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What foods are OFF limits after Gastric Sleeve?



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I know I can easily ask my surgeon this question, but I am interested in seeing what some people have experienced as being forever off limits after surgery.

Have your doctors told you anything?

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It very much depends upon your surgeon. They all say different things. My surgery involves a sleeved stomach (just with added intestinal changes) and my surgeon doesn't allow rice (doesn't want us to ever eat it again because it swells and can potentially cause your stomach to stretch), they also don't want us to eat Pasta (though I was told veggie pasta like chickpea or lentil pasta is fine in moderation), bread is off limits for six months, starches are off limits for six months (potatoes, Beans, etc), they don't want us to drink alcohol ever again (but if you do they want you to wait a minimum of 1 year)... and that's all can remember off the top of my head other than no processed meats or other foods (which is a given).

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Nothing is impossible to eat after sleeve. I have tried literally everything I ate before surgery....but my daily diet has changed significantly.

Things I've eliminated from my diet: white sugar and white flour. I do eat a small piece of birthday cake on a very rare occasion....but I keep treats like this super rare, and try to limit the serving to about 200 calories. Over about 200 calories of refined carbs at a time makes me a little nauseated, so I avoid it. It's also a poor food choice. I don't do it often. Special occasions only. (and NOT during loss phase....in maintenance phase)

I love sugary things, but a little goes a long way. Once in a blue moon I'll really want something enough to have it....and I have an incredibly small amount and I'm done. A little one inch piece of donut. A Tablespoon or two of ice cream. As a rare treat...it's great, but it takes very little of these to feel satisfied now. And again, it's not a regular part of my diet. For sweet stuff, I love fruit. I eat a lot of frozen banana smoothies when I have a sweet tooth craving.

My surgeon's diet had potatoes and Beans on the post surgical diet in the first month. In fact, thin mashed potatoes were one of my first foods after surgery. I eat a ton of carbs, but they are not processed carbs. Whole grains, oatmeal, regular and sweet potatoes, beans, legumes. I get half of my protien from plant sources, and these unrefined carbs are a big part of that. Beans and potatoes and whole grains have quite a bit of protien and Fiber. (I know a lot of surgeons do Keto based diets...I'm thankful mine is NOT one of them)

I do eat 60+ grams of protien a day. Tons of fruits and veggies.

If I eat rice, it's brown rice for the extra protien and fiber.

I do eat 25g of fiber a day, which is tougher than it sounds!

There are plent of things you shouldn't eat. You shouldn't eat very fatty foods, or highly refined carbs, white flour, sugar, etc. You know what you shouldn't eat.

You shouldn't eat too many calories. Figure out a good calorie target with your nutritionist and balance your day.

There will be a million opinions about what you should and shouldn't eat. Talk to your dietician. Eat foods you enjoy. Balance your diet for good nutition and energy.

But yep...I can sneak a little of anything in that I really want to try again.....I just don't really have the need to do it.

You just need to stay aware of what you're eating...balance it...get the nutrition you need...and keep your calories reasonable. (I eat 1600 a day in maintenance)

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It is a very individual thing & depends on how far a long the journey you are. My surgeon was a no to rice, bread & Pasta. He was a eat your Protein first, then if you can some vegetables (not starchy ones), then fruit. Carbs of any sort were way down on his list. In maintenance I added more carbs but only whole or multigrain ones. I eat quite a lot of dairy every day.

I still avoid rice, pasta & bread at almost 2 years out. Mainly because if I can only eat a bare cup of food it’s going to be all nutritionally dense food. I was not going to fill or partially fill myself with empty calories. I did try soya bean pasta because it’s more nutritionally rich but it sat quite heavily in my tummy. Ugh! But this is me. You may be different & can tolerate it. There are lots of people who successful eat high protein low carb bread, pasta & rice in maintenance.

I avoid fatty foods. I avoid as much sugar, artificial sweeteners & sugar alternatives as I can (it’s challenging). I generally don’t do so called low calorie, low fat, low carb, no added sugar, diet products. Don’t really do take away - three times I think in two years (chicken & cashews & steamed gyoza - ate the filling only) while with friends & no fast food at all. I cook my own food from scratch most of the time. That way I control the ingredients & how they’re prepared & cooked. I do eat out at restaurants but am very selective of what I eat.

Though, I avoid sweet foods i.e. Desserts, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, ... I did eat some fruit cake at Christmas & had a little bit of dessert but only then. I can eat them without issue but they’re danger foods for me (as are bread, pasta & rice). If I start eating them I know I’ll start gaining again. I don’t really miss them.

There may be food you can’t tolerate well. There may be foods you decide not to eat anymore. There may be foods you allow yourself as an occasional treat or are a regular inclusion in your diet. It’s about working out what’s right for you to maintain a healthy weight & a happy life.

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7 hours ago, JazzyJess20 said:

I know I can easily ask my surgeon this question, but I am interested in seeing what some people have experienced as being forever off limits after surgery.

Have your doctors told you anything?

I was given only two "never agains": popcorn and carbonated drinks. It varies from surgeon to surgeon. I've seen people on here say they were told no coffee ever again, and I was served coffee in the hospital with my Breakfast, LOL.

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Jaelzion, that's wild! I've been eating airpopped popcorn without issues since about 6 months post op, and I drink a can of diet soda here and there.

My dietician was totally on board with the popcorn because it's a good source of Fiber. She did mention that many people do not tolerate it well.

My doctor does not approve of the diet soda, but he also admits it's not going to "stretch" anything. He says he's more worried about Calcium depletion and it being a gateway to transitioning to sugar soda again....which I think are extremely valid concerns.

One food I do struggle with...that kinda grieves me....is corn on the cob. Not sure if I don't chew it well enough, or what happens, but it's the one food that will still give me issues if I'm not SUPER careful. (need to chew it thoroughly, eat slow small bites... and have bites of more slippery foods between bites of corn on the cob or I end up getting that stuck feeling...even now)

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13 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

Nothing is impossible to eat after sleeve. I have tried literally everything I ate before surgery....but my daily diet has changed significantly.

Things I've eliminated from my diet: white sugar and white flour. I do eat a small piece of birthday cake on a very rare occasion....but I keep treats like this super rare, and try to limit the serving to about 200 calories. Over about 200 calories of refined carbs at a time makes me a little nauseated, so I avoid it. It's also a poor food choice. I don't do it often. Special occasions only. (and NOT during loss phase....in maintenance phase)

I love sugary things, but a little goes a long way. Once in a blue moon I'll really want something enough to have it....and I have an incredibly small amount and I'm done. A little one inch piece of donut. A Tablespoon or two of ice cream. As a rare treat...it's great, but it takes very little of these to feel satisfied now. And again, it's not a regular part of my diet. For sweet stuff, I love fruit. I eat a lot of frozen banana smoothies when I have a sweet tooth craving.

My surgeon's diet had potatoes and Beans on the post surgical diet in the first month. In fact, thin mashed potatoes were one of my first foods after surgery. I eat a ton of carbs, but they are not processed carbs. Whole grains, oatmeal, regular and sweet potatoes, Beans, legumes. I get half of my protien from plant sources, and these unrefined carbs are a big part of that. Beans and potatoes and whole grains have quite a bit of protien and Fiber. (I know a lot of surgeons do Keto based diets...I'm thankful mine is NOT one of them)

I do eat 60+ grams of protien a day. Tons of fruits and veggies.

If I eat rice, it's brown rice for the extra protien and Fiber.

I do eat 25g of fiber a day, which is tougher than it sounds!

There are plent of things you shouldn't eat. You shouldn't eat very fatty foods, or highly refined carbs, white flour, sugar, etc. You know what you shouldn't eat.

You shouldn't eat too many calories. Figure out a good calorie target with your nutritionist and balance your day.

There will be a million opinions about what you should and shouldn't eat. Talk to your dietician. Eat foods you enjoy. Balance your diet for good nutition and energy.

But yep...I can sneak a little of anything in that I really want to try again.....I just don't really have the need to do it.

You just need to stay aware of what you're eating...balance it...get the nutrition you need...and keep your calories reasonable. (I eat 1600 a day in maintenance)

Sounds similar to Garth Davis, who my primary care provider mentioned. She’s not convinced that we need as much Protein as most bariatric surgeons push. I’ve been trying to find a post op plan that is more whole-food plant-based. Do you have a copy of your post op plan still?

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43 minutes ago, Creekimp13 said:

Jaelzion, that's wild! I've been eating airpopped popcorn without issues since about 6 months post op, and I drink a can of diet soda here and there.

My dietician was totally on board with the popcorn because it's a good source of Fiber. She did mention that many people do not tolerate it well.

My doctor does not approve of the diet soda, but he also admits it's not going to "stretch" anything. He says he's more worried about Calcium depletion and it being a gateway to transitioning to sugar soda again....which I think are extremely valid concerns.

Yeah, I've noticed quite a few sleevers on here eat popcorn. I never really challenged the rules because neither popcorn nor soda were a big deal to me. I ate popcorn maybe once or twice a year and drank soda almost never. So I never questioned why those things were off-limits. Seems like an abundance of caution on the part of my surgeon.

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Ooooh! Thank you for all of the replies!

It is scary as hell to think that I may never be able to drink Ginger Ale or Coca Cola again, but I know these sodas do nothing for my health. Or weight. They're just so good.

I used to be able to finish a 2 liter of soda in less than half a day. And that is horrible, I know. I hope that after a few weeks, I just completely lose my taste for it.

Now why is popcorn a deal breaker? Did the doctor ever explain why?

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Posted (edited)

17 minutes ago, JazzyJess20 said:

It is scary as hell to think that I may never be able to drink Ginger Ale or Coca Cola again, but I know these sodas do nothing for my health. Or weight. They're just so good.

I used to be able to finish a 2 liter of soda in less than half a day. And that is horrible, I know. I hope that after a few weeks, I just completely lose my taste for it.

I think this is why it gets forbidden forever. Lot of folks are addicted to it and trying to drink it in moderation ..becomes a very slippery slope.

I'll be the first to admit....It does nothing for you...it's terrible nutitionwise, and your sleeve won't slow you up much with sugary fluids. Sodas just sabotage the shite out of ya, add terrible empty calories and deplete nutrients.

(says the woman who does drink the occasional can of diet soda. Oye....do as I say, not as I do!)

Incidentally, ya'll...I'm not saying drinking soda...diet or regular...is a good idea. Just admitting I do it and that the "it will stretch your pouch" thing is largely a myth.

"It's a horrible food choice and could sabotage you badly" is NOT a myth.

I wouldn't recommend anyone drink soda. But I recognize that you're all adults and that adults can weigh their own risks.

Edited by Creekimp13

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Where do some of these NEVER restrictions come from? It seems like if there were evidence that a food was very harmful to a VSG pouch, there would be widespread agreement that it was always off-limits.

Do some surgeons have anecdotal bad experiences with certain foods like popcorn? Or is this all based on theoretical harms (surgeons imagining bad things that could in theory happen with certain foods)?

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28 minutes ago, Creekimp13 said:

I think this is why it gets forbidden forever. Lot of folks are addicted to it and trying to drink it in moderation ..becomes a very slippery slope.

I'll be the first to admit....It does nothing for you...it's terrible nutitionwise, and your sleeve won't slow you up much with sugary fluids. Sodas just sabotage the shite out of ya, add terrible empty calories and deplete nutrients.

(says the woman who does drink the occasional can of diet soda. Oye....do as I say, not as I do!)

Incidentally, ya'll...I'm not saying drinking soda...diet or regular...is a good idea. Just admitting I do it and that the "it will stretch your pouch" thing is largely a myth.

"It's a horrible food choice and could sabotage you badly" is NOT a myth.

I wouldn't recommend anyone drink soda. But I recognize that you're all adults and that adults can weigh their own risks.

Thank you so much for this. I imagined that the lack of nutritional value and risk of back-sliding were the primary reasons why soda is so frowned upon after surgery. I get it. It's like drinking carbonated sugar with zero nutrients. Wait, no, that is what it is.

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There’s some research coming out now saying artificial sweeteners actually encourage weight gain. The body tastes sweet but there’s no calories & no ‘sugar’ (glucose/fructose/etc.) which it does need in small amounts. Your body reacts by storing additional calories you consume as fat. That’s the basic explanation. So all those so called diet sofas & other no added sugar foods are actually making you gain weight.

If I don’t let the bubbles go out or at least reduce a lot from the tonic in my occasional G&T, my restriction kicks in. Plus I get the hiccups. I drink a large glass of sparkling Water everyday but I pour the glass in the morning & let it sit for ages till it’s practically flat. I usually don’t finish it until mid to late afternoon. It’s just a change from plain water which I also drink through out the day.

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@JazzyJess20

Take things one food stage at a time.

When you get to maintenance phase, your dietician will give you a new plan. You will be surprised that many things are not off-limits.

Wow, you had surgery on 3/22 ? How are you doing?

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Posted (edited)

Only thing my dr told me about was soda so far. popcorn also makes sense though.

Edited by ShoppGirl

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