Will I Be Able To Eat Normally In The Long Term After A Sleeve Gastrectomy Or Gastric Bypass?

A glass of water

Yes! By about 6 weeks after your operation, you will be able to eat normal textured food, but just in small quantities. You won’t be able to manage much in one meal, so it’s very important to make sure you are getting the right nutrition. We recommend you focus on your protein intake, so do have fish, meat, eggs, and other high protein foods such as tofu, as well as vegetables which will help you avoid constipation, and provide you with vitamins and other micronutrients. This effectively means that you can eat any type of meal, but avoiding the bulky carbohydrate elements e.g. potatoes, rice, pasta, bread.

Many people who have had this type of surgery done will still enjoy going out for a meal with family and friends- they typically order a starter portion instead of a main course, or eat from the children’s menu. You are likely to not feel hungry before meals in the same way as you might have done before surgery. Don’t worry- this is to be expected! Your tastes may also change, and some foods that you used to like before surgery may not be so appealing any more.

You won’t be able to drink large volumes of fluid quickly, so it’s important to keep well hydrated by sipping water throughout the day, but to stop 30 mins before eating so you have adequate space in your pouch/ sleeve to be able to eat.

After surgery, it is important to avoid sugary foods and drinks, which can give you dumping syndrome, and make you feel very unwell, faint and have diarrhoea. You will be able to discuss this with your dietitian.

As regards alcohol, it is best to avoid this after weight loss surgery as the alcohol is much more quickly absorbed into your bloodstream than it would normally be, which can give an unexpected effect. There is evidence that weight loss surgery can predispose some people to develop alcoholism, so we would recommend extreme caution with alcoholic drinks.