WLS Diet & Nutrition

A key element to enjoying the full success of the weight loss surgery program is to follow a recommended dietary plan. Your first week after surgery, you will continue your pre-operative liquid diet. After that, you will move on to pureed fruits and vegetables and soft foods. This is followed by incorporating a normal, healthy diet plan into your everyday living. Remember, eating healthy and staying hydrated is key to successful LAP-BAND as well as gastric sleeve eating.


A pre-op dietary plan for the LAP-BAND and gastric sleeve should start about two weeks before the surgery. During that time, you’ll be requested to stay on a liquid diet, which means that your daily meals will consist of low-sugar drinks and strained soups. The pre-op dietary plan aims at liquids that are
high in protein and low in calories, carbs, and fat.

A liquid diet may not sound like much fun, but it is very important in preparing you for the surgery. Reducing your calorie and sugar intake before your surgery will help shrink your liver, allowing the surgeon better access to the abdominal cavity. Don’t worry; the liquid diet is not the diet that you will have to stay on for long! A week after surgery, LAP-BAND or gastric sleeve, you’ll be more than ready to start eating fuller liquids and mushy foods to slowly progress toward regular solid food.  To find weight loss surgery friendly recipes, visit our DayOne recipe page.


After the initial recovery period, when you’ll start your “regular” diet, you’ll be advised to have small meals (not more than three times a day), to chew your food well, and to eat slowly. It is very important for LAP-BAND patients not to drink during the meals and to wait until half an hour after eating to take in any liquids.

The same rule applies for gastric sleeve patients. Patients undergoing any weight loss surgery should refrain from drinking with the meals. In other words, if you’ve had gastric adjustable band or gastric sleeve, you should drink no later than 30 minutes before the meal, and wait at least 30 minutes after your meal before you drink again.

An ideal LAP-BAND or gastric sleeve diet includes everything that is shown on a traditional food pyramid. Namely, the majority of your diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, selected proteins, and whole grains, while avoiding products rich in fat and sugar. As a LAP-BAND or gastric sleeve patient,

you should try to permanently avoid unhealthy snacking, sweets, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks.

The LAP-BAND does not alter your digestion; a gastric band will require you to considerably decrease the size of your portions, but it will not influence the way nutrients are absorbed. We do recommend limited vitamin supplementation for gastric band patients to ensure you are getting all necessary vitamins and minerals. Gastric sleeve similarly restricts only your portion size and does not involve malabsorption of nutrients. Nevertheless, because of the significantly decreased stomach volume, gastric sleeve patients may be at risk of not getting all necessary nutrients. Following gastric sleeve surgery, your bariatric dietitian will discuss with you in detail which nutrients you should focus on and what supplements you may use. If you’re not sure you are getting all the nutrients you need, you can always consult with the bariatric dietitian for recommendations.


DayOne Health offers a free LAP-BAND and gastric sleeve consultation with an experienced dietitian who you can turn to for nutritional advice at every step of your weight-loss journey! Contact DayOne Health today at 312-255-1900 or schedule your initial consultation online.