key nutritional guidelines

All foods and liquids MUST be low in fat and sugar.

Protein intake is of the utmost importance. Insufficient protein will result in protein malnutrition and loss of lean muscle mass. Protein should be 50 % of ALL meals and must be eaten first. Gastric Bypass (GBP) patients should aim for at least 80g of protein daily and Bilo-pancreatic Diversion (BPD) patients 80-120g daily. Protein-rich foods include lean meat, chicken, fish, fat free milk and dairy products, beans, peas, lentils and eggs. Protein supplements can be taken if needed and will be recommended by the dietitian.

Eat and drink slowly

    •    Plan at least 30 minutes to eat each meal

    •    Small bites of food should be chewed thoroughly before swallowing – approximately 30 x

    •    Liquids should be consumed slowly between meals, not during meals – leave at least 20 min before and after eating to drink and aim for approximately 250ml of liquid over a 30 – 60 minute period.

The potential for dehydration is a concern in the early post-operative period. Adequate daily fluid intake of at least 1.5L - 1.8L (in addition to the fluid present in foods) is recommended to reduce the risk of dehydration.

Recommended vitamins and minerals should be taken as prescribed.

Carbonated drinks, coffee and alcohol should be avoided preoperatively, and 3 months post-operatively.

DO NOT follow dietary recommendations from any other health professional, personal trainer, weight loss clinic, family or friends. Bariatric Surgery is a highly specialized field of obesity management, and listening to others can be detrimental to your health, nutritional status and general well being.

about vitamin replacements

Bariatric (metabolic) surgery is a highly specialized field of obesity management. Other surgical and medical disciplines and practitioners are not always best informed in this rapidly evolving field. Vitamin replacement is not a random act, but rather a carefully considered treatment modality, constructed in such a way that nutrients which are no longer being absorbed in the greater curvature of the stomach and first part of the duodenum, are replaced orally.


Furthermore, only particular types of calcium and iron are absorbed. Other preparations for example iron sulphate, is not. It is advised to take the supplements as prescribed by the treating Centre of Excellence endocrinologist / physician. Replacements should be taken consistently and without fail – it should not be considered as an optional extra. Micronutrient stores become progressively depleted, and only once the levels are dangerously low, will the patient start to experience feelings of sub-optimal performance. 


Waterfall City Hospital

Magwa Cres & Mac Mac Avenue, Vorna Valley, Midrand, 1682


Linda Crystal

Tel: +27 11 304 7821

Isobel Vosloo

Tel: +27 11 304 7975

Fax: +27 11 304 7961

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