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Patient Education

CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care is pleased to share resources to help you make the lifestyle changes necessary to lose weight, improve your health and keep the weight off. 

Nutrition is critical in the success of your bariatric procedure. We give special attention both before and after surgery in order to decrease risks during surgery as well as aid you in long term success. Here are the guidelines for eating after a gastric band procedure.

Ways patients succeed

  • Eat three meals a day spaced five hours apart
  • Choose foods which are high in protein and low in fat
  • Always eat proteins first
  • Avoid sweets and foods high in fats
  • Limit your portion size to less than a cup per meal
  • Avoid drinking and eating at the same time
  • Avoid carbonated and calorie-containing beverages
  • Drink 64 ounces of water or non-calorie, non-carbonated beverages
  • Exercise daily


If you eat a balanced diet every day, you may not need a daily supplemental multi-vitamin. We recommend taking one everyday. Since most of the multi-vitamin pills are fairly large and could possible block the small opening in your stomach pouch, you will need to select either a liquid daily multivitamin-mineral supplement or two children's chewable vitamins each day.


We don't advise to drink any beverages containing caffeine. Caffeine tends to increase the acids in the stomach causing irritation and heartburn pain. Caffeine is a diuretic (increases urination), which will increase the loss of water, certain vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Try decaffeinated beverages to replace the need.


Carbonation from soft drinks can build up in the small stomach pouch and cause bloating or stomach irritation, which can be very uncomfortable. The carbonation can cause the pouch to enlarge. One year after your surgery, if you want to try soft drinks, let the soda sit in a glass with ice for few minutes so that some of the gas is released. You should only try sugar-free (diet), caffeine-free sodas. 

  1. Eat 3 small meals a day
  2. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly (approximately 15-20 times a bite)
  3. Stop eating as soon as you feel full
  4. Don’t drink while you are eating
  5. Don’t eat between meals
  6. Eat fresh food (can be frozen or canned fresh foods)
  7. Avoid fibrous food (celery, broccoli, etc.)
  8. Drink enough during the day (approximately 64 ounces)
  9. Only drink low-calorie drinks
  10. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day (when released to do so by your surgeon)

Exercise will be an important part of your new lifestyle. We know that by increasing your activity level, you are increasing the amount of energy your body expends. This results in increased weight loss. We also know that most individuals who successfully have maintained their weight for long periods of time are usually those who exercise on a regular basis.

We encourage every patient to walk at least 30 minutes a day. Even if you are unable to tolerate the full 30 minutes at one time, try to walk as long as tolerated and do that as many times as needed to add up to 30 minutes. Exercise is a must as you start eating less in order to maintain your metabolism.

  • Walk for 30 minutes or more most days of the week
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park your car further away in a parking lot
  • Go for a walk with a friend or family
  • Follow a balanced fitness program
  • Join friends in a sport activity

Psychological support is an important aspect of any bariatric surgery as this is a long-term, lifestyle change. If you are currently seeing a psychological provider then we encourage that you maintain this relationship before, during, and following surgery.

If you are currently not seeing a provider then we encourage you to utilize your follow up visits and support groups in order to help you with the transition. We find those patients who attend follow up visits and regularly attend support groups do better with this transition. We encourage support persons, such as family members and friends, to attend these visits with you. It is important that those living around you understand the changes that you must make in order to be successful.

We also work with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who helps our patients through this transition and is available to patients by appointment.