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Diet Guidance

At El Camino Health, we help you learn to eat in a way that supports your success after weight-loss surgery.

You must eat differently and exercise portion control for the rest of your life after you have bariatric, or weight-loss, surgery. This will help make sure you get the maximum benefit from this life-changing procedure. 

For the first eight weeks after surgery, you eat a special diet to help you heal properly. You progress from liquids to purees and very soft foods to a modified low-fat diet. 

Your Long-Term Eating Plan

Long term, your diet should follow these guidelines:

  • Schedule. Eat three small, protein-focused meals per day at regular times. Take at least 30 minutes to eat each meal, and stop if you feel full or have discomfort. Don’t snack.
  • Eating. Concentrate on foods containing protein, including fish, cheese, eggs, poultry and seafood. 
  • Drinking. Don’t drink during meals; instead, drink between meals. After a meal, wait an hour before you drink liquids, and sip slowly. Your goal is six 8-ounce cups of liquid per day, which keeps your stomach pouch from stretching out.
  • Food size. Cut your food into small pieces. Chew your food well to prevent vomiting, cramping and blockage.
  • Supplements. You may need nutrients that your diet doesn’t provide. The bariatric surgery team at El Camino Health recommends you take a daily multivitamin with iron, B12 and calcium citrate. Talk to your doctor to find out which supplements are appropriate for you.
  • What to avoid. Stay away from sweets, chocolate, candies, high-sugar beverages and alcohol. 
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