Post Op Bariatric Diet Stages:
A Simple Guide

An easy way to think about how to get through the bariatric diet stages is to think of yourself like a baby. 

Think Like a Baby


A baby doesn’t start out eating chicken. NO! A baby starts out on breast milk or formula…then progresses to baby food…then soft finger foods, then finally to solid table foods.

And the same is true for YOU. You’ll be on a clear liquid diet immediately after your weight loss surgery, and will then progress to thicker liquids, pureed foods, soft foods and eventually regular solid foods.


Every baby is different and progresses at their own unique pace. If you have 2 or more children, you know this firsthand. Some babies can eat table food sooner than others. Some walk or talk faster or slower than the baby book says they will.

You’ll progress through the post op bariatric surgery diet phases similarly... your own unique pace.  In the the same way a baby progresses:


How fast you do that will be totally unique to you.  It’s best to avoid comparing yourself to others (online, in FB support groups, etc.) because your journey is unique.

There’s no rush to get through all the stages of the bariatric diet. You don't rush a baby to start on table foods, right?! You won’t get a blue ribbon once you can eat solid food. And if you try to go through the bariatric diet stages TOO fast, you’re gonna feel sick and possibly GET sick (vomit)!☹

Bariatric Surgery Diet Stages: Different Names, Same Idea

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” ~ Shakespeare

Every surgery practice has their own version of what textures are allowed at each of the post op diet phases, but the general idea of the diet progression after surgery is the same:


(are you getting it?!)

Here are a few versions of what your diet progression could look like:

bariatric diet stages

How Long Do I Stay at Each Diet Stage?

Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter answer here because there is not one single universally accepted post op bariatric diet progression.

Every surgery practice has their own recommendations about how long to stay in each bariatric diet stage, but remember, ultimately everyone heals and progresses differently. There is no one size fits all way to get through the post op bariatric diet stages.

Again, the basic idea is simply:


(I think you must be getting it by now!)

Your surgeon's diet progression may look something like this:

  • Week 1: Stage 1, Clear Liquids
  • Week 2: Stage 2, Full Liquids
  • Week 3/4: Stage 3, Pureed/Soft
  • Week 5: Stage 4, Regular 

 Or even something like this:

  • Week 1/2: Stage 1, Clear Liquids/Full Liquids
  • Week 3: Stage 2, Pureed
  • Week 4-8: Stage 3, Soft
  • Week 9+: Stage 4, Regular

Follow your surgeon’s directions but understand you will progress on your own unique timeline.

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