The specific instructions for eating after gastric bypass will be provided by the surgeon, and should be followed to the letter. This typically involves a liquid diet for a few weeks, followed by a diet made up entirely of pureed foods for a few weeks, after which time certain solid foods can slowly be reintroduced into the diet. There are a number of tips for eating after gastric bypass, however, that can make the process healthier and more comfortable; these include eating a number of small meals throughout the day, chewing food very thoroughly before swallowing, and only taking small sips of liquid rather than big gulps.
It is likely that the learning process for eating after gastric bypass will include some difficulties. Eating or drinking too much too fast, for example, can cause nausea or vomiting, and can cause actual damage if this happens too soon after surgery. This is why surgeons will advise patients to stick to a liquid and pureed food diet for a while after surgery to ensure that the stapled area of the stomach has time to heal completely without stretching. Always follow instructions and contact the doctor with any questions. Some people find that if they slowly begin reintroducing foods once they are allowed, and keeping track of the way they feel afterward, they can avoid those feelings of nausea in the future.
Because the opening to the stomach is altered after the surgery, the methods of eating after gastric bypass surgery need to change as well. It is very important to take small bites and chew food thoroughly before swallowing; otherwise, it may actually block the stomach opening, or it may cause severe acid reflux. The same is true for liquids; drinking a lot of liquid too quickly can fill up the stomach and cause it to back up into the esophagus. This is why people with gastric bypass surgery need to carefully monitor their intake of food and water throughout the day to ensure they are eating enough to meet nutritional needs, but not too much to cause problems or to prevent weight loss.
Doctors will typically also recommend taking a daily multivitamin supplement to make up for any nutrition that is lost due to the restructuring of the stomach and the small intestine. Foods consumed should be nutritionally dense as possible, rather than packaged foods high in fat and sugar. For example, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables are some of the best choices for eating after gastric bypass surgery.