Preoperative Diet

All patients are expected to go on a special diet two weeks prior to surgery to reduce surgical risks.  Our goal is to avoid a significant weight gain prior to surgery, to replenish stores of nutrients in the body, to induce some weight loss and to begin establishing new eating patterns prior to surgery.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are needed before surgery to replenish nutrient stores and enhance recovery, as described later in this section of the handbook.  A daily vitamin and mineral supplement at levels close to 100% Reference Daily Intake (RDI) should be taken twice daily for four to six weeks before surgery (if possible).

Postoperative Diet

What type of weight do you want to lose?  The goal is to spare lean body mass and lose stored fat to help your metabolism.  Do you want to know the SECRET TO SUCCESS?  Learn the nutrition and exercise guidelines and make it a part of your life FOR LIFE.  These guidelines are a balanced diet of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthful fats including two servings of dairy each day.  This is accomplished by eating 4 meals per day.  Vitamin and mineral supplementation will also be necessary every day.

Rules of Eating

  • Eat slowly, approximately 20 minutes per meal.
  • Chew well, at least 20 to 30 chews.
  • Take small bites, put fork down between bites.
  • Do not overeat; it is okay to leave food on plate.
  • Do not eat and drink at the same time.
  • Choose moisture-rich foods.

Consequences of Variation of Rules

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Repeat vomiting, may cause obstruction over time
  • Not achieving your goals


Why is Protein Important?

After surgery, protein deficiencies may occur.  It is important to focus on eating protein from food since protein is the only macronutrient that your body cannot make on it’s own.  Protein is an essential part of cells and tissues in the body and is necessary for healing.  When protein is deficient, muscle or other lean tissue (even the heart) is broken down to supply the body’s protein needs.  Adequate intake of protein is necessary, therefore, to prevent the breakdown of muscle and other lean body tissue.

Maintaining muscle mass by eating protein helps your body to lose fat.  Muscle has a high metabolic rate (burns a high number of calories) and oxidizes (uses) fat for fuel.  You need to eat an adequate protein diet to prevent or reduce the loss of muscle and other lean tissue that may occur with weight loss to prevent reduction in metabolic rate, to increase fat breakdown and usage, and to feel full, all of which will help you achieve optimal health and weight loss success.

Why are Carbohydrates Important?

Carbohydrates add essential calories to the diet and are the first to be utilized for energy, thereby sparing protein. Carbohydrates are necessary also because they are the fuel preferred by the brain.  Carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants, especially necessary during rapid weight loss.  In addition, higher intensity resistance exercises can be introduced into the program at an early stage to enhance metabolism by minimizing loss of lean body mass.

Why Are Fats Important?

Fat from food provides essential fatty acids necessary for functions in the body, as well as for supplying fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Moisture and flavor in foods come from the fat source within a food and while this is important, it is also important to limit the intake of saturated fats and replace with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive, canola, peanut, safflower or sunflower oils.

Postoperative Diet Overview

Following weight loss surgery the nutrition plan is designed to provide a balanced diet of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthful fats, including two servings of dairy in the form of milk and/or yogurt each day.  It is necessary for patients to consume their foods in four (4) meals each day.  For the first few months, protein supplementation in the form of shakes and/or powder is also required.  In addition, vitamin and mineral supplementation is essential.

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