Dietary Information and Recommendations

Nutrition After Gastric Band Surgery

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (LAGB) surgery results in weight loss because it reduces the amount of food and liquids you can consume (1-2 oz., or approximately 2-4 Tbs.) at any given time.  In order to achieve and maintain sustained weight loss, you will have to commit to a series of permanent lifestyle changes including selecting foods high in nutritional  quality, taking vitamin supplements, and exercising regularly.

Nutritional Concerns


Adequate protein is essential to:
  • Assist in wound healing
  • Maintain functional and structural components of all cells
  • Maintain and build muscle tissue
  • Prevent hair loss​


It is easy to become dehydrated because you are not able to drink liquids quickly or the volume you were used to.
  • Recommend 6-8 eight ounce glasses of zero or low-calorie fluids per day.   Work up to this amount.
  • Start at a rate of no more than 4 ounces per hour.  Advance to 8 ounces per hour.
  • Stop drinking 30 minutes prior to meals.
  • Resume drinking 30 minutes after finishing meal.
  • No high-calorie drinks.
  • No carbonated drinks for the first 6 weeks.


Because the surgery limits the overall volume of food you are able to consume, adequate availability of many vitamins and minerals is limited.
Start taking the following supplements after the post-op visit to the office:
  • Multivitamin and Minerals + Iron Supplement - 1 tablet​ 
    • ​Ex:  Centrum Chewables
  • B-Complex Vitamin - to include vitamin B1, B6, B12, and Folic Acid
    • Ex:  B-Complex by Sundown (small tablet - easy to swallow)
  • Additional supplements may be recommended

Nutrition Care Plan

Your diet pre and post-op will progress through the following stages:
  • Day before surgery
    • Light breakfast - may include egg (not fried), cereal, toast, juice, coffee, tea.  Do not eat high fat foods like bacon or sausage
    • ​Lunch and Dinner - clear liquids - may include clear broth, jello, apple juice, tea
    • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
  • Day of Surgery - Nothing by mouth
  • 1st day Post-op - Ice chips
  • 2nd day Post-op - Clear liquids - may include clear broth, jello, apple juice, popsicle, tea
  • Home for the first 2 weeks - The key to success once you go home is to allow smaller meals to satisfy you especially during the early recovery period.  Learn to chosse foods with high nutritional value and develop good eating habits because it is possible to reverse the benefits of the band.
    • Full Liquid Diet -  May include the following items:
      • ​Cream soups made with water or skim milk
      • Pudding or custard (preferably made with low fat milk)
      • Skim or low fat - 1% milk
      • "Light" or low fat " Thin" yogurt
      • Natural, unsweetened fruit juice
      • Sugar-free popsicles or fudgesicle bar
      • In addition to these foods, add 8-12 oz. high protein shake (
      • 15-25 gms./serving protein (less than 5 grams total carbohydrates)
        • ​GNC 100% whey protein - mix 1 scoop with 8 oz. liquid
        • ZOIC Protein Nutrition Drink
        • Shake-A-Whey by Sci Fit
        • Advant Edge Carb Controlled Nutrition Shake by EAS
        • Carb Options shake
        • Slim Fast Low Carb Shake
        • Advantage Low Carb Shake by Atkins
        • Unjury Protein Shakes (
  • ​​​1 month Post-op - Tolerance to most foods should improve by this time.  Introduce only one new food item at a time.  Continue to avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods.
    • Protein - 6 oz per ounces per day.  May try the following foods:
      • ​Ground beef,  hamburger patty
      • Lean and tender beef steak
      • Lean pork, lamb, veal
      • Shellfish - shrimp, scallops, crab, lobster
      • Avoid: fried chicken, fish, shrimp
      • Caution: clams, oysters
    • Fruit - 2-3 servings per day.   May add fresh fruit.
      • Recommend: select well ripened fruit, peel skin, remove tough membranes
      • Avoid: fruit juice, dried fruit
      • Caution: coconut, pineapple
    • Vegetables - 2-3 servings per day.  May add fresh, frozen, or raw vegetables
      • ​Caution: celery, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
    • Starches - Continue to limit small amounts.
      • ​Caution: rice, peas, corn, lima beans, black beans, red beans

Guidelines for Success

  • Chew foods thoroughly and completely before swallowing.  Avoid chunks of food and tough, dry, or stringy food items.
  • Take small bites.  Cut food the size of a dime.
  • Eat very slowly.  Try to set aside 30 minutes for each meal.  Develop the habit of putting your fork down betweeen bites.  If you eat too fast you may overeat before your brain realizes you are full.
  • Recognize when you feel full and stop eating.  If you eat too much too often, you may stretch your pouch or cause band slippage and negate the benefits of the surgery.
  • If you feel any pressure, nausea, pain, or feeling like food has gotten stuck, stop eating and just let time take its course.  Do not "wash it down".
  • Avoid non-hunger eating and snacking or inappropiate foods.
  • Don't eat and drink at the same time.  Remember to stop drinking 30 minutes before your meal to allow an empty pouch to accept food.  Wait 30 minutes after your meal to resume drinking so you give your body time to absorb the nutrients from the meal you have just eaten.
  • Drink plenty of fluids but avoid high-calorie milkshakes, regular soda, whole milk, and fruit juices.  You may drink any liquids that contain 10 calories or less per serving.  (See "zero and low-calorie beverages" section)
  • Avoid alcholic beverages
  • Try not to skip meals.  It is difficult to consume enough protein unless you divide it into 3 "meals".
  • Try not to eat between meals - have a healthy snack as a backup.
  • Avoid high fat or fried foods
  • Avoid foods with a high concentration of sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses, honey
  • If you use "DIET" foods, make sure the product has less than 5 grams of total carbohydrate per serving and see what a serving is defined as.
  • If you use milk, try to use fat-free or 1% milk.
  • If you do not tolerate milk well, try Lactaid milk or milk products.

Sample Weekly Diet

Zero and Low-Calorie Beverages

  • Arizona Diet Tea - Peach, Lemon​
  • Elements Diet Ice
  • Fruit 2 O
  • FUZE Slenderize
  • LeNature's Ice Water- Peach Mango
  • Market Pantry Water Beverage - Peach Grapefruit
  • Minute Maid Light- Guava Citrus, Mango Tropical, Raspberry Passion
  • Propel
  • Diet Snapple
  • SoBe Lean
  • Tomato Juice
  • Tropicana Sugar Free - Fruit Punch, Lemonade, Orangeade
  • Diet V-8 Splash
  • V-8 Juice