Eating (Drinking) After Gastric Bypass or Sleeve Surgery (0-2 weeks)
3 Main Goals After Surgery
ξ Stay hydrated. Aim for 6-8 cups (48-64 fl oz) of water per day. This can include your protein
shakes early on. Remember to drink slowly and sip fluids all day long. Set reminders to help you
to remember to drink. There is no need to separate water from protein shakes.
ξ Work on getting in at least 60 grams of protein each day. Your goal is to consume 3 protein
shakes per day. Start with 1 shake and work your way up. Use flavoring tips to improve the taste.
You will likely need protein shakes for the first 3 months, and then 1-2 shakes each day until you
are a year out of surgery.
ξ Drink at least 3 protein shakes per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for the first 4-6 weeks after
your surgery. This will allow time for your new stomach to heal. Work with your dietitian to help
you figure out when to advance your diet. After 3 months, you can include all foods as tolerated.
Helpful Tips to Remember
ξ Drinking Tips: Sip Sip Sip. Take small sips and avoid gulping.
ξ Use a timer to remind you to drink.
ξ Avoid using straws.
ξ Drink slowly, sip fluids all day long. Always carry a water bottle or protein shake with you.
ξ Drink 2-3 protein shakes per day. Call the clinic if you have problems drinking the shakes.
ξ Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks.
ξ No soda or carbonated drinks.
ξ No juice or other liquid calories besides your protein shakes.
ξ No caffeine or alcohol.
ξ Water, flavored water (Propel, e.g.), spa water or fruit-infused water
ξ Sugar-free juice or juices with less than 5 calories per serving (Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice,
ξ Crystal Light, sugar-free Kool-Aid, water enhancers such as Mio drops
ξ Powerade ZERO, Fruit-2O
ξ Diet V-8 Splash, diet Snapple (caffeine-free)
ξ Beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
ξ Vegetable juice or V8 juice
ξ Protein shakes, mixed with water OR milk
ξ Milk, soy milk, almond milk
ξ Sugar-free popsicles
ξ Sugar-free gelatin
ξ Herbal tea
Vitamins and Mineral Supplements:
ξ Take your vitamins every day!
ξ The B complex is the most important early on.
o Make sure it has at least 15 mg of Thiamine (Vitamin B-1).
o Do not crush the B-Complex because it will make your food or drink taste poorly. If needed,
simply cut it in half.
ξ Next add your chewable multivitamins.
o Take 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening.
o Be sure it is a “complete” (meaning contains minerals).
ξ Add the sublingual B-12 (500-1,000 mcg)
o Do not swallow. This needs to dissolve under your tongue.
ξ Add Vitamin D3 (5,000 international units)
o This pill should be small enough to take normally
o Continue to take your Vitamin D2 as prescribed.
ξ Lastly add the calcium citrate with Vitamin D.
o Take 1200-1500 mg a day. You will need to take this 2-3 times per day. Chewable forms of
calcium are available online (check with program dietitian). You can also crush calcium
tablets and add to your shakes.
o If you are having trouble with the pill form, there are chewable tablets you can purchase at
specialty stores or online. Work with your dietitian to find what works best for you.
ξ Remember to crush or cut pills that are larger than a pencil eraser.
ξ Take a stool softener as needed (no need to poke open the gel cap).
Slowly add Benefiber® to your protein shakes to add fiber to your diet. This will help to prevent
constipation. Be sure you are drinking the recommended amount of fluid.
Use this sample to help you plan your new eating routine. You will need to drink all day long to get
everything in. Be sure that you drink enough liquids and get enough protein in each day. It is likely that
you won’t feel hungry and may feel like you are forcing yourself to drink. This is normal. It is common
to feel overwhelmed at first. Do your best and do not expect to be perfect. It takes time to work out a
schedule that is right for you. Just remember that it gets easier. A structured plan (as seen below) can
help keep your fluid intake on track. You may want to use a timer to help you remember to eat and drink
until you get the hang of it. Call the clinic if you are having trouble.
TTiimmee FFoooodd oorr BBeevveerraaggee SSuupppplleemmeenntt
6:30-7:00 4 oz of water or Protein shake with
Chewable Multivitamin, Vit D, B12, B-
Complex, Stool Softener
7:30-10:00 Start drinking Protein shake (mix
with 8-16 ounces of water or milk)
and sip throughout the morning
10:00-11:00 4 4 oz of water
11:30-12:30 Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth (8
oz.), if desired
12:30-3:30 Protein shake (mix with 8-16 oz.
milk or water)
Add Benefiber® to Shake if needed
3:30-4:30 8 oz of Water or flavored water
24:30-5:30 8 oz. Milk or water
5:30-7:00 Protein shake (mix with 8-16 oz.
milk or water)
7:00-8:00 4 oz of Water
7:30-8:30 Sugar-free popsicle or herbal tea
9:00-9:30 4 oz of Water Chewable Multivitamin, Calcium Chew
ξ The times listed above are just examples. Please schedule out your day as it works for you. Keep
in mind that at first you will be drinking all day long.
ξ Drink choices listed above are examples, you may choose other drinks from list.
The amounts of liquids listed above are also examples. Drink only what you can handle at a time, and
work on sipping shakes throughout the day. You can also rearrange your protein shakes if that works
better into your daily schedule.
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the phone
numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital
(AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.
Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical advice.
This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are different,
you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency,
please call 911. Copyright 2/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the
Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department of Nursing. HF#327