Post Bariatric Diet Guidelines:
The 10 Chow-mandments

10 commandments

Heed these post bariatric diet guidelines like it's the second coming of weight loss and you'll be singing 'Hallelujah' as you enter the gates of a slimmer you.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you choose to purchase one of the items I earn a small percentage to help support this site without any extra cost to you. 

1. You Shall Hydrate Like a Pro. Drink Like a Fish.

However you wanna say it…Remember to drink at least 64 ounces of low-calorie, sugar-free, non-carbonated beverages daily.

More simply: Drink 1/2 gallon of fluid every day and stick to beverages with 5-10 calories or less, unless you want to slow your weight loss or gain weight back. In that case, just stop reading right now.

Liquid calories are like kryptonite to your weight loss goals. And nobody wants to be Superman’s weakness.

Hate water? No problem…there are plenty of other options to drink after surgery.

Note: Dehydration can happen fast….in as little as 1-2 days post op and land you right back in the hospital. Use my Top 5 Hydration Strategies to keep yourself out of the hospital and on the path to those skinny jeans

2.Thou SHALL NOT CHUG Water Like a Champion

Thou SHALL SIP like a proper English tea drinker. (Pinkie up an all).

Because chugging water is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It's just not gonna happen, particularly early post op.

It’s easy if you break it down like this:

  • Drink 1 ounce every 15 minutes (= 4 ounces per hour)
  • Drink 4 ounces per hour x 16 waking hours per day (= 64 ounces)


Watch more of my Fluid Drinking Strategies.

3. Thou Shall Make Protein Your Wingman (or Wingwoman)

Protein is the foundation of the bariatric diet, and eating it first guarantees you'll get enough before your stomach gets too full. And remember, a little bit of protein goes a long way, just like a wingman. So don't leave home without it.

4. Thou Shall Take Small Bites

Said another way...listen to what your mom told you a long time ago!

Take bites only as big as a pea, bean, or pencil eraser.

That sounds completely ridiculous, I know! But trust me, it lessens your chances of vomiting or causing an obstruction.

Pro Tips:

So don't be a rebel and follow your mom's advice

5. Thou Shall Chew Like a Cow

And who doesn't love a good cow munching on some grass?

While you’ve likely heard “chew your food, don’t inhale it.” somewhere in your past, never has it been more important than post op, to assure you don’t overfill your stomach and cause vomiting.

You’ll probably see guidelines circulating around the internet to “chew 25-30x per bite.” Or said a fancy way that sounds like you’re shopping for a car: “You need 25cpb .”

Why make things more complicated than they need to be. How about simply:

Chew every bite until it’s applesauce consistency. This is a serious decree from Mount Chew-amore.

Chewing also helps you enjoy your food more. So chew, chew, chew away! Just be sure to chew with your mouth closed. Thanks again Mom. It’s possible that Mom’s really do know best.

BONUS: It’s a win-win situation because you have to slow down to thoroughly chew, so all of a sudden you have 2 of the 10 Commandment according the the bariatric bible down in the history books. Because the next post bariatric diet guideline is....

6. Thou Shall Eat Like a Zen Master

That mean eating slowly and mindfully in case you don’t know any zen masters.

This is another MUST to prevent the unwanted side effects of surgery otherwise known as nausea and vomiting.

And it’s a win-win-win because when you eat slowly and mindfully, you have a better chance of taking small bites AND chewing “like a cow.” 3 of the commandments in the win column at one time!

Use my tips on how to eat mindfully…unless you plan on going to study with a zen master.

7. Thou Shall Stop Eating as Soon As You Feel Full 

Just one bite too many can be like "the straw that breaks the camel's back." And nobody likes a camel with a broken back, so pay attention to this post bariatric diet guideline!

Eating slowly and mindfully is key to this commandment. Another win-win situation: Killing two commandments in one fell swoop.  But thou shalt not kill is a REAL commandment too…so I might be confusing you a little bit here on what to do.

Let me just say that one bite too many can lead to hours of distress. So, don't be like a bottomless pit, stop eating when you're full.

8. Thou Shall Get an Accountability Buddy...

... or a food journal

…or a post surgery bariatric nutritionist

…or find a support group meeting…

… or schedule follow-up appointments with your surgery practice

The point is that everyone does better with another pair of eyes on them.

My top 5 ways to stay accountable will give you some ideas. I always talk about accountability in the preop period, but it's never too late to start. There's no wrong form of accountability except not being accountable. So go find a weight loss buddy and make it happen.

9. Thou Shall Manage Your Emotions

Feelings aren’t going to go away just because you have bariatric surgery. It’s a stomach surgery after all, not brain surgery! (Or heart surgery?..….wherever our emotions are born. Hmmmm.)

So don't let your emotions control your eating habits, find new ways to handle stress, boredom, sadness, anger, loneliness, etc.

Use the ideas in my helpful video or end up on a wild emotional rollercoaster.

10. Thou Shall Take Your Daily Bariatric Vitamins

Pop those pills like candy! (not really)

Nutrient deficiencies are possible after surgery, so it's important to take your daily bariatric vitamins to ensure you're getting the nutrients your body needs. Don't be fooled by those vitamins you buy at the drug store or grocery store, they ain't got nothing on the vitamins made for your new, surgically altered anatomy!

Bariatric specific vitamin/mineral supplements are formulated with higher levels of the specific vitamins and minerals you need!

Post Bariatric Diet Guidelines:
The Bottom Line for Your Bottom Line

Think of these 10 post bariatric diet guidelines as your gospel truth and you'll be living the weight-loss dream. Just don't forget to bring your sense of humor and savor the journey like a fine (calorie free) wine.

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