Looking for a
Bariatric Carb Chart?

Use this bariatric carb chart as a general guideline but know that your results may vary. Everyone’s experience is different.

In the beginning, your bariatric carbs per day are extremely low because you need to prioritize eating protein first and foremost. As time goes by, you’ll gradually be able to eat a little more carbohydrates alongside the protein.

If you study the chart you can see a pattern. You'll likely be able to increase carbs slowly by ~10 grams each month throughout the first 7-9 months post op. After that, you should level out around the number of carbs you eat lifelong. Use this guide as a loose frame of reference.

See the pattern?

  • 2 months: 20 grams carb
  • 4 months: 40 grams carb
  • 6 months: 60 grams carb

...you get the idea.

Are you surprised by the numbers in the bariatric carb chart? Many of my patients are shocked when they see such numbers because they've heard "you have to avoid carbs after weight loss surgery." Take a minute to fully understand the true definition of "low carb." 

If you eat a little more or a little less than what you see in the bariatric carb chart, no need to worry that something is "wrong."  These are simply ballpark approximations. Everyone progresses at a different pace. How many carbs after VSG (gastric sleeve), RNY (gastric bypass) or LAGB (gastric band) you're able to eat is unique to you.

And its not the whole story anyway! Carbs aren't created equally. Focusing on quality of carbs vs quantity of carbs is really most important!

Bariatric Carb Chart:
What About Net Carbs?

“Net Carbs” are calculated by subtracting fiber or sugar alcohols on the label from the total carbohydrates. 

Dietary fiber and sugar alcohol are both carbohydrates. However, they're assumed not to be absorbed or metabolized, so they theoretically shouldn’t “count” on your bariatric carb chart.

In this label example:

19 grams Total Carbohydrate – 2 grams Dietary Fiber – 15 grams Sugar Alcohol = 2

So you might say this food has 2 grams "net carbs."

If you want to eat this theoretical food, it seems fantastic that you only have to count it a 2 grams carbs vs 19 grams carbs, right?

Well not so fast….

The net carb "equation" isn't entirely accurate. Some fiber and sugar alcohols are partially digested and thus still provide calories (as well as impact blood sugar).

No Legal Definition

The term “net carbs:”

  • Doesn’t have a legal definition
  • Is not used by the Food and Drug Administration
  • Is not recognized by the American Diabetes Association

Conclusion: Use the number of Total Carbohydrates on the nutrition facts label to tally your bariatric carbs per day. Forget about net carbs. Sorry ☹

Good News

Even though the net carb story is disappointing....remember...

Focusing on quality of carbs vs quantity of carbs if really most important!