Each bariatric surgery patient is different. Similarly, each bariatric surgeon has slightly different recommendations for a post op bariatric diet. Each surgeon has different guidelines for when to start purees, soft foods, and solid foods, as well as which foods fall into which categories. Eating a food too early can result in nausea, gagging, vomiting, diarrhea, or quesiness. It’s best to follow your bariatric surgeon’s advice for when and how to progress through the stages.
With that being said, if your bariatric surgeon recommends you eat regular textured proteins (see here for Dr. Shillingford’s post op diet recommendations), and your new stomach just isn’t having it, there are a couple of things to consider:
- Are you taking too large of a bite? Often times taking too large of a bite can make it hard for the food to easily enter the stomach opening. Try taking smaller bites (even as small as a black bean). The bite may seem very small compared to what you used to take, but that’s ok. Smaller bites may be more easily tolerated.
- Are you chewing the food thoroughly? Dr. Shillingford recommends you chew each bite 20-40 times until it is a paste consistency.
- Are you eating too quickly? Meals after bariatric surgery will take a lot longer than they did before. It’s normal for meals to extend to 45 minutes or longer. Plan to have extra time set aside for eating.
- Was the food moist enough? Dry foods are often a cause of gagging or nausea. Try using moist cooking methods like baking, roasting, steaming, pressure cooking, or poaching. You can also include a gravy, broth, or sauce to help add moisture.
If you are having trouble tolerating solid proteins you can always fall back to the last texture you did tolerate. Once you are ready to try again, pick one food at a time. Make sure it’s a moist protein. Take a small bite. Chew it thoroughly. Make your meal last a long time so you can eat as much protein as your new stomach can handle without overwhelming it.
Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a board-certified surgeon specializing in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery, in addition to advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s weight loss surgery patients receive superior care during their stay at Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, where Dr. Shillingford proudly serves as Medical Director. Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric patients receive follow up care in his Boca Raton office, which is conveniently located for patients coming from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, West Palm Beach, and even Orlando. To schedule your free informational session with Dr. Shillingford, call his office today at (561) 483-8840 or contact us online.