3 Months After Bariatric Surgery: Post-op Instructions

Medically Reviewed by Katelyn J. Mock, US-Registered Dietician (R.D.)

At the three-month mark post-bariatric surgery, weight loss may have started to slow for some individuals, and it is normal to feel frustrated by this.

As you get closer and closer to your goal or ideal body weight, it tends to get more difficult to lose weight.

This is the body’s natural way of trying to reach homeostasis (biological systems maintain stability and adjust to the changes, which means that the body weight remains constant).

However, this slow, gradual weight loss is very exciting because this is the weight that comes off with REAL lifestyle changes. Changes like:

  • Eating 3-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables daily.
  • Going for a walk during your work break.
  • Grabbing a piece of fresh fruit for a quick snack over the bag of chips in the pantry or break room.

3 Months Post Bariatric Surgery

Stay the course. Eat all foods in moderation and remember to stay active. It’s not easy, but you can do it!

By week 12 after gastric sleeve or bypass surgery, you are probably noticing that you can eat slightly larger portions than what you could 4-8 weeks ago. This is expected and can help the body get more of those fresh vegetables and fruits daily.

Most people can tolerate half to one cup of food at a sitting. If you are able to eat slightly less or more, there is no need to panic.

Foods that tend to fill you up more are fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, beans/legumes, and protein-based foods.

Be careful not to chase the feeling of being full.

By eating slowly at most meals and stopping at the first sign of fullness or a slight tightening of your stomach, you will allow your mind to become more aware of the sensations going on in your body and prevent overeating and potential nausea, vomiting, and even acid reflux.

Avoid Crispy, Crunchy Carbs at All Costs

“Crispy, crunchy carbohydrates” (crackers, chips, pretzels, popcorn, cookies, candy, etc) may be easily tolerated, but will not make you feel full, are high in calories, low in nutrients and are frequently easy to overeat.

These are the foods that are also commonly consumed mindlessly in front of the television or doing other activities. These foods can be included in a healthy lifestyle,

Lactose Intolerance after Bariatric Surgery

Are you experiencing any sensitivities to dairy products?

Lactose intolerance after bariatric surgery is relatively common and has to do with changes in the amount of Lactase (the enzyme that helps digest lactose) that is present after surgery, as well as decreased stomach acid, and a quicker digestive process that can be present after surgery.

Symptoms usually appear 30 minutes to 2 hours after a meal and can include bloating, distention, cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, and vomiting.

By limiting or avoiding dairy, you can prevent these negative side-effects. Some people are able to use lactase containing product to ease digestion or are able to tolerate dairy products where a majority of the lactose has been removed.

If you rely on dairy products for protein, calcium and Vitamin D intake, you will likely need to find alternatives.

Some lower lactose dairy products include Parmesan, cheddar, and Swiss cheese, a high probiotic or Greek yogurt, and many kefir products.

Ask our dietitian about what is the best way to meet your nutrient needs if you are experiencing lactose intolerance.

Tip of the Month

To prevent excess snacking or grazing at work, bring simple and healthy snacks that you can keep in your office or break room.

Examples are a bag of clementine or apples, string cheese, mixed nuts, veggies, and hummus. When you are prepared for hunger, you are less likely to be tempted by the “junk” foods that are typically present at work.


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