Diet After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Here are answers to the most common questions I get about the diet after gastric sleeve surgery.

Q: How Much Protein Should I Eat on My Gastric Sleeve Post Op Diet?

Immediately after weight loss surgery, malnutrition is a concern...

...so “protein first” is critical because you won’t be able to eat very much. You must prioritize.

While there is no universal guideline that all surgery practices follow…

60-90 grams of protein per day is generally the suggested range on the gastric sleeve post op diet. This is considered a “high protein diet.”

Be sure to follow your surgery center’s exact recommendation.

Why So Much Protein?

  • To heal/recover
  • To prevent malnutrition
  • To help you feel full on small portions
  • To prevent hair loss
  • To prevent muscle loss
  • Did I mention to prevent hair loss?

How to Get 60-90 grams of Protein Daily

These are the best sources of protein at each diet stage:

Liquid Diet:

  • Protein shakes (either ready made or homemade)

Soft Diet:

  • Nonfat/lowfat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, bean soups, poached eggs, tuna, canned chicken, tofu

Solid Diet:

  • Fish (ex: whitefish, salmon), Seafood (ex: shrimp, crab), chicken, turkey, lean ground meats

See more on Best Protein Sources

Q: Diet After Gastric Sleeve: How Many “Carbs” Should I Eat?

There is not an exact answer here and I know that’s frustrating ☹

Here’s what typical, but don’t hold these numbers in stone!

  • First 3 months: < 50g carb/d
  • 6 months: ~40-60 grams carb/d
  • 1 year: ~75-100g carb/d

In the beginning, your carb intake is low simply because you must prioritize eating protein first. Less than 50g carbs per day is common in the first few months.

As you’re able to eat a little more, it’s better to focus on eating the right carbs vs focusing on numbers.

Thinking of a food only in terms of it’s carb count doesn’t necessarily lead you to a good choice.

Fried pork rinds are low carb but does this really make them a healthy food to eat?! I hardly think so.

Choose foods for what they HAVE (fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants), not for what they don’t have (carbs, calories).

It’s ok to eat “Smart  Skinny Carbs" on Your Diet After Gastric Sleeve Surgery:

  • Fruit
  • Beans, peas, lentils (these have protein too!)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Old fashioned oats

These are “self-limiting.” This means you’ll feel full before you ever overeat them.

This is not the case with “junky carbs” like chips, crackers, pretzels, popcorn, cereal, white bread, candy, ice cream. These kind of foods are addicting and much too easy to overeat.

Take a few minutes to watch my short videos on Clearing up Carb Confusion

Think about it...

...you didn't decide to have weight loss surgery after years of eating too much fruit, beans or oatmeal, right?!

Now with all that being said…

…If you MUST MUST MUST have a number to guide you...

Once you’re 1+ years out of surgery:

Limit carbs to 75-100g/d. But please make sure they’re smart carbs!

Wondering about Calories?   ---> Read more Here

Answers to More Common Questions About the Diet After Gastric Sleeve Surgery (COMING SOON):

  • What to Drink After Surgery
  • Foods to Avoid
  • Salad after gastric sleeve
  • Diet soda after gastric sleeve
  • Not eating after gastric sleeve
  • Portion size
  • What to expect 1 mo after VSG
  • Gastric sleeve bariatric vitamins
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