Dietitian Recommended
 Bariatric Back on Track Diet 

It's never too late to get back on track with your bariatric diet!

You're fed up with how you’ve been eating…

... You swore preop this would never happen…

…You're humiliated…

But don’t worry. It’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up over it. 

Let’s just focus on what you can do moving forward!

In my professional opinion, this is the best bariatric back on track diet approach:  

  • Jumpstart with a 1-2 -week VLCD 
  • Then continue with a structured back on track diet plan

When you’re trying to get back in control, it’s nice to:

  • Take all the guesswork out of what to eat for a week or two
  • Not have to worry about cooking
  • See some results
  • Start to feel in control again

That’s why I suggest starting with 1-2 weeks of a “VLCD” to get on track

What is a "VLCD?"

VLCD stands for “Very Low-Calorie Diet”

  • You use meal replacement products as your primary source of food (this is different than a simple protein shake)
  • This eliminates any confusion about what and how much to eat
  • Using meal replacements keeps the nutrition counts where they should be (high protein, low carb, high fiber, low sugar)

The VLCD Food Plan I Suggest Looks Like This

Each day, you have: 

Bariatric Back on Track Diet: Sample Day on VLCD 

  • 7a: Meal Replacement Shake*
  • 10a: Meal Replacement Shake
  • 1p: Meal Replacement Shake
  • 4p: Meal Replacement Shake
  • 7p: 2 cups of salad (baby spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions) + 1 teaspoon olive oil

*Mix 2 scoops of High Protein Meal Replacement Powder + 8oz water (+ ice if desired)

Nutrition: 800 calories, 110g protein, <50g carbohydrates*

*If you’re Diabetic, check with you doctor about how to adjust your insulin or medication before beginning a low carbohydrate diet.


… you can’t live on meal replacement shakes forever!

But after 1-2 weeks of a jumpstart, you should be feeling lighter and have a better sense of control.  

So now it’s time to keep it going…

… eating real food.

How to Get Back on Track Eating REAL FOOD

Bariatric Back on Track Diet: Guiding Principles

  • Eat at planned meal times
  • Eat 3 balanced meals per day
  • Limit between meal eating to vegetables, fruit, or 1oz protein
  • Drink at least 64oz water or other calorie free fluids per day

Plan Your Meal Times!

Example: 8a, 12p, 5p

Note: If you can’t commit to exact mealtimes, plan to eat morning, noon, and night.

This makes eating intentional. That’s a good thing!

Eating at planned, intentional times will stop you from grazing or mindlessly eating

A Balanced Meal Should Contain:

  • Protein: 2-4oz per meal
  • Vegetables or fruits: 1/3- ½ cup per meal, or more if able

Note: A good mantra at mealtime is “protein + produce.”  

Think: what will I have for my protein? What vegetable or fruit can I eat? You just can’t go wrong this way!


  • Healthy fat: 1 Tablespoon per day
  • Optional: Healthy carb: 3-4 tablespoons per meal (quinoa, sweet potato, starchy vegetable)

Bariatric Back on Track Diet: Other Principles Important to Success

  • Clear your house of any junk foods. Out of sight, out of mind. 
  • If someone in your house insists on eating the junk, get it stored away in a separate cabinet that you don’t open.
  • Keep a food journal for accountability.
  • Get moving. Start with 5 minutes of walking per day if that’s all you can do. 
  • Each week increase by 5 minutes, so you are ultimately walking at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. 

 Simple Meal Plans for Bariatric Back on Track Diet

Sample Menu #1

Breakfast : ½ cup lowfat cottage cheese + sliced tomatoes + 1/8 avocado, diced. Sprinkle with pepper

Snack: 1 hard boiled egg

Lunch: 3oz deli turkey. Drizzle with mustard. Roll and eat with baby carrots

Snack: snap peas

Dinner: 3oz rotisserie chicken, 1/3 cup steamed broccoli

Snack: small apple

Sample Menu #2

Breakfast : Ready Made protein drink with at least 20g protein and less than 200 calories. 

Snack: 1-2 tangerine cuties

Lunch: 3oz tuna pouch. Serve over mixed salad greens and vegetables. Drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil. 

Snack: cherry tomatoes 

Dinner: 3oz grilled salmon, 1/3 cup steamed asparagus, 3 Tablespoons quinoa

Snack: 1 part skim mozzarella cheese stick

Sample Menu #3

On the Go Breakfast : 1 hard boiled egg, 1 string cheese, and 1 small apple

Snack: 1 plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Flavor with vanilla extract and cinnamon. Stir in ½ banana.

Lunch: 3 oz shrimp cocktail, handful of cherry tomatoes

Snack: snap peas

Dinner: 2-3 oz taco meat, ¼ cup refried beans, lettuce, tomato, salsa. Use cabbage leaf for “taco shell”

Snack:  celery + 1 Tbsp peanut butter

Now get to it! 

Onward and upward! No looking back.

More Gastric Band Diet


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