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Eating Techniques following Bariatric Surgery

Date issued: October 2020  

For review: October 2022

Ref: C-324/Gastro/CW/Eating Techniques following weight loss surgery v4

PDF: Eating Techniques Following Weight Loss Surgery [pdf] 419KB

Following bariatric surgery, the way that you eat will need to be adapted. The following recommendations will reduce complications of gastric reflux, regurgitation, pouch dilatation and oesophageal dilatation.

  • Before you start your meal, ensure you are sitting at a table. You also need to allow yourself 20 minutes to eat your meal.
  • Avoid all distractions whilst eating. This encourages ‘Mindful Eating’.
  • Ensure that your plate is a tea size plate. This helps prevent overeating.
  • Bite sizes need to be small. No bigger than a 20 pence piece.
  • Chew each portion of food 20 times before swallowing.
  • Wait for 1 minute before you take your next bite of food.
  • Eat for only 20 minutes. You may find it helpful to time yourself when eating.
  • Stop eating before 20 minutes if you start experiencing pain or discomfort in your chest. This is a common indicator that you have over eaten.
  • If you have any food left on your plate at 20 minutes, throw it away immediately. Do not save it for a snack later. This will help prevent grazing.
  • Do not drink during your meal. Drinking during your meal can cause the food to swell, causing discomfort. It also can cause trapped wind if you gulp fluids too fast causing regurgitation and pain.
  • Recommendations for when to have fluids before and after a meal:

    30 minutes before a meal

    30 minutes - 1 Hour after a meal

  • Carbonated Drinks should be avoided lifelong. Following surgery your new stomach is much smaller and therefore will struggle with carbonated drinks. This will cause you discomfort and pain in your chest, such as heart burn. Long term, drinking carbonated drinks on a regular basis and in large volumes can also cause your new stomach to stretch
  • Ensure you are following the recommendations regarding food group portions.
  • Avoid problematic food: Common foods that can cause a problem are as follows: Steak, Pork and Bread Products, Noodles. Some people struggle with Chicken Breast.
  • Chewing Gum should also be avoided as this will stimulate your saliva and head hunger.
  • Remember also to take your daily multivitamin and mineral supplements.


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