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The Lap-Band® Diet

These dietary guidelines are designed for bariatric patients who are preparing before and after the Lap-Band® procedure. Following these guidelines may help reduce complications, maximize the weight loss results, and boost your weight loss goals. As with any diet plan, consult with your doctor and dietitian before implementing this or any other diet plan.

Diet Plan Before The Lap-Band® Surgery

Your surgeon may request you to lose weight or not to gain additional weight before the surgical placement of the gastric band. Losing weight before surgery can reduce the size of enlarged liver back to its normal size. An enlarged liver can make it difficult for the surgeon to place and position the Lap-Band® around your stomach.

2 Weeks Before Surgery

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. Start by selecting healthier eating habits. The pre-surgical diet plan includes:

  • High protein foods. Examples of lean proteins include chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, beef loin, and soy products.
  • Vegetables that contain low in sodium and starch.
  • Cutting back on high fat and high carbohydrates foods. Choose meals with low oil, starch, and sugar content. Avoid deep fried foods, chips, cookies, popcorn, cakes, pretzels, candy and sugary beverages.
  • No sodas and alcoholic beverages, as they can be high in carbonation and calories.

*You are allowed only to consume fluids for a minimum of 24 hours prior to surgery.

Tips on Starting New Eating Habits
Plan and record your meals throughout the day.
Include lean proteins with each meal.
Include fruits and non non-starchy vegetables at least once a day.
Eat three meals daily. Try to reduce snacking.
Stay hydrated. Drink at least 8 cups of fluids daily.

Diet Plan After The Lap-Band® 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 band erosion. Schedule a post-operative consultation with your doctor and seek approval before progressing to the next diet stage. Please note that these dietary stages are for Lap-Band® procedure.

Clear Liquid Diet

The First Week After Surgery

For the first week after surgery, you are allowed only to consume clear liquids. You need to stay hydrated. Try to aim for 64 oz. of fluids daily. However, for the first couple days, you may progress from 24 oz. of fluids daily to 64 oz. to help your body adjust. Sip slowly, and you should stop drinking when you feel full.
Examples of a Clear Liquid
Drinking water and no-calorie flavored water
Ice chips
Sugar-free popsicles
Crystal light
Sugar-free Kool-Aid
Diet Snapple

Full Liquid Diet

Weeks 2-6 After Surgery

Continue drinking fluids from the clear liquid diet. However, in this stage, you can add more liquid varieties to your daily intake. Keep in mid that your body still need to heal, thus only liquids are allowed and non-chunky/particles foods.

  • Drink slowly, take a few sips, and do not use a straw
  • Stay hydrated. Try to drink at least 8 cups (64 oz.) of liquids daily
  • Do not force yourself to drink when you feel full
  • Take vitamin supplements as instructed by your doctor or dietitian
  • Avoid sugary, alcoholic, and carbonated drinks
Examples of a Full Liquid
Everything from the clear liquid list
Decaf tea and coffee
No sugar added juices such as apple and carrot juice
Sugar-free popsicles
Sugar-free gelatin
Low calorie protein shakes
Tomato puree soup
Sugar-free pudding
Nonfat milk and nonfat lactose-free milk
Nonfat yogurt
Applesauce, smooth variety without the chunks

Solid Foods

Weeks 7+

Week seven and beyond, after the placement of the Lap-Band®, involves the transition from full liquid to solid foods. Chew thoroughly and swallow your food slowly. Now you can introduce new healthy solid foods, one at a time.

  • Include lean protein in your meal. Protein helps you body to maintain muscle mass, prevent hair loss, and provide energy. Some of the examples are chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, and soy products.
  • Do not over eat. Cut your food into small pieces and chew thoroughly. Wait 10 minutes and see if you are full. When you feel full, you should stop eating.
  • Eat three meals daily.
  • Avoid drinking water for at least 30 minutes before and after a meal.
  • Avoid fried foods, sugary desserts, crackers, sodas, and alcoholic beverages.
  • Stay away from heavy cream. If your recipe requires heavy cream, substitute with nonfat or low-fat version.
  • Choose low-fat cheeses over regular or whole milk cheeses.
  • Take daily multivitamins as directed by your physician.
  • Plan on what you eat before going out.
  • Track your daily intake by having a food log/diary.
  • You can eat bread, rice, pasta, non-crunchy cereals, soft crackers in moderation.
  • Choose easy to digest vegetables such as cooked beets, green beans, mushrooms, zucchinis, and eggplants.
Examples of Solid Food
Fresh Apple slices
Fresh cucumber slices
Lean beef steak
Grilled chicken breast
Grilled fish
Steamed fish
Cooked spinach
Cooked carrots
Chopped Salad
Mini turkey meatballs
Soft or hard boiled egg
*Nothing crunchy, crumbly, slimy or slippery such as macaroni & cheese, chips, pretzels, popcorn, trail mix, granola bars, lean cuisine, cereal, crackers, cream of wheat, oat meal, grits, and nutritional bars.

Dietary Plan After Lap-Band® Adjustments

After each band adjustment, you need to go back to a liquid diet for about three days, then progressing to solid foods. Contact your doctor if you experience vomiting after a meal. Follow up with your doctor regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Lap-Band® Diet

What Kind Of Vitamins Should I Take After Lap-Band® Surgery?

You doctor or dietitian will determine what type of vitamin supplements that are suitable for you on each stage.

How Can I Substitute Whole Milk?

You can substitute whole milk with nonfat milk or nonfat lactose-free milk.

What Is My Daily Protein Goal?

Try to eat at least 60 grams of protein daily.

What Is The Alternative To Sugar?

You can substitute with a no calorie sweeteners such as Splenda or stevia.

How Many Calories Can I Consume Daily?

Your physician or dietitian will help to determine how much food and calories you can consume daily. As general rule of thumb, to lose weight, you must eat less than you burn.
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