Foods To Avoid After Bariatric Surgery


foods to avoid after bariatric surgery

With a smaller stomach and altered digestion, your body's response to certain foods can change dramatically after bariatric surgery. This guide will help you understand the foods and beverages you should avoid to ensure a smooth recovery and successful weight loss journey. From sugary treats to high-fat foods, we'll explore why these items can cause discomfort and hinder your progress.

If you are considering bariatric surgery, you may be wondering about the dietary changes that will be necessary post-procedure. While everyone's needs and tolerances will be different, there are general recommendations for which foods and drinks to avoid.


Foods to Avoid After Bariatric Surgery

Post-surgery, you may also experience food intolerances that you didn't have before. These may include:

  • Red Meat:  Certain meats can be hard to digest after bariatric surgery, particularly if they aren't chewed thoroughly. Tough cuts of meat like steak, pork chops, or certain types of game can remain in the stomach for a longer time, leading to discomfort and potentially serious complications like gastric obstruction. It's often recommended to choose tender cuts of meat or alternative protein sources like poultry, fish, or plant-based proteins.

  • Raw Vegetables: Similarly, raw vegetables can be difficult to digest after bariatric surgery. Foods like raw carrots, broccoli, and celery can block the small opening of your new stomach if they aren't chewed thoroughly, leading to pain, vomiting, and potentially serious complications. It's often recommended to cook vegetables until they're soft to aid digestion. Steaming, boiling, or roasting vegetables can make them easier to digest while still retaining their nutritional value.
  • Greasy, High-Fat Foods: Foods high in fat can be difficult to digest and can contribute to discomfort and unwanted weight gain. 

    Examples of high-fat foods to avoid include fried foods like french fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts, high-fat meats such as bacon, sausage, and fatty cuts of beef or pork, and full-fat dairy products like whole milk, cream, and cheese. Other high-fat foods to avoid include certain snack foods like chips and crackers, baked goods made with large amounts of oil or butter, and high-fat sauces and dressings like mayonnaise and ranch dressing.

  • Heavily Seasoned or Spicy Foods: These foods can irritate your stomach lining, leading to discomfort. It's best to opt for lightly seasoned foods and gradually reintroduce spices as tolerated.

  • Sugar Alcohols: Sugar alcohols, such as erythritol, glycerol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol, can cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, and diarrhea, especially in the amounts found in sugar-free products.

  • Foods Reheated in the Microwave: Some people find that foods reheated in the microwave are less tolerated after bariatric surgery. This may be due to changes in the food's texture when microwaved.


Drinks to Avoid After Bariatric Surgery

drinks to avoid after bariatric surgery

Certain drinks may irritate your healing stomach and should be avoided after bariatric surgery. These include:

  • Caffeine: It's recommended to avoid caffeine for at least three months after surgery. This includes coffee, tea, and certain energy drinks. Caffeine can lead to dehydration and may increase acid production, potentially leading to stomach discomfort or ulcers.

  • Carbonated Beverages: Carbonated beverages should also be avoided for at least three months after surgery. The bubbles from these drinks can expand in your stomach, causing discomfort and potential complications.

  • Alcoholic Drinks: Alcoholic drinks should be avoided for at least six months after surgery. Alcohol can also contribute to stomach ulcers, a potential complication after surgery. It can irritate the stomach lining and increase acid production, which can harm your new, smaller stomach.


Even after your stomach heals, you may find that certain beverages are no longer tolerated well and may need to be removed from your diet indefinitely.

Sugary Foods and Drinks to Avoid After Bariatric Surgery

dumping syndrome from sugary foods

Foods and beverages high in sugar can lead to "dumping syndrome," a condition where food moves from your stomach into your small bowel too quickly. This rapid transit can cause unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness. It can also lead to rapid heart rate and sudden drops in blood sugar levels, which can be particularly uncomfortable.

Examples of sugary foods and drinks to avoid include candies such as gummy bears and chocolate bars, baked goods like cookies and cakes, sugary cereals, ice cream, and sweet sauces or dressings like barbecue sauce and ketchup. Sugary beverages to avoid include soda, fruit juice, sweetened iced tea, energy drinks, and specialty coffee drinks like lattes and frappuccinos that often contain high amounts of added sugar.

These foods and drinks are often high in calories but low in nutritional value, making them less than ideal for weight loss. They can also contribute to tooth decay, especially if your fluid intake is not sufficient to wash away the sugar.


If you would like to go into more detail about this topic, check out this article: 7 Healthy Foods To Avoid After Bariatric Surgery





Author: Allison


Allison, a certified nutritionist and research author, brings over 15 years of experience in the health and weight loss industry. Allison's influence extends through her authorship of multiple health and wellness journals, where she shares her expertise and research on medical weight loss and bariatric medicine.


Reviewed By: Dr. K. Huffman


Dr. Kevin D. Huffman, D.O., is a board-certified bariatric physician renowned for his expertise in treating obesity. With over 10,000 patients and a reputation as a national leader in bariatric medicine, he has trained hundreds of healthcare providers. As the founder of American Bariatric Consultants, Dr. Huffman develops protocols and training materials sought after by medical societies, pharmaceutical companies, patients, and hospitals.

Bariatric Guides & Information

The Importance of Protein After Bariatric Surgery
Why is Protein Important After Bariatric Surgery

The Importance of Protein After Bariatric Surgery

FDA Approval of Lap-Band 2.0 FLEX
FDA Approval of Lap-Band 2.0 FLEX

FDA Approval of Lap-Band 2.0 FLEX

What Foods Are In A Bariatric Diet?
what foods are in a bariatric diet?

What Foods Are In A Bariatric Diet?

Gastric Bypass Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide
Gastric Bypass Comprehensive Guide

Gastric Bypass Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide

Bariatric Surgery Pros and Cons: Is It Right For You?
pros and cons of weight loss surgery

Bariatric Surgery Pros and Cons: Is It Right For You?

Drinking Caffeine After Bariatric Surgery: What You Need to Know
Drinking Caffeine after bariatric surgery

Drinking Caffeine After Bariatric Surgery: What You Need to Know

What Foods Can You Not Eat Again After a Gastric Bypass?
What Foods Can You Not Eat Again After a Gastric Bypass?

What Foods Can You Not Eat Again After a Gastric Bypass?

6 Bariatric Surgery Scars and How to Deal with Them
how to deal with bariatric surgery scars

6 Bariatric Surgery Scars and How to Deal with Them

Bariatric-Friendly Foods: Essential Nutrition Post-Surgery
Bariatric friendly foods post surgery

Bariatric-Friendly Foods: Essential Nutrition Post-Surgery

How to Choose a Healthy Protein Shake as a Meal Replacement
the best protein shakes as meal replacements

How to Choose a Healthy Protein Shake as a Meal Replacement

Malnutrition: How To Avoid This Risk After Weight Loss Surgery
malnutrition after weight loss surgery

Malnutrition: How To Avoid This Risk After Weight Loss Surgery

Revision Surgeries after Bariatric Surgery
revision surgery after weight loss surgery

Revision Surgeries after Bariatric Surgery

More Info

What is a Bariatric Doctor?
What is a Bariatric Doctor?
November 23, 2023

What is a Bariatric Doctor?

Meal Replacements: 5 Reasons Why You Need Them
Meal Replacements: 5 Reasons Why You Need Them
October 16, 2023

Meal Replacements: 5 Reasons Why You Need Them

21 Bariatric Surgery Inspirational Quotes
Weight Loss Surgery Quotes
October 4, 2023

21 Bariatric Surgery Inspirational Quotes

The 10 Best Protein Shakes for Bariatric Patients
top 10 best bariatric protein shakes
October 4, 2023

The 10 Best Protein Shakes for Bariatric Patients

The Best Bariatric Vitamins: A Comprehensive Guide
best bariatric vitamins guide
October 4, 2023

The Best Bariatric Vitamins: A Comprehensive Guide

5 Possible Reasons For Your Weight Gain After Gastric Bypass
possible reasons for weight gain after gastric bypass surgery
October 3, 2023

5 Possible Reasons For Your Weight Gain After Gastric Bypass

Customer Favorites

Milk Chocolate Shake
Milk Chocolate Shake
Quick View

Milk Chocolate Shake

Price
$14.45
828
Cafe Mocha Shake
Cafe Mocha Shake
Quick View

Cafe Mocha Shake

Price
$14.45
727
Chocolate Brownie Shake
Chocolate Brownie Shake
Quick View

Chocolate Brownie Shake

Price
$14.45
684
Frosted Lemon Meringue
Frosted Lemon Meringue
Quick View

Frosted Lemon Meringue

Price
$14.95
550
Chocolate Chill Mint Shake
Chocolate Chill Mint Shake
Quick View

Chocolate Chill Mint Shake

Price
$14.45
433
French Vanilla Shake
French Vanilla Shake
Quick View

French Vanilla Shake

Price
$14.45
509
BARS - 15g Variety Pack
BARS - 15g Variety Pack
Quick View

BARS - 15g Variety Pack

Price
$14.95
441
Cinnamon Crisp Bars
Cinnamon Crisp Bars
Quick View

Cinnamon Crisp Bars

Price
$14.95
312
Chocolate Salted Caramel Shake
Chocolate Salted Caramel Shake
Quick View

Chocolate Salted Caramel Shake

Price
$14.45
141
Chocolate Caramel Wafer Bars
Chocolate Caramel Wafer Bars
Quick View

Chocolate Caramel Wafer Bars

Price
$14.95
381