Gastric Band Diet

Following gastric band surgery it is imperative that patient's keep to the diet that the surgeon gives them in order to recover at optimum speed and also to make the most of their weight loss.    

0-2 weeks after surgery

In the first two weeks after surgery, patients are required to undertake a purely liquid diet. This ensures swift healing and allows the patient to move on to pureed food. As only liquid is being taken at this time it is essential patients follow the surgeons plan to insure they are still receiving the correct amount of vitamins. The diet in the first two week aims to ensure a correct intake of energy, protein and other nutrients to ensure a rapid recovery. Patients may also be required to take multi-vitamin tablets during this period.

Patients should aim to be taking in around 3 to 3.5 litres of liquid, spaced evenly throughout the day. Each individual is different however and checking the colour of urine will show if you are hydrated enough. Only non-fizzy drinks are allowed during this period as the gas in fizzy drinks can result in trapped wind and also lead to the gastric band slipping. Suitable fluid choices include water, slim fast shakes, low calorie squash, diluted fruit juice, semi-skimmed milk, tea and coffee.

2-4 weeks after surgery

Two weeks after surgery patients are generally ready to start on a soft food diet. Any food that can be broken down by a fork is usually good here. All crunchy foods and salads should be avoided at this stage. Foods recommended for this stage of the diet include eggs, yogurts, porridge, fruit smoothies, fish pie/cottage pie, soups, soft pasta in a blended sauce, pureed vegetables and poached fish. Fluids should not be taken with each meal, only before and it is recommended to leave at least one hour after each meal before drinking. A good protein portion around the size of the palm of your hand should be taken with each meal.

4 weeks and onwards

Four weeks after surgery patients will generally be able to start eating all textures of food again. The surgeon will have given a meal plan and patients may also be asked to see a dietician on a regular basis to ensure they make the most out of their weight loss surgery and support and guide them to a healthier life. Dieticians may ask patients to keep a food diary to record food and drink intake and exercise which will be reviewed on a regular basis. At this stage patients should be consuming smaller amounts prior to what they were before surgery. It is recommended to eat very slowly and to chew food more than normal. It is still recommended to avoid fizzy drinks and also to not drink with a meal.

Foods recommended for four weeks after surgery include jacket potatoes, rice, pasta, cous cous, noodles, fish, fruit salads, cereal, salads and roasted vegetables. It is also a good idea to continue taking multi-vitamin and calcium tablets.

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