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Bariatric Diet and Support: Life After Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery is not a solution all by itself. Patients must play an active role in their recovery and make important lifestyle changes to meet their weight loss goals. 

After weight loss surgery, patients achieve the greatest results when they closely follow bariatric eating and fitness guidelines from their surgeon, nutritionist and exercise physiologist. Our multidisciplinary team designs a follow-up care program that will work best for you. Your doctor and nutritionist become part of a lifelong support system to help you lose weight and stay healthy through a well-designed and personalized bariatric diet and fitness plan.

A Bariatric Diet: What do I eat after Weight Loss Surgery?

Whether you have the sleeve gastrectomygastric bypass or gastric band procedure, the changes made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in what and how you eat. 

  • You will not be able to eat steaks or other chunks of meat if they are not ground or chewed thoroughly.
  • Drinking fluids during meals will make you feel full before you have eaten enough food.
  • No desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.
  • Omit carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, high-fat foods and foods with high fiber content.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Small, frequent meals will be better than three larger ones. 

Our nutritionists work closely with patients to design a personalized bariatric diet help them make the right food choices after surgery. You will not get a cookie-cutter set of dietary recommendations. They work with your surgeon to develop a personalized set of guidelines, tailored to your work schedule, home life and food preferences. Our nutritionists see patients every three to six months in the first year after surgery, and then at least every six to 12 months after that. 

Need help finding bariatric-friendly foods? Our on-site Nutrition Shop is fully-stocked with vitamins, fresh frozen foods and meal replacements, including OPTIFAST® products. 

When can I return to work after Weight Loss Surgery? 

Your ability to resume pre-surgery activity levels varies according to your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of weight loss surgery. Many patients return to full pre-surgery activity levels within six weeks, and maybe sooner for some laparoscopic, or minimally-invasive, procedures. 

Can I get pregnant after Weight Loss Surgery?

We strongly advise that women of childbearing age use the most effective forms of birth control during the first 18 months after weight loss surgery. The added demands pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this a very important requirement. 

Do I need long-term follow ups after Weight Loss Surgery?

At first, your doctor will perform follow-up tests every three to six months as needed, and then every one to two years. Over time, you will need periodic checks for anemia (low red blood cell count), as well as vitamin B12, folate and iron levels. 

Bariatric Support Groups   

Ongoing post-surgery support can help patients achieve even greater levels of success. Get involved with our Support Groups


Quick Reference

Weight Management Center


Mon - Fri, 8:30 to 4:30

Our Locations: 

Medical Plaza - Country Club
4614 Country Club Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27104

Medical Plaza - North Elm
3903 North Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27455

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Last Updated: 10-03-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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