Lap Band Surgery Diet

Lap-Band Surgery DietThe foods you eat and your eating behaviors will change after lap band surgery. Lap band patients will learn to make healthy food choices, eat only three small meals a day, eat slowly and chew foods thoroughly, limit snacking, and avoid high fat and high sugar foods.

While it is important to drink plenty of water between meals, it is just as important to avoid drinking with meals as the band is designed to work with solid food. You should not drink anything with your meals or for 30 minutes either before or after eating.

Your diet will start to change before lap band surgery with your pre-op diet. Your doctor will put you on a special diet to get your body ready for surgery. After surgery, your diet will progress from liquids to soft foods until you are able to eat solid foods over the six week recovery period. It is important to follow your doctor's nutritional guidelines and food recommendations to get the most out of your lap band and maximize weight loss.

Pre-Op Lap Band Diet

In the months before lap band surgery, you will be expected to start making changes to your diet. The pre-surgery diet will help prepare your body for the upcoming surgery - to reduce body fat in and around the liver, to help preserve and protect muscle tissue, improve recovery, increase rate of weight loss, and help you prepare for the post-op diet.

Most bariatric surgeons put their patients on a pre-surgery diet that is high in protein and low in calories, fats, and carbohydrates. A typical pre-op diet ranges from 800 to 1200 calories per day which includes about 70 to 120 grams of protein each day. In the last couple weeks before surgery, patients are usually placed on a full liquid protein diet.

Lap Band Diet

Post-Op Lap Band Diet

After surgery, it will take time for your body to heal and recover from surgery. Your bariatric surgeon will provide a post-op diet plan that is designed to aid recovery and provide your body with adequate nutrition. The recovery period is approximately 4 to 6 weeks as you gradually progress from a liquid diet, to pureed foods, then to a soft food diet, until your body is ready for solid foods. It is important to follow your doctor's diet guidelines and wait to add new foods until the doctor gives the okay. The diet progression will depend on your healing and tolerance for new foods.

The post-op diet, just like the pre-op diet, is primarily focused on consuming an adequate amount of protein. Protein is not stored by the body and sufficient quantities must be eaten every day - the daily minimum protein requirement is approximately 50 to 60 grams for women and 60 to 70 grams for men. During the recovery period, you will need to drink liquid protein supplements to make sure adequate protein requirements are met.

Lap Band Surgery Post-Op Shopping List

When you come home after surgery, you will probably not feel like going grocery shopping. It is better to prepare ahead of time and go shopping for the necessary post-op food items and nutritional supplements before your surgery date. Although your bariatric surgeon should give you a detailed diet plan, some of the common items are tea, non-acidic juice, sport drinks, chicken broth/bouillon, beef broth/bouillon, skim milk, low-fat yogurt, diet Jell-O, sugar-free pudding, protein powder, chewable Tums, and chewable multivitamins.

Why do I have to chew, chew, chew my food?

It is important to change not only the foods you eat but your eating behaviors as well. The stoma (stomach opening) with the lap band is very small (about 1/4") and large chunks of food or poorly chewed food could block the opening. When food gets stuck it is very uncomfortable but usually not dangerous. Salivation usually increases as the body tries to dislodge the food blocking the stomach opening. It is important to eat slowly and thoroughly chew your food with the lap band.

What happens if I eat too much?

If you overeat, the food will come up and out. Most lap band patients have had one or two experiences that teaches them to eat slowly, chew food well, and not eat too much.

What foods can't I eat after lap band surgery?

During the six week recovery period, lap band patients will progress from a liquid diet to a soft diet then to solid foods. Once properly adjusted and on solid foods, lap band patients will have trouble eating certain foods and should avoid eating them, such as soft breads, tough or dry meats, fibrous foods like asparagus or pineapple, or skins of some fruits and vegetables such as grapes, potatoes, and tomatoes.

How many liquids should I drink each day?

It is important to drink a sufficient amount of liquids during the day to help you stay properly hydrated. You should try to drink about 64 ounces of water or other fluids each day. When you drink, sip slowly, about 1 to 2 mouthfuls at a time. Besides water, acceptable liquids often include tea, sugar-free flavored drinks, and sugar-free sport drinks. While you should drink plenty of fluids between meals, remember to avoid drinking liquids with meals.

Can I drink alcohol after lap band surgery?

Lap band patients should limit drinking alcoholic beverages because they are high in calories and would defeat the purpose of having weight loss surgery, but moderate intake is acceptable.

Can I drink soda after lap band surgery?

Any type of carbonated beverage is not recommended after lap band surgery, including soda, diet soda, beer, and carbonated water. Lap band surgeons will advise you to avoid carbonation because it has the potential to stretch the stomach pouch and cause distention underneath the band. Properly adjusted patients will feel uncomfortable as the carbonation makes them feel full and bloated.