Post-Bariatric Surgery Nutrition: Stage 3
On week 4, you can continue consuming the foods from Stages 1 and 2 and begin adding in soft foods. During this time, your gut is still healing, so you'll likely only be able to consume a couple of ounces per meal. You should be reaching the protein goal given to you by your bariatric surgeon every day.
How to eat during Stage 3:
- Eat every three to four hours (breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, midafternoon snack, dinner, nighttime snack)
- Expect to eat a couple of ounces of food every meal.
- Take 20 – 30 minutes to thoroughly chew and swallow your food.
- Eat protein foods first, fruits and vegetables second, and whole grains or starchy vegetables third.
- Eat mostly protein, and add small amounts of soft-cooked vegetables and unsweetened fruits. Fresh raw vegetables and fruits should NOT be eaten until Week 12.
- Rinse off canned fruits to remove excess sugar, even if it's packed in water or natural juices.
- Foods should be fork tender or cooked until tender enough to cut, mash, or pull apart with a fork.
- Foods can be cooked using cooking spray or small amounts of healthy fats, such as olive or avocado oil.
- Foods can be mixed with nonfat mayonnaise or non-fat salad dressing.
- DO NOT drink fluids while eating or for 30 minutes afterward.
- DO continue sipping liquids throughout the rest of the day (40 – 60 ounces total).
- Stop eating when you feel satisfied.
- Low-fat/nonfat low-sugar Greek yogurt (no fruit pieces)
- Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
- Low-fat or fat-free cheese
- Low-fat or fat-free refried beans
- Eggs (any style)
- Tofu or tempeh
- Smooth natural nut butters (no sugar added)
- Lentil, split pea, or black bean soup (strained)
- Miso or egg drop soup
- Flaky fish
- Soft-cooked seafood
- Ground chicken, turkey, pork, beef
- Shredded meat
- Chicken or tuna salad
- Burger patties made from beans, lentils, or black beans
- Lean-cut, thinly sliced deli meats
- Plant-based meat
Vegetables and Fruits
Soft-cooked, canned, or frozen
- Green beans
- Broccoli (very well steamed)
- Cauliflower (very well steamed)
- Cooked fresh fruits (avoid citrus)
- (Avoid raw fresh fruits and vegetables until 12 weeks post-surgery)