Nutrition After Bariatric Surgery

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Las Vegas and Henderson, NV

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure that can help individuals struggling with obesity achieve their weight loss goals. However, the success of the surgery heavily depends on the patient’s dedication to their post-operative diet and lifestyle changes. After bariatric surgery, patients must adhere to a strict nutrition plan to ensure their body receives the necessary nutrients while limiting caloric intake.

In addition to personalized nutrition plans, Southern Nevada Bariatrics offers ongoing nutrition counseling to provide support and guidance throughout the patient’s weight loss journey. Our goal is to empower patients with the knowledge and tools they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle long-term.

Board-certified bariatric surgeon Dr. Mustafa Ahmed understands the importance of proper nutrition after bariatric surgery. He works closely with each patient to develop customized treatment plans that meet their unique nutritional needs. To learn more about nutrition after bariatric surgery or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ahmed, contact Southern Nevada Bariatrics at (702) 626-0499, or submit a form on our website.

About Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery helps overweight and obese patients achieve significant weight loss. The most common types of bariatric surgery include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and duodenal switch. These surgeries work by reducing the size of the stomach or bypassing part of the small intestine, which results in reduced food intake and the absorption of nutrients.

After undergoing bariatric surgery, many patients find themselves wondering what they should eat and how to maintain a healthy diet. It is crucial for patients to follow a carefully planned postoperative diet to ensure proper healing and optimal weight loss. The postoperative diet typically consists of meals that are rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and fat, and high in fiber. Patients should also focus on staying hydrated and restricting calorie intake to promote weight loss.

Getting Started

After bariatric surgery, the body undergoes significant changes that require careful attention to nutrition. Dr. Mustafa Ahmed and our team at Southern Nevada Bariatrics will provide you with a personalized nutrition plan based on your specific needs and goals

During the first few days after surgery, you’ll be on a clear liquid diet, gradually transitioning to a soft food diet over time. After surgery, patients will gradually reintroduce solid foods into their diet. Patients should follow their bariatric team’s guidelines for food reintroduction to prevent discomfort and ensure proper healing. Eating small, frequent meals is essential because it promotes satiety and prevents overeating. Patients should aim to eat 4-6 small meals per day, (1) each consisting of lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Lean Protein: chicken breast, white fish, beans, peas, lentils, plain Greek yogurt
  • Vegetables: spinach, green beans, kale, carrots, broccoli, arugula
  • Whole Grains: barley, quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, bulgur

Calorie restriction is necessary for bariatric patients to promote weight loss. Patients should work with their bariatric team to determine their daily calorie intake based on their individual needs and goals.

The Post-Bariatric Diet

After bariatric surgery, patients should focus on consuming a balanced diet that is low in carbohydrates and fat and high in protein and fiber. The ideal macronutrient ratio for bariatric patients is approximately 40-60% protein, 20-30% carbohydrates, and 10-30% fat.

Why Is Protein So Important?

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients for bariatric patients because it helps build and repair muscle tissue, supports immune function, and promotes satiety. After surgery, patients should aim to consume at least 60 grams of protein per day. (2)

Dietary Fiber

Fiber is essential for bariatric patients because it promotes satiety, regulates bowel movements, and helps prevent nutrient deficiencies. Patients should aim to consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day through vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

High Fiber Foods

  • Artichoke
  • Almonds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Garbanzo Bean
  • Coconut
  • Black Beans
  • Bran Cereal
  • Prunes
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Raspberries
  • Sweetcorn
  • Whole Wheat Spaghetti


Bariatric patients are at risk of developing vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to reduced nutrient absorption. To prevent deficiencies, patients should take daily micronutrient supplements as recommended by their bariatric team. To improve nutrient absorption, patients may benefit from taking digestive enzymes or probiotics.

Common Supplements for Bariatric Patients

  • Vitamin B12
  • Calcium Citrate
  • Iron
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Chromium


Staying hydrated is crucial for bariatric patients because it helps prevent dehydration, constipation, and kidney stones. Patients should aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day and avoid sugary drinks and caffeine.

Benefits of Good Nutrition

Following a healthy diet plan after bariatric surgery is crucial for a successful outcome. Dr. Ahmed’s nutritional guidelines ensure faster and safer weight loss while preventing complications.

  • Improved overall health: Proper nutrition is essential for optimal health. Following Dr. Ahmed’s recommendations will provide your body with all the necessary nutrients it needs to heal and function correctly.
  • Reduced risk of nutrient deficiencies: After bariatric surgery, patients are at risk of developing nutrient deficiencies due to the reduced absorption of food. Dr. Ahmed’s nutritional guidelines take this into account and provide a balanced approach to prevent deficiencies.
  • Enhanced energy levels: Eating a healthy diet after bariatric surgery can significantly improve your energy levels, allowing you to be more active and enjoy a better quality of life.
  • Better digestive health: Following a healthy diet plan can help improve your digestive health by reducing symptoms such as bloating, gas, and indigestion.

By following these guidelines, patients can achieve long-term success and maintain their weight loss goals.

Learn more about bariatric procedures in Las Vegas by reading our blog.

Personal Consultation

After your bariatric surgery, Dr. Ahmed will work closely with you to develop a comprehensive post-operative plan that includes dietary recommendations, exercise, and follow-up care. Your nutritional needs will vary depending on the type of procedure you undergo, as well as your overall health and lifestyle habits. Our team of registered dietitians will provide guidance on how to make healthy food choices and portion control, which are essential for achieving and maintaining weight loss and improving your overall health.

At Southern Nevada Bariatrics, we offer ongoing support throughout your weight loss journey, including regular check-ins with our nutrition team, access to online resources and tools, and support groups where you can connect with others who have undergone bariatric surgery.

To schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Ahmed and learn more about our nutrition programs and services, please call us at (702) 626-0499

The Key to a Healthier Life

Nutrition after bariatric surgery is an essential aspect of recovery and maintaining optimal health. As you progress in your recovery, we’ll work with you to reintroduce solid foods into your diet. It’s important to eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and stop eating when you feel full to avoid discomfort and complications. 

With proper nutrition and lifestyle changes, you’ll enjoy long-term weight loss success and improved overall health. Dr. Ahmed and our team are here to support you every step of the way.

Cost of Bariatric Surgery in Las Vegas

At Southern Nevada Bariatrics, we understand the importance of proper nutrition after bariatric surgery and offer comprehensive nutritional counseling services to our patients. We provide ongoing support throughout your weight loss journey to ensure that you achieve long-term success and maintain healthy eating habits.

Contact us at (702) 626-0499 or complete a form on our website to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ahmed.


What foods should I avoid after bariatric surgery?

Patients should avoid consuming high-calorie, high-sugar foods, carbonated beverages, alcohol, fried foods, and processed snacks. These foods can slow down the recovery process and cause weight gain.

How often should I eat after bariatric surgery?

Patients should aim to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. Eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly can help with digestion and prevent discomfort.

Do I need to take supplements after bariatric surgery?

Yes, after bariatric surgery, patients need to take vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure their body has all the necessary nutrients. This is due to the significant reduction in food intake that occurs after surgery. A lack of proper nutrition can lead to deficiencies and other health complications.

Can I drink alcohol after bariatric surgery?

Alcohol consumption after bariatric surgery should be avoided for at least six months to one year. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, slow down the healing process, and cause dehydration.

Is it possible to regain weight after bariatric surgery?

Weight regain is possible after bariatric surgery if patients do not follow a healthy lifestyle and dietary habits. It is essential to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and attend regular follow-up appointments with your bariatric surgeon to ensure long-term success.

Can I eat fast food after bariatric surgery?

Fast food should be avoided after bariatric surgery as it is typically high in calories, fat, and sodium. These foods can also contribute to poor digestion, upset stomachs, and weight gain.

When can I start exercising after bariatric surgery?

Patients can start light walking and other low-impact exercises a few days after surgery. However, more intense workouts should be avoided until cleared by the bariatric surgeon. Exercise is crucial to maintaining weight loss and overall health after bariatric surgery.


  1. Sherf Dagan S, Goldenshluger A, Globus I, et al. Nutritional Recommendations for Adult Bariatric Surgery Patients: Clinical Practice. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal. 2017;8(2):382-394. doi: 
  2. Bettini S, Belligoli A, Fabris R, Busetto L. Diet approach before and after bariatric surgery. Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders. 2020;21(3):297-306. doi: