Beginner’s Guide To The Bariatric Diet

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Are you considering starting a bariatric diet? Or have you already started and are looking for more information? Let’s get started! This guide will give you all the need-to-know basics of the bariatric diet, from what foods to eat (and avoid) to what to expect in terms of weight loss.

Foods you must add to your diet after bariatric surgery | HealthShots

What Is The Bariatric Diet?

The bariatric diet is a high-protein, low-calorie diet intended to help people lose weight quickly. Proteins help you feel fuller longer and preserve your muscle mass as you lose weight.

This diet is usually divided into two phases: the pre-operative phase and the postoperative phase.

Pre-Operative Phase

You’ll typically eat 800-1,000 calories during the pre-operative phase. This phase lasts for two to four weeks before your surgery date. You’ll need to eat a high-protein diet and cut out all sugary and high-fat foods during this time. You may also need to take vitamins and minerals supplements to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

Postoperative Phase

After your surgery, you’ll enter the postoperative phase of the diet. During this time, you’ll gradually increase your calorie intake as your body adjusts to your new way of eating. You’ll also need to continue to eat a high-protein diet and avoid sugary and high-fat foods. Although this might sound overwhelming, you can track progress through a Bariatric surgery app.

You may also need to take vitamins and minerals supplements to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

What Foods Can I Eat on the Bariatric Diet?

One of the benefits of the bariatric diet is that there are no strict food rules to follow. However, certain guidelines should be followed to make the diet effective.

Focusing on lean protein, healthy fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates would be best. Some specific examples of foods that you can eat include:

  • Lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes
  • Healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts
  • Low-glycemic carbohydrates such as leafy greens, berries, and sweet potatoes

Avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol while on a diet is also important.


Staying properly hydrated is essential for everyone, but especially important for those who have had weight loss surgery. That’s because gastrointestinal surgeries can cause fluid absorption changes, leading to dehydration if not managed correctly.

The amount of fluid you need will vary depending on your circumstances, but it’s generally recommended that bariatric patients drink 64 ounces (eight 8 oz glasses) of non-caloric fluids daily. Water is always a good choice, but unsweetened coffee/tea and sugar-free sparkling water/juice are also good options. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and alcohol as these can contribute empty calories and may interfere with weight loss.

What Can I Expect in Terms of Weight Loss?

The amount of weight you lose on the bariatric diet will depend on several factors, such as how you adhere to the guidelines and how much weight you follow the diet, most to lose. Most people can expect to lose about 1-2 lowing the diet. However, some people may lose more or less weight than this, depending on their circumstances.


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