Dietary guide for bariatric surgery based on OPTIFAST VLCD

pre and post surgery diet

Are you considering undergoing bariatric surgery? Congratulations on taking the first step towards a healthier and happier life! Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure that can help individuals struggling with obesity achieve significant weight loss. However, it is important to understand that the success of bariatric surgery goes hand in hand with adopting a healthy and balanced diet. In this article, we will provide you with a dietary guide specifically tailored for individuals undergoing bariatric surgery, based on the OPTIFAST Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) program.

Understanding Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure that modifies the digestive system to promote weight loss in individuals with severe obesity. It can have a profound impact on physical health, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life. However, to ensure the best outcomes, it is crucial to adopt a healthy lifestyle and make dietary changes.

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery
Before undergoing bariatric surgery, it is essential to consult with a registered dietitian who specializes in bariatric nutrition. They will guide you through the necessary dietary changes and help you prepare for the surgery. As part of the preparation, you may be advised to start the OPTIFAST VLCD program.

Post-Surgery Diet Phases
After bariatric surgery, your diet will progress through several phases. Each phase allows your stomach to heal gradually and adapt to its reduced capacity. It is vital to follow the recommended guidelines for each phase to ensure a smooth transition and optimal weight loss.

  • Phase 1: Clear Liquid Diet
    In the initial days following surgery, you will be on a clear liquid diet. This phase aims to keep you hydrated and provide essential nutrients without putting stress on your healing stomach. Clear liquids include water, broth, sugar-free gelatine, and herbal tea.
  • Phase 2: Full Liquid Diet
    Once you are comfortable with clear liquids, you will advance to a full liquid diet. This phase introduces low-fat, high-protein liquids such as skim milk, protein shakes, and strained soups. It is important to consume adequate protein during this phase to support healing and prevent muscle loss.
  • Phase 3: Pureed Foods
    After your healthcare team gives you the green light, you can start incorporating pureed foods into your diet. Pureed foods have a smooth consistency and include mashed vegetables, lean ground meats, and soft fruits. Remember to take small bites and chew thoroughly to aid digestion.
  • Phase 4: Soft Foods
    In this phase, you can gradually introduce soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow. Examples include cooked vegetables, tender meats, and soft grains. Be mindful of portion sizes and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
  • Phase 5: Transitioning to Solid Foods
    The final phase involves transitioning to solid foods. Introduce a variety of nutritious foods into your diet, focusing on lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Chew your food well and eat slowly to prevent discomfort and ensure proper digestion.

Guidelines for a Healthy Post-Surgery Diet
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential for successful weight loss and long-term health after bariatric surgery. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Protein Intake
    Protein is a crucial nutrient for healing, muscle maintenance, and overall well-being. Aim to consume lean protein sources such as skinless poultry, fish, tofu, and low-fat dairy products. Protein shakes or supplements can also help you meet your protein requirements.
  • Hydration
    Staying hydrated is vital for your overall health. Drink water frequently throughout the day and avoid sugary beverages. It is advisable to avoid drinking fluids during meals to prevent overeating and promote proper digestion.
  • Portion Control
    After bariatric surgery, your stomach’s capacity will be significantly reduced. Practice portion control by using smaller plates and bowls. Focus on nutrient-dense foods and avoid high-calorie, low-nutrient choices.
  • Balanced Nutrient Intake
    Ensure your diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Strive for a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to provide your body with the necessary nutrients for optimal functioning.

Incorporating OPTIFAST VLCD in Your Post-Surgery Diet
The OPTIFAST VLCD program can be a valuable tool in your post-surgery journey. It provides convenient and nutritionally balanced meal replacements, ensuring you meet your calorie and protein needs. OPTIFAST VLCD products come in various flavours and formats, making it easier to adhere to your dietary requirements.


  • Convenient and easy-to-follow meal replacement option
  • Provides essential nutrients while maintaining a low-calorie intake
  • Supports weight loss and helps break unhealthy eating patterns
  • Offers a structured approach to diet and nutrition

OPTIFAST VLCD Meal Replacement Options
OPTIFAST VLCD offers a range of meal replacement options, including shakes, soups, bars, and desserts. These products are specifically designed to provide adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals while keeping calorie intake in check. Your registered dietitian can help you choose the most suitable options for your needs.

Meal Planning Tips
When incorporating OPTIFAST VLCD into your post-surgery diet, consider the following tips:

  • Consult with your healthcare team or dietitian to determine the appropriate number of OPTIFAST VLCD products to consume per day.
  • Combine OPTIFAST VLCD products with low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods for added variety and satiety.
  • Experiment with different flavours and recipes to keep your meals interesting and enjoyable.
  • Stay consistent with your meal replacement routine to maximize results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I consume other meal replacement products instead of OPTIFAST VLCD?

While OPTIFAST VLCD is specifically designed for bariatric surgery patients, it is essential to consult with your healthcare team before considering alternative products.

How long should I follow the post-surgery diet phases?

The duration of each phase may vary depending on your surgeon’s recommendations and your individual progress. It is important to follow the guidelines provided by your healthcare team.

Will I be able to eat normal meals after bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery brings about permanent changes to your digestive system, and your diet will be different from before. However, you will be able to enjoy a variety of foods in smaller portions after you have healed and transitioned to solid foods.

What are the potential risks and complications of bariatric surgery?

Like any surgical procedure, bariatric surgery carries risks. These can include infection, bleeding, leaks, and nutritional deficiencies. It is crucial to discuss these risks with your healthcare team and follow their guidelines for a safe recovery.

Can I drink alcohol after bariatric surgery?

Alcohol is best avoided or consumed in moderation after bariatric surgery. It is important to note that alcohol can be absorbed more rapidly and affect individuals differently after surgery. Consult with your healthcare team for specific recommendations.

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