Gastric Sleeve Post-Op Diet- Tested and Trusted

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

The gastric sleeve diet has proved to help many patients fulfill their post-bariatric journeys. A well-balanced, nutritional diet is vital in the months following the surgery. Gastric Sleeve surgery is also known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG).

Eating after sleeve gastrectomy is a tricky business as one needs to get used to the fact that their stomach cannot accommodate the same amount of food anymore. After surgery, a strict liquid diet is mandatory to increase the efficacy of the procedure and reduce unfavorable medical conditions post-op.

Sleeve Gastrectomy alters the stomach size to hold nearly 1-4 ounces of liquid. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is not an instant solution to obesity. Instead, it requires enormous changes in your lifestyle and diet.

You must commit to eating healthy food in controlled portion sizes and exercise regularly. There are 4 stages of the post-op diet.  These are the Clear Liquid Diet, Liquid diet, Pureed diet, and Soft Food diet.

Gastric Sleeve Diet Phase 1: Clear Liquids

Gastric Sleeve Diet Stage-1

(Begins a day after surgery)

In Stage 1, you are limited to clear liquids only. The hunger-producing hormone ghrelin decreases after surgery; therefore, the urge to eat is less.

Your choice of liquids may include [1]Zawn Villines, Medical News Today. “What To Eat and Avoid On The Gastric Sleeve Diet”
View in Article

  • Water
  • Clear broth of chicken or veggies
  • Sugar-free thinned juices (of apple, cranberry, or grapes) without pulp
  • Sugar-free popsicles and Jell-O
  • Tea/coffee (decaf and unsweetened)
  • Soluble whey protein powder


  • Keep yourself hydrated by sipping fluids regularly
  • Refrain from gulping down the fluid instead, try to sip
  • Avoid using a straw as it can cause bloating/gas build-up
  • Do not consume any carbonated beverages or soft drinks
Managing Fluids after Bariatric Surgery

A Sample Clear Liquid Menu

3-4 ounces thinned, sugar-free juice –Apple/Cranberry/ Vegetable broth in the same quantity5-6 ounces Broth, Sugar-free Jell-O3-4 ounces thinned fruit juice – Apple/Grapes/Cranberry, Sugar-free popsiclesUnsweetened Tea, flavored water or chicken/veggie broth

Gastric Sleeve Diet Phase 2: Liquid Diet

Your transition to Stage 2 becomes easy if there is no nausea or vomiting. The liquids in this phase are thicker than in stage 1. You may begin with a high protein thicker drinks diet, including:

  • Stage 1 Clear Liquids
  • A Whey Protein shake or other protein powders
  • Unsweetened soy milk or skimmed milk of almond or coconut
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Sugar-free egg custard or pudding
  • Soups void of any vegetable pieces or chunks
  • Diluted cereals of wheat and rice


  • Avoid carbonated/fizzy drinks as they may cause acid reflux after gastric sleeve.
  • Drink enough fluids (64 ounces) to prevent dehydration.
  • A high-quality protein supplement (60-90 gms) daily is suggested.

A Sample Thick Drinks Menu

Whey protein isolate and oatmeal cereal with skim milk3-4 ounces of Greek Yogurt with almond milkStrained soup and sugar-free puddingVegetable/chicken broth, thinned juices and Jell-O

Gastric Sleeve Diet Phase 3: Pureed Food Diet

Gastric Sleeve Diet Stage 3

Begins 3-4 Weeks Post-op

By the end of Stage 2, if you are tolerating a liquid diet well, you may progress to Stage 3 (Pureed Diet). All foods at this stage must be blended to a soft consistency and should be low in fat and sugar. Start with high protein-rich foods first, followed by veggies, and lastly, seedless fruits. This stage may include the following:

  • Plain or sugar-free yogurt without fruit chunks
  • Sieved cream soups of potato or chicken made with skim milk
  • Skim milk with whey protein powder
  • Non-fat cottage cheese
  • Mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes
  • Pureed bananas and smooth applesauce
  • Pureed carrots, spinach, green beans


  • Preferred Cooking Methods: baked, boiled, grilled or slow cooker
  • Avoid fibrous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower
  • Do not consume saturated fats, butter, margarine
  • Do not have chicken/turkey with skin

A Sample Pureed Food Menu

Mashed ripe banana, Protein shake OR cream of wheat cooked  with skim milk1/4 cup of moist cooked, blended chicken OR boiled and blended potatoes/veggies1/4 – 1/3 cup of Blended chili or other soupGreek yogurt, 3-6oz or an 8oz protein drink

Gastric Sleeve Diet Phase 4: Soft Food Diet

Gastric Sleeve Diet Stage 4
Gastric Sleeve Diet Stage 4

During Stage 4 – Soft Diet – Try to consume 4-6 small meals each day. Eat slowly and stop eating at the first sign of fullness or a slight tightening in your stomach.

  • Lean meats, poultry, fish and eggs
  • Sugar-free Lemonade and Tea/Coffee (preferably decaffeinated)
  • Wheat/rice porridge with skimmed milk
  • Softly cooked chicken, fish, or turkey in gravy/thin sauce
  • Small pieces of potato and carrot in thin gravy


  • High-protein drinks help you meet your daily protein requirements.
  • Chew thoroughly before swallowing and take small bites.
  • Drink slowly! wait 30 minutes AFTER a meal to begin drinking again.
  • If you choose to include bread in your diet, opt for 100% whole grain.
  • Avoid pasta, rice, and corn in the first 7-8 weeks post-surgery.
  • Avoid skins and seeds of fruits and vegetables.

Tips for A Successful Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

  • Slowly progress to a “regular” diet.
  • Introduce new textures/skins on fruits, nuts, etc., cautiously.
  • Supplement meals with a high-protein shake or beverage.

Nutrition After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Vitamin and mineral supplements are essential for bariatric surgery patients to prevent weak bones and fractures and to build body tissues.

The way you eat after surgery must be permanently changed. Initially, the volume of food to be consumed will be restricted to aid healing and, at the same time, provide essential nutrients. Below are some of the multivitamins that may be required:


  • The recommended protein intake: Women: 50–60 grams of protein. For men: 60–70 grams of protein
  • Tofu, beans/legumes are good sources of proteins.


John Hopkins Medical Center recommends taking chewable mineral supplements containing iron (36mg), folic acid (800mcg), thiamine (3mg), and 2 mg of copper, along with selenium and zinc.


  • Taking chewable calcium tabs of 500-600 mg thrice a day
  • Do not combine calcium with iron or multivitamins for good results

Vitamin D

  • It is required for calcium absorption and maintaining healthy bones
  • Taking 3,000 International Units of Vitamin D3 per day is advised


Remember, sleeve gastrectomy is not a magic wand to reduce weight. In order to maintain a healthy weight long-term, establishing healthy eating habits is crucial.

In general, consuming 3-6 planned limited-portion meals every day consisting of healthy, lean proteins, veggies, whole grains, fruits, and low-fat dairy is recommended. Processed carbs, high-cal liquids, and foods with high sugar/fat should be avoided.

This Post Addresses

  • Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy post-op diet
  • Diet plan after Sleeve Gastrectomy patients
  • Post Sleeve Gastrectomy nutrition
  • Soft food diet Gastric Sleeve


  1. Zawn Villines, Medical News Today. “What To Eat and Avoid On The Gastric Sleeve Diet“.

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