The first question to ask is, “what is normal?” The average American is overweight or obese, so more than likely you never want to go back to “normal” eating habits. The key to long-term success is finding healthy eating habits that work for you.

After surgery, we have several steps. The progression of the bariatric meal plan starts by resting and hydrating the body with a clear liquid diet, then focusing on getting proper protein through thick liquids. Third, you focus on increasing calories with soft solids and lastly you create variety through whole foods. When you reach the solid phase, which will vary for each individual patient, you must find out which food works best for you.

In this last phase, with a lifestyle change, there is more to adapt besides food; social adaptation, and how to live outside your home. When you’re with friends, when you’re out for dinner; at this time you’ll have more chances to know what type of foods you can tolerate. The journey is in knowing what foods you can enjoy, normally six or seven months after surgery. It will be different if you’re trying to lose fat versus trying to maintain your current weight. Generally, by this time you will be comfortable with the foods you can eat and control portions.

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