Gastric Lap Band® Diet:
What You Need to Know

Finally, an answer to "what can I eat on my Lap Band® diet?!"

But first, you must know that your diet after weight loss surgery is a journey that will follow 5 distinct phases.

What you can eat at any given moment on your Lap Band® diet depends on where you are in the journey of the "5 R's.

How Does the Lap Band® Diet Work?

Having a gastric band is kind of like having a belt fastened around your stomach. Less food food fits in and you feel full faster. 

Everything you eat has to get past the "belt" (band) so it's SUPER important to take little bites and chew your food to applesauce consistency so nothing gets stuck when trying to get past the band.  The single most important skill to master after surgery is mindful eating.

lap band diet

Lap Band® Diet Fills

The way you tighten or loosen a belt is by tightening or loosening the notches on the belt. The way you tighten or loosen the gastric band is by having fluid added or taken out of the band. This is called a "fill" (or de-fill.)

It takes some adjusting in the beginning to find the "sweet spot"...

...enough fluid to make it tight enough, but not soooo much that you can't even drink water without vomiting. 

Each time you have a new fill, you have to ease back into eating like a baby again. For example:

Lap Band® Diet Restrictions

Ever had a clogged sink? If so, you know how messy the "back-up" can be.

After getting stomach band surgery, you should think of your new stomach ("pouch") as a sink...

...with a very small "sink hole."

The "sink hole" is the new narrow passage in the stomach created by the stomach band. (It's technically called the "stoma.")

Everything you eat will have to get down that "sink hole" or stoma. If it gets stopped up, you're going to be very uncomfortable and the messy "back-up" could be you, throwing up. Yuck!

Just as onion skins and eggshells can stop up a sink, there are certain foods that can potentially stop up the stoma and may need to be limited/avoided when eating after gastric LAP-BAND®.


  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Dry chicken or meat
  • "Stringy" vegetables like celery, asparagus
  • The white, pithy membranes of citrus fruits
  • Vegetable or fruit skin/peel: (apple peel, grape skins, cucumber skin)
  • Greasy or fried, crispy foods

Important Note:

There is a chance you'll tolerate some or all of these foods. The diet after LAP-BAND® adjustable gastric band surgery involves a lot of trial and error until you determine exactly what you can and can't eat.

Try these named foods individually, in small amounts, and eat mindfully, in order to determine whether you can tolerate them or not. 

Top 2 Foods that Will Slow Your Weight Loss

#1: Sugar sweetened beverages: Ok technically these are liquid, but drinking nondiet soda, sweet tea, juice, loaded coffee drinks, milkshakes, or any beverage with more than 5-10 calories is a fast path to reduced weight loss or weight regain!

Liquids pass through the "sink hole" or stoma, quickly, without giving you a feeling of fullness. You can thus drink a lot calories without ever feeling full. Don't drink your calories! Drink water or these beverages instead.

#2: Slider foods: It's fairly common to want to eat foods that are "easy to eat." You may notice that healthful foods like chicken and vegetables are harder to eat once you have a gastric band. If you don't take tiny bites and chew thoroughly these foods get "stuck in the band," and cause vomiting.

So it's easy to see why you'd tend toward foods that slide down easier, like junkfoods! Obviously a bad idea. Establishing a regular pattern of eating so you don't get overly hungry, and mastering mindful eating is really the answer. 

Lap Band® Diet
Wondering About Carbonation, Caffeine, and Straws?

Many urban legends circulate about this fluid triad. Misinformation is perpetuated by well meaning, yet uniformed healthy care workers and patients alike. Get the real truth.

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