What Foods Should Be Avoided After Lap-Band Surgery?

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Small bowl of ice cream.
Small bowl of ice cream. (Image: janecocoa/iStock/Getty Images)

Laparoscopic gastric banding surgery makes your stomach smaller, so you'll need to eat much less than you did before your surgery. In the beginning, you'll only be able to eat a few bites at a time. Over time, the pouch of your stomach that is available for use after banding will stretch somewhat so you can eat about 1 cup of food at a sitting, as opposed to the 4 cups of food a normal stomach holds. Eat mainly nutrient-rich foods so you can get the recommended nutrients while eating such a small amount of food.

Foods Considerations

Do not eat anything if you don't feel hungry, and stop as soon as you feel full. Take small bites and chew them thoroughly. Foods to limit or avoid include those that contain a lot of carbohydrates, sugar or fat. These foods, which will slow down weight loss, include fast food, desserts, candy, baked goods, fried foods and nonlean meat.

You'll get the best weight-loss results if you avoid sugary cereals, ice cream, anything made with white flour, crackers, breaded foods, chips and processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs and sausages.

Fibrous foods, including popcorn, doughy breads, dried fruit, corn, nuts and tough meats, can also sometimes cause stomach pain or block the opening of the stomach pouch in people with Lap-Bands.

Beverage Considerations

Don't drink anything with your meals as it will fill your stomach and not leave enough room for food. Avoid beverages that are carbonated because they can cause stomach discomfort. Alcoholic beverages; drinks that contain fructose, corn syrup or sugar; juice; and whole milk are high in calories, so limit or avoid these beverages. It's a good idea to avoid caffeine as well since it can irritate the stomach and may stimulate your appetite. Aim to drink about 64 ounces of sugar-free fluids each day, sipping them slowly and not drinking within 30 minutes of your meals.

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