices when eating out

  • Eat meals slowly, making sure to chew food well

  • Replace boredom and stress eating with other activities, such as walking

  • Include vegetables every day for lunch and dinner

Nutrition After Weight-loss Surgery

The main goal after surgery is to allow the stomach to heal while providing your body with proper nutrition. For the nine weeks following surgery, you will slowly progress your diet from clear liquids to a regular, healthy diet under the supervision of your surgeon and registered dietitian. Find out more information about diet progression following bariatric and metabolic surgery.

Foods to Avoid After Bariatric Surgery

Certain foods may make you sick and eventually make you gain weight after surgery, including:

  • Foods with high amounts of sugar, such as candy, ice cream, syrup, cookies and cakes

  • High-fat foods, such as chips, fried foods, sausages, cream soups and cream sauces

  • Starchy foods, such as pasta, doughy breads and rice

  • Fibrous foods, such as nuts, popcorn and corn

Vitamin & Mineral Supplements

Vitamin needs after bariatric surgery are very specific. You will need to take supplements for the rest of your life to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Your dietitian will recommend vitamin and mineral supplements that are right for you. To ensure you are getting everything you need, you will need to complete blood work a few times during the first year, and then once a year after that.

Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome is when food passes quickly into the small intestine. It is sometimes caused by eating sweets or fried, fatty or greasy foods. It can also happen if you eat too much at one meal, or if you drink fluids with your meals. Symptoms include cramping, sweating, flushed appearance, dizziness, weakness, headache and eventually diarrhea. The best way to avoid dumping syndrome is to follow our dietary guidelines.

Bariatric surgery requires a lifelong commitment of following dietary guidelines, vitamin and mineral supplement regimes and lifestyle changes to maintain your weight loss. Our weight-loss team works with you every step of the way.