What Can You Eat After Weight Loss Surgery?

hand holding healthy foods

June 15, 2022

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Jolita Auguste, M.D.

Considering weight loss surgery and curious about what you can eat after the procedure?  Changing your eating habits actually begins before surgery. Physicians recommend that you work with a nutritionist for about three months prior to surgery to learn the foundations of healthy eating. This will help you achieve your post-op weight loss goals.  

While each program differs, in general, these are the steps in your post-surgery diet: 

  1. Clear liquid diet 
    Within the first 24 hours after surgery, you will be placed on a clear liquid diet. Clear liquids allowed on this diet include broth, water, and sugar-free gelatin.

  2. Full liquid diet
    This diet phase includes protein shakes and milk products that you’ll drink throughout each day for about 14 days. 

    “It is also very important to consume enough protein,” says Jolita Auguste, M.D., bariatric surgeon at Old Bridge Medical Center. “Protein helps you build muscle mass and gives the body energy.”  

  3. Soft diet
    Three to four weeks post surgery, you will transition to a soft diet, also known as the puree diet. You’ll still consume protein shakes, but they will be used to supplement your intake from food, instead of providing all of your protein.

  4. Regular diet
    About seven weeks after surgery, you will be able to begin your regular post-surgery diet. Take this time to listen to your new stomach’s cues for fullness. You’ve changed decades of dietary habits and need time to adjust.  

Post-surgery, it is also important to attend support groups. They will provide valuable information on nutrition, exercise and maintaining a healthy and long-lasting weight loss lifestyle. 

Next Steps & Resources: 


The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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