Only when you are able to tolerate a good variety of foods from Stage 2, should you then move tentatively onto Stage 3…eating FOOD FOR LIFE. Typically this occurs between 8-16 weeks post-op but everyone is different and always follow the advice of your own bariatric team (and, just because your dietitian says you can eat sliced chicken, doesn’t mean that you may be able to do it straightaway, it sometimes takes a few times and retry occasions before you are able to tolerate a certain food forever). This is really the stage at which you should be able to try and eat a variety of solid food, in small amounts. Try using a side plate or child’s plate as a guideline for serving size.
Foods to begin with should have a soft and moist texture so may have to be served with a little sauce, salsa, dressing or gravy so they chew into a moist mouthful, although as time goes on a drier texture is encouraged for constriction and an ideal transition through the newly altered digestive system. These so-called ‘slider’ foods help in the early days but can mean that you are able to digest more at a later stage just when you are looking for ‘satiety’ and don’t want foods to pass through the stomach or pouch too quickly. Gradually cut down on them as you progress from week to week.
This is not a diet with a beginning and an end, nor is there need for a rush to the tape to get to your ‘goal weight’, take it slowly, learn to recognize when you are full and satisfied and don’t eat beyond that point of satisfaction. As time goes on gastric bypass and sleeve patients will learn to recognize this point and gastric band patients will certainly, in time, find their ‘sweet spot’.
It makes good sense to cook meals for everyone in the family rather than separate ones for all at this point. Why be a slave to a new regime that will happily suit all? Everyone can benefit from the foods suitable here, high protein, low fat and low sugar. Add an extra accompaniment for those growing members of the family or a sweet treat from time to time to get an ideal balance.
THE REGIME AND SOME RULES
HIGH PROTEIN, LOW FAT AND LOW SUGAR IS THE MANTRA
There are some cautionary solid foods, which may not be tolerated in the short and long term. Proceed with caution when eating them: