If you are on post-op week 3 of your gastric sleeve diet, you’ll be looking for pureed and soft food options. This will last for a couple of weeks or until other foods may be tolerated and cleared by your provider. This article covers what you need to know about foods in week 3 of your post gastric sleeve diet.
Below, you will find a gastric sleeve food list with options that are typically safe during this food stage. We also include information on caring for yourself during recovery.
If you are unsure about anything, speak to your doctor or dietitian. Your doctor or dietitian may provide different food phase guidelines. It’s best to stick with those because each case can be very individualized.
What to Eat 3 Weeks After a Gastric Sleeve?
At this stage, you will transition from the full liquid diet you were on. Solid foods are still not introduced for a little while. You will be consuming pureed and soft foods that are the consistency of baby food for your gastric sleeve diet around week 3.
Meal plans for gastric sleeve patients around week 3 can include:
- All full liquids allowed in weeks 1 and 2
- Meal replacement shakes and protein drinks suitable for bariatric patients
- Fat-free cottage cheese
- Pureed lean meats like chicken, turkey, fish (blend and add broth to the mixture)
- Pureed lentils
- Canned tuna
- No sugar added applesauce
- Cooked, mashed vegetables
- Baby food
- Soft fruits
Fluids are going to be extremely important for hydration. The goal at this stage is to take in around 64 oz of sugar-free, calorie-free, carbonation and caffeine free fluids. Protein will also be required at 60-80 grams daily.
Depending on your tolerance, this phase can last from 1 to 2 weeks. These food options are also appropriate for a gastric bypass food list.
Your doctor or dietitian will provide you with a recommended number of calories. Caloric intake can range at this phase and the goal will be to try and reach daily protein goals and maintain hydration. If you have concerns with what you are able to consume, consult with your bariatric healthcare team immediately.
Tips For Eating After a Gastric Sleeve
Cut your food into very small pieces. Don’t be concerned about the small portion sizes. You should typically be eating 4-5 times daily.
Remember to eat slowly. Take at least 30 minutes to eat a meal. Chew every bite to a paste consistency before swallowing.
Watch out for empty calories. This includes foods and beverages with no nutritional value and high in calories like pretzels, chips, and pastries. Getting to know food labels will help.
Consume protein-rich foods first. Make lean, high quality protein the core of your diet.
- Carbohydrates should not be excluded. However, you should be choosing healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as cooked vegetables, whole grains and fruits.
- Avoid foods that can cause inflammation while the stomach is healing. Stick to the food options on your gastric sleeve food list.
- Introduce one food at a time. Some new foods may not be tolerated well. However, try different foods again when you are further out from surgery.
- Do not consume fluids with meals. Wait 30 minutes before eating and 30 minutes after to drink a beverage.
- When directed to do so, stay consistent with your bariatric supplement regimen.
Week 3: Meal Preparation
Measure Every Portion
You will find measuring utensils very handy. At this phase, you will likely be using measuring spoons and measuring cups to portion out meals. During week 3 after bariatric surgery, start with 1/8 to 1/4 cup portions for meals. It is important to take into account that the stomach is 75% smaller and healing.
Soften and Puree Meals
It’s a good idea to peel all your fruit and vegetables before cooking and mashing. Don’t eat fibrous veggies like celery unless they are well cooked and liquidized.
Steam or slow-cook food to soften it, especially fish, meat, and vegetables. When in doubt, put foods through a blender or food processor.
Foods that are not tolerated well may cause vomiting, acid reflux, diarrhea, or constipation.
Use Bariatric-Friendly Tools and Recipes
Find dinnerware that helps you eat slowly and dish up small portions, such as specifically designed portion control bowls and plates. Use small cutlery and a timer to allow slower eating.
If you find that you are getting bored and running out of ideas, find a gastric sleeve cookbook. These options can have high-protein recipes adapted to your particular needs and can be used throughout your entire weight loss journey.
Have a look at bariatric-friendly recipes online, such as our bariatric avocado cream dip. We also have delicious gastric sleeve protein shake recipes.
What to Eat When You're Busy or Going Out
Another option may be ready-made baby food and no sugar added applesauce. Always check the nutrition label for ingredients and further information. There may be added sugars and unnecessary calories.
Look for protein shakes suitable for after bariatric surgery to meet daily protein goals. The best protein powder for gastric sleeve patients comes from a high quality protein source, such as whey, egg, or soy.
When eating out after gastric sleeve surgery, look for bariatric-friendly eateries with healthy options, smaller portions, and online menus. Some restaurants might even provide the caloric breakdown of the menu. Check the online menu and decide before you go out.
Take a look at side dishes and starters. These options will be a smaller, portioned option. You can also ask for a smaller portion of a larger meal at a discounted price by showing your bariatric restaurant card.
Taking Care of Yourself 3 Weeks After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Establish Good Habits as Soon as Possible
As you are still recovering, learn to plan meals and start your lifestyle change. This will be difficult, but bariatric surgery is only a tool for weight loss. You will be required to utilize your bariatric resources to promote good habits in the future and maintain consistency throughout your bariatric journey. This will result in the most weight loss benefits from surgery.
Some things to start with would be to avoid carbonation, caffeine, and alcohol until further direction is provided by a healthcare professional. Starting with a small step like this can help to manage weight loss and overall health.
Hydration is important. Make sure you are choosing the right beverages after surgery. Your body requires fluids to function properly. After surgery, the difficulty of staying hydrated increases as you won't be able to take much in.
Avoid alcohol until permitted. Alcohol can trigger cravings. It can also cause stomach irritation, swelling and vomiting. Alcohol can be high in sugar and calories while also lacking nutrition. Many cocktails are mixed with carbonated beverages high in sugar that are also not recommended.
Carbonated drinks cause bloating and gas after surgery. Not only can this cause stomach issues, they are typically high in sugar. Carbonated beverages and alcohol can also promote acid reflux after gastric sleeve surgery.
Caffeine can be a natural diuretic when frequently consumed. The idea is to reach a goal of 64 oz of fluids daily. It will be hard enough to stay hydrated after surgery, so stick with non-caffeinated beverages initially. Staying hydrated will require very small sips throughout the day. Water will always be your best option.
Your doctor may advise you of symptoms to look for after surgery, like mild pain and tenderness. Symptoms should be monitored and ease up by week 3. If you are still having considerable pain, contact your bariatric provider.
If you are having serious pain, adverse side effects, or bleeding, get medical attention as soon as possible.
Don't Skip Meals
You may notice that your appetite is poor. Don’t skip meals in your diet plan, even though they seem small. This can have considerable effects on your blood sugar levels. Also, nutrients from food provide you with the energy your body needs. Skipping meals may also effect recovery time.
You can avoid low blood sugar after gastric sleeve surgery by eating regularly. Keep eating each small meal in your diet plan.
Taking Supplements and Medication
There is a very high risk of nutrient deficiency after gastric sleeve surgery. Bariatric specific supplements will be required for life to prevent deficiencies and compensate for the vitamins and minerals you are no longer getting through food sources.
It is typically recommended to take chewable supplements initially after bariatric surgery. This will promote absorption and allow the stomach to heal.
Healthy eating and exercise will be the key to successful weight management in the long-term. Reach out for help to healthcare professionals when you are struggling.
Any prescribed medications should still be taken as directed by your bariatric healthcare team. You can also discuss what pain medication is allowed after gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery.
If you are preparing for surgery, see our article on what to eat before gastric sleeve surgery.
Other Articles to Explore:
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- Bariatric Recipes
- Bariatric Support Groups
- Bariatric Surgery and Diabetes
- Bariatric Vitamin Patches
- Multivitamins for Bariatric Patients
- Importance Of A Bariatric Specific Multivitamin For Life
- Iron Deficiency After Bariatric Surgery
- Life After Weight Loss Surgery: 5 Things You Should Know
- Most Affordable Bariatric Vitamin on the Market
- Setting Realistic Goals and Staying Motivated After Bariatrics
- The Benefits of Zinc and Copper After Bariatric Surgery
- Unflavored Protein Powder for Bariatric Patients
- Vitamin Deficiency After Bariatric Surgery
- What Are The Best Vitamins After Bariatric Surgery?
**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. After bariatric surgery, food options will look different for everyone based on food stage and tolerance. Consult with your bariatric healthcare team about appropriate food options based on your individual needs.