What is the Bariatric Diet? - My Bariatric Life

Patient Expert

What is the Bariatric Diet?** High Protein, Fresh Vegetables, Fruit**

fruit and vegetable

Following the Bariatric Diet is one of the most important things you will do that will ensure your long-term weight-loss success. Check out my interview with 11-yr weight-loss surgery success Kristin Szilagyi. She follows the bariatric diet - aka pouch rules - to this day. Simply they are:

  • never eat and drink together (that is by far the most important rule for anyone wanting to lose weight),
  • eat low carb and high protein foods,
  • avoid carbonated beverages,
  • take vitamins/supplements,
  • eat protein first, then veggies, then starches and fruit.
  • Kristin eats 100 grams of protein a day.

How The Bariatric Diet Works

Developed by Dr. EE Mason, an Iowa Bariatric surgeon, the bariatric diet is the gold standard for weight loss surgery patients to follow lifelong. The ideal meal for weight loss is to:

  • fill one-half of your plate with two to four ounces of animal-source, low-fat protein;
  • fill one-quarter of your plate with lightly-cooked or raw low starch vegetables;
  • and fill the remaining quarter of your plate with fresh raw fruit.

Cut finely and chewed well, these foods represent coarse, solid food choices that are likely to stay in the pouch longer and offer good nutritional value.

Keeping the Weight Off: The Pouch Rules

Eat solid foods. Eat very small bites of low-fat meats, crisp or raw vegetables, or solid fruits, like apples or pears.

Eat at least two ounces of meat with each meal.

Try to finish your meal within 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure you still chew your food thoroughly, and don't rush through the meal, but don't linger at the table either.

Avoid drinking with meals and for two hours afterwards.

Start drinking when the feelings of hunger return, to avoid thirst and minimize hunger between meals. Start with smaller sips, but increase the volume until you feel full again.

Drink 8 to 12 ounces of water rapidly over 20 seconds, then top off with sips until you feel comfortably full. Do this whenever you feel hungry. This will keep the pouch distended and minimize hunger.

Drink a full glass of water 15 minutes prior to eating. By drinking a lot of water before the meal, you shouldn't need to drink during or afterward.

Avoid snacking, since snacks are usually insufficient to eliminate hunger and they provide empty calories.

Minimize caloric liquids and softer foods. These foods are not banned, but when you make exceptions, you will likely experience hunger sooner and have to deal with the consequences.

The bottom line: Be aware that weight-loss surgery is a vital part of the solution, but it is not a cure-all. If you follow the bariatric diet, you will increase the amount of weight you lose with a gastric bypass, and ensure that you maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

Living life well-fed,** My Bariatric Life**