Bariatric Nutrition FAQ
Here are some common questions many patients have when starting their weight loss journey:
Can I have mushy foods on my pre-op liquid diet?
No. The liquid diet is designed to be very low in carbohydrates and fat to force your body to use the fat stores it already has; thus, requiring your body to use the fat in your liver and help shrink it. Maximum fat loss occurs if you avoid any foods.
Can I have other beverages besides what is listed on the Preoperative Liquid Protein diet?
No. Other than protein supplements, you should only drink calorie-free, or low-calorie beverages, such as, water, flavored waters, and sugar-free gelatin. Be sure to use skim or 1% milk to help control calorie and fat intake.
I don't feel very good on my liquid diet, is this normal?
It is normal for the first 48 to 72 hours on the diet to feel nauseous, have a headache, or become irritable. This will pass as your body becomes accustomed to the change in diet. It is also normal to have loose stools and need to use the restroom frequently during the liquid diet because everything going in is a liquid.
What is a clear liquid?
A clear liquid is a translucent fluid. It does not have to be colorless. If you can shine a flashlight at the fluid and see the light come through the other side, it is a clear liquid.
How big is my pouch after surgery?
Initially, the pouch after gastric bypass will hold about 2 ounces of food (about 1/4 cup) and, generally, by 3-6 months after surgery comfortably holds about 4 ounces of food (about 1/2 cup). After a band reaches it's first "right fit" adjustment, the pouch typically holds 4 to 6 ounces of food. A vertical sleeve gastrectomy pouch also typically holds 4 to 6 ounces of food. Over time some people can comfortably eat up to 8 ounces (1 cup) of food.
When can I stop diluting fruit juice?
Drinking regular fruit juice increases one's sugar tolerance and caloric intake; you'll need to continue to dilute fruit juice for life. Dilute fruit juice 50/50 with water. Add more water for a lighter fruit flavor.
What is a "slider food?"
A slider food is any food with a soft, mushy texture. These foods "slide" right through your pouch and do not provide a sense of satiety. Examples are: soup, sugar-free gelatin, pudding, ice cream, applesauce, mashed potatoes, and simple white carbohydrates (like pretzels and crackers).These foods should be consumed rarely once you complete your diet progression.
Can I use baby food on my semi-solid foods diet?
No, the use of baby food is discouraged. For some reason, people never seem to want to quit using the baby food because it is convenient. Baby food is a slider food.
Once I finish my diet progression, can I have more kinds of food than what is listed in my book?
Yes, within reason. You must continue to choose foods and beverages that are sugar-free, have no added sugar, and are low-fat.
How many calories, carbohydrates, and fat am I supposed to have?
In the beginning, focus on meeting your protein, fluid, and vitamin and mineral goals. Approximately a year after a gastric bypass, sometimes sooner for gastric band and vertical sleeve patients, a good diet has about 900 to 1100 calories per day with 35 percent to 55 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 25 percent to 35 percent of calories from protein, and 20 percent to 30 percent of calories from fat. Keep an electronic food record to help determine if your diet is meeting these nutrition guidelines.