The Gastric Sleeve Diet

These dietary guidelines are designed for gastric sleeve patients to prepare before and after surgery. Following these guidelines can help you choose bariatric friendly foods, jumpstart your weight loss, and adapt to a healthier lifestyle.

Diet plan before gastric sleeve surgery

To lower the risks involved during the laparoscopic gastric sleeve procedure, your surgeon may instruct you to lose additional weight before surgery. You can accomplish your target weight by following a pre-surgery diet plan as instructed by your physician and exercising.

2 weeks before surgery

Follow your surgeon’s pre-surgery diet instructions. The instructions may include:

  • Lean protein intake. Select the leanest part of the meat such as sirloin steak, trimmed pork chop, chicken breast, and turkey breast, and fish.
  • Low-fat and low-carb foods. Fat contain the highest calories per gram compared to other sources 9 calories per gram.
  • Carbohydrates are easily stored in your liver.
  • No sugary, carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
** Your surgeon may request you to start adopting a clear liquid diet about a week before the gastric sleeve surgery.

Diet plan after gastric sleeve surgery

The first few weeks after surgery, you may experience mood changes and frequent irritability. However, it is crucial to follow your surgeon’s instructions to reduce the post-operative complications such as nausea, diarrhea, dehydration, constipation, and gastric leakage. Consult with your doctor and ask approval before progressing to the next diet stage. Make sure to follow up regularly.

Clear Liquid Diet

Weeks 1-2 or until the initial post-operative doctor's visit

After surgery, you are limited to clear sugar-free fluids only because your stomach needs to heal. Take small sips and do not force yourself when you feel full.
  • Drink slowly, take a few sips, and do not force yourself to drink when you feel full
  • Stay hydrated. Try to drink 8 cups (64 oz.) of clear liquids daily
  • Drink no-calorie/low-calorie clear fluids without chunks, pulp, or fiber
  • Choose low-calorie clear protein supplements
  • Avoid sugary, alcoholic, and carbonated drinks

Examples of a Clear Liquid

Water: drinking water, no-calorie flavored water, no-calorie vitamin-enriched water

No sugar added apple juice. Can be diluted with water

Crystal light

Sugar-free popsicles

Sugar-free Jell-O gelatin

Clear low-sodium chicken broth without the chunks

Clear protein supplement

Full Liquid Diet

Weeks 3-4

You are allowed to consume more variety of liquids. Do not use a straw as it may cause bloating.

  • Follow your physician’s instructions
  • Limit on drinking caffeinated teas and coffees. Instead, substitute with the decaffeinated teas and coffees
  • Avoid sugary, alcoholic, and carbonated drinks
  • Try to consume at least 60 grams of protein daily
  • Select low-calorie protein supplements that contain high in protein, low in fat, and low in carbohydrate

Examples of Full Liquid

Everything from the clear liquid list

Whey protein shakes

Sugar-free pudding

Nonfat yogurt

Nonfat milk or nonfat lactose-free milk

Strained low-calorie soup

Decaffeinated teas and coffees

Pureed / soft foods

Weeks 5-8

You are allowed to eat cooked meat and vegetables under the caveat that all the foods have to be soft, high in protein, low in sugar, and low in fat.

  • Eat slowly, chew thoroughly
  • Your protein goal is at least 60 grams daily
  • Drink water at least 8 cups (64 oz.) daily
  • Avoid high carbs, high sugar, high fat and fried foods
  • Eat soft and moist lean proteins
  • Do not eat raw foods on this stage
  • Take multivitamin and mineral supplements as directed by your physician
  • You can blenderize your food to puree consistency while adjusting to soft foods

Examples of Pureed / Soft Food

Low fat cottage cheese

No sugar added applesauce

Blended chicken breast

Blended tuna salad with low fat mayo

Blended (cooked) low fibrous vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, tomatoes, and beets

scramble eggs

Baby foods

Mashed potatoes

Canned chicken breast in water

Canned tuna in water

Pureed / soft foods

Weeks 9+

Your diet consists of low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar, and high protein foods. Chew thoroughly and swallow your food slowly. Now you can introduce new healthy foods, one at a time. Do not drink 30-45 minutes before and after a meal.

  • Focus on protein intake
  • Do not over eat. When you feel full, you should stop eating
  • Eat three small meals daily
  • Avoid sugary desserts, sodas, and alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid fried foods, chips, pretzels, and popcorn
  • If your recipe requires heavy cream, choose the substitution.
  • Choose low-fat cheeses over regular and whole milk cheeses
  • Take daily vitamin and mineral supplements as directed
  • Plan on what you eat before going out
  • Start a food diary to monitor your daily calorie intake
  • You can eat bread, rice, pasta, non-crunchy cereals, soft crackers in moderation
  • Eating raw nuts and raw high fiber vegetables can cause stomach discomfort
  • Choose easy to digest vegetables such as beets, mushrooms, zucchini, and eggplant

Examples of Regular Food

Lean beefsteak

Spaghetti squash

Cooked zucchini cubes

Steamed, grilled, and baked fish

Steamed, grilled, and baked chicken

Tuna chili

Lean meatloaf

soft or hard boiled eggs

Strawberries, blueberries, and other low-calorie berries

Apple slices

Scrambled eggs

Grilled turkey breast

Cooked spinach

Behavioral Modification For Gastric Sleeve Patients

Adapt to a new lifestyle with healthy choices is necessary for successful long-term weight loss. Always prioritized food that is high in protein, low in carbohydrates and low in fat.
  • Avoid “empty calorie” foods (high in calories but no nutritional benefits) such as sugary cookies, cakes with buttercream, sodas, and fried dough
  • Substitute whole milk dairy products with the nonfat or low-fat version
  • Choose high protein sources such as lean meat, poultry, and fish
  • Try non-meat sources of protein such as soy products
  • Chew thoroughly and eat slowly to limit overeating
  • Don’t force a meal if you are full. Eating too much food may cause discomfort, stretch your stomach and may slow down your weight loss progress.
  • Choose healthy foods and eat in small sensible amounts
  • Take supplements as directed by your physician
  • Don’t eat and drink at the same time. Allow at least 30 minutes break within each other.
  • Avoid raw high-fiber vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, and Brussels sprout
  • Try to use a 1 oz. medicine cup to measure the amount of the food
  • Prioritize on calorie-free beverages and do not forget to drink 64-80 oz. of fluids daily (about 8 -10 cups)
  • Do not eat while doing other activities such as watching television or reading
  • Dieting in conjunction with exercise can help you lose and maintain the long-term weight loss results. Consult with your doctor to find out the appropriate period to exercise after gastric sleeve surgery.
Frequently Asked Bariatric Questions Icon

Frequently Asked Questions About Gastric Sleeve Diet

Your daily goal for protein intake is at least 60 grams per day.

Protein is good for building lean muscles and can help you get full faster and curb your hunger longer.

You can try a no calorie sugar substitute such as Splenda or Stevia.

Nonfat milk is recommended over whole milk, also try to substitute heavy cream with a low-calorie creamer.

Skim, fat-free, and nonfat milk are exactly the same according to the FDA.

Whey protein is a good protein source that comes from milk. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose. Whey is commonly used for gaining lean muscles, losing weight supplement, and alternative to milk for people with lactose intolerance.

Broccoli and other fibrous vegetables such as Brussels sprout, and asparagus can cause a blockage that can lead to severe stomach pain.