Diet After Gastric Bypass:
An Overview

Your diet after gastric bypass is like training for a race.

It may feel uncomfortable in the beginning when everything is new, but once you get through the learning curve, you find a rhythm.

Just like running a long race takes patience, persistence, and determination…

…so does the bariatric diet journey.

You're in for a marathon, not a sprint!

Post Op Diet After Gastric Bypass

The post-op diet consists of several stages to help you ease back into eating and prevent complications.

Stage 1 Bariatric Diet

Stage 2 Bariatric Diet

Stage 3 Bariatric Diet

Stage 4 Bariatric Diet

  • How long each stage lasts depends on how fast your body heals.
  • What you can eat at each stage is slightly different from surgeon to surgeon.
  • How much you can eat on any given day or week will depend on the texture of food you’re eating and how far out of surgery you are.

In Order to FULLY Understand the Gastric Bypass Diet, You MUST Know About Each of the "5 R's:" 

The “5 R’s” of the Bariatric Diet describe how the whole journey looks from the time you start to prepare for weight loss surgery thru all the years beyond:

Getting Ready for Surgery

The Recovery

Rapid Weight Loss

Rest of Your Life

Potential Regain

Diet After Gastric Bypass Surgery:
How Does it  Work?

cartoon football
hard boiled egg

Your stomach is reduced from the size of a football to approximately the size of an egg with a gastric bypass surgery!

Also called “Roux-en-Y” (RNY) or “bypass” for short…

…the gastric bypass helps you lose weight because it vastly reduces the size of your stomach. AND it ALSO makes you malabsorb calories.

This means you eat smaller amounts of food, PLUS you won’t absorb all the calories from that smaller amount of food! If you drink a protein shake with 160 calories, you won’t absorb all 160 calories. That’s what “malabsorbing” means.

Gastric bypass (RNY) surgery is therefore a “restrictive” AND “malabsorptive” surgery, whereas the gastric sleeve (VSG) and adjustable gastric band (AGB) are simply “restrictive” surgeries.

That being said, the malabsorption after gastric bypass raises a nutrition concern:

Diet After Gastric Bypass:
Possible Nutrient Deficiencies

While malabsorbing calories may sound like a dream come true…

…it’s a double-edged sword. It also means you don’t absorb all the vitamins and minerals in your food, and this can lead to deficiencies down the road if you don’t supplement properly.

A majority of the stomach and a portion of the intestine are both bypassed or “skipped over” with the RNY. The part of the intestine that gets bypassed is responsible for absorbing calories as well as 5 important vitamins and minerals:

  • Vit A
  • Vit D
  • B12
  • Iron
  • Calcium

This means you’re at risk of getting deficient in these nutrients if you don’t take dietary supplements. Bariatric specific vitamins are the best choice because they're formulated specifically with what you need.

You Won't Feel Hungry

The hormones responsible for hunger are produced in the part of the stomach that's bypassed. That means you won't feel physically hungry...

...for awhile anyway. Some patients report a return in hunger after many months or years after surgery. There are dietary strategies to manage hunger if this happens!

No Guarantee

A smaller stomach (“pouch”) holds less food. This results in eating less calories. Plus, you don’t absorb all the calories you eat. Plus you don't feel hungry so sticking with small portions is natural. Collectively, this results in weight loss. That's how the diet after gastric bypass works.

However...there’s no money back guarantee.  Just as owning a watch doesn’t guarantee you’ll always be on time, having gastric bypass surgery doesn’t guarantee weight loss. You must do your part.

I like to think of weight loss surgery as a 3 legged stool. If any one of the legs buckles, the whole stool comes tumbling down:

  1. Gastric bypass surgery
  2. YOU: your commitment to choosing the right foods
  3. Follow up/accountability

Remember, following the gastric bypass diet is like training for a long race. A long, long, long race. Not a sprint.

It may feel uncomfortable in the beginning when everything is new, but once you get through the learning curve, it will get easier. And if you're in need of a little extra help, work with me virtually.

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