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Post Bariatric Surgery Nutritional Guidelines

SurgeryAfter bariatric surgery, it’s vital to follow proper nutritional guidelines and dietary restrictions provided by your health care provider. The objective is to limit calorie intake while providing balanced meals that help prevent nutrient deficiencies and preserve muscle tissue. We found some helpful dietary tips and guidelines provided by University California, San Francisco Medical Center that we encourage our residents at MIMA to adhere to.

Some general rules to follow post undergoing bariatric surgery:

  • Eat a balanced meal with small portions
  • Low calorie diet
  • Limit fats, sweets and concentrated juices/fruit juices
  • Never exceed 1,000 calories daily
  • Eat slowly
  • Keep track of what you eat


  • UCSF Medical Center recommends drinking at least 2 liters of fluids a day and avoid fluids with calories


  • Eat foods rich in protein such as eggs, meats, fish, seafood, tuna, etc.…Try to eat at least 65 grams of protein a day


  • Be sure to take multivitamins, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and iron supplements

After your bariatric surgery you will be on a clear liquid diet. One of your first meals may be Jell-O and broth.  Upon discharge, you can progress to thicker liquids that are high in protein and low in fat and sugar. Once you are at the two months mark you can try blended and pureed food such as yogurt, cottage cheese, applesauce, noodles, scrambled egg whites, canned tuna fish, tofu, lean fish and mashed potatoes. Some opt to drinking protein powdered drinks to fulfill protein requirements. Some examples of thicker liquids include nonfat milk, sugar-free pudding and yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, etc.…

It’s vital post-surgery to remember to drink 1 cup of water between all meals and avoid meats that are hard to chew.

Once you are four to eight weeks out post-op your calorie intake per day will not exceed 500, divided into six to eight small meals. Two to six months post-surgery, one should be consuming 900-1,000 calories per day with at least 65-75 grams of protein a day. High protein liquid supplement drinks and powders are not recommended at this stage. Finally, at six months post-surgery and beyond, one should be decreasing to 3 meals per day and no more than 2 snacks daily. Long-term dietary tips should include increasing low-fat, low-sugar and low-calorie foods, while always consuming two liters of water daily.

Consuming meals that are nutrient dense is key in obtaining vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein all of which promote good health.  As we age, nutrients of importance are calcium and vitamin D that aid in maintaining bone health as well as vitamin B12 which helps in maintaining nerve cell function.  “At Tucker House, a division of MIMA Healthcare, our Residents are served meals that are both delicious and nutritious along with snacks daily.  Tucker House Residents look forward to meal times which allows them to congregate with fellow residents,” says Tucker House Dietitian, Danielle Hood. For more information on MIMA or to follow our blog on health and wellness, please visit us at


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