Altering your diet after gastric sleeve surgery

Altering your diet after gastric sleeve surgery should include plenty of plants for health sake, though many should be put in a blender to cut down on chunkiness
Keith Weller, USDA ARS (ID: K3839-3)

Studies have proven that it’s one of the most successful bariatric procedures around, with the gastric sleeve helping thousands of people lose weight that was causing them potentially life-threatening conditions.

However, while it does make dieting much easier, it would be foolish to be under the impression that this is a “set and forget” treatment. In other words, there are certain guidelines that must be followed after surgery, with most of these related to your diet.

Of course, you will be given a thorough brief in the aftermath to highlight exactly what you can and cannot eat. For those who are perhaps sat on the fence in relation to gastric sleeve surgery, here is an overview on some of the dietary changes that might have to be made in a bid to accommodate your smaller stomach.

Avoid “chunky” foods

When we say “avoid”, we’re not necessarily saying that you should stay off chunky foods for life. Instead, you simply have to approach them differently.

There are some foods which we just don’t chew as effectively as others. For example, nuts and seeds have the habit of being swallowed before we have chewed them sufficiently. The upshot is that we are starting to direct large chunks of food towards a sleeve that has been made narrow. Clearly, this is going to present problems.

Be wary of any food that expands

On a similar note, there are some foods out there which will expand as soon as they hit your stomach. This usually occurs because of the stomach fluids, which provoke this expansion.

Foods such as bread and pasta are common offenders in this category and should therefore be eaten in moderation. It’s worth mentioning that if you can chew them as much as possible, it makes the digestive process much easier on your stomach and minimizes the risk of problems.

Carbonated drinks can pose a problem

Following on from the previous two points, this next issue should be expected. Any food or drink which produces gases in the stomach can cause a problem and it would be fair to say that carbonated drinks are the best example.

Again, it’s all about understanding that your stomach is now much smaller. It means that it’s not able to cope with as much expansion and with the gases in these drinks doing exactly that, it’s a recipe for potential issues.

Always remember that your stomach is much smaller

This final point probably sums everything up we have spoken about thus far. The big result from gastric sleeve surgery is that your stomach is smaller and your diet has to therefore accommodate this.

It means that you might not be able to turn to the same sort of foods that you have been doing for the last few years. While we have spoken about the types of foods which might not be suitable, let’s also point out that you should be curbing the quantity as well as your stomach no longer has as much capacity. As most surgeons will tell you, the best advice is to eat little and often – rather than relying on large meals.