here are 4 distinct gastric sleeve surgery diet stages:

  •  Stage 1: Clear liquids only
  •  Stage 2: Add thicker drinks & smooth foods (no chunks)
  •  Stage 3: Slowly test pureed & soft solid foods
  •  Stage 4: Slowly test solid foods

Every surgeon has a different philosophy about how much time each stage should last. Some feel that a quicker transition will speed up recovery, while others believe that giving your digestive system time to rest is a better approach. Both methods are effective, so talk with your surgeon about which they feel is right for you.

Stage 1: Clear liquids only

Begins 1 day post-op to 7 days post-op (varies by surgeon)
Depending on your surgeon, Stage 1 of your gastric sleeve post-op diet will last anywhere from 1 to 7 days and will include:

  •  Clear liquids only
  •  Sip your liquids, no gulping
  •  Do not use a straw or drink from a bottle as this can cause gas bubbles
  •  Drinks should include:
  •  Water or Ice (since you can’t eat anything yet, chewing ice may be more satisfying)
  •  Clear broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  •  Drink mixes (sugar-free), like Crystal Light or Kool-Aid
  •  Jell-O (sugar-free)
  •  Thin juice or drinks without pulp or added sugar (such as apple juice, Propel Water, Powerade Zero, etc.)
  •  Popsicles (sugar-free)
  •  Tea (caffeine-free, unsweetened)
  •  When you return home:
  •  Continue the same clear-liquid-only diet until your surgeon tells you it’s okay to transition to Stage 2
  •  Take all vitamins and supplements recommended by your surgeon.
  •  Other Habits
  •  Maintain your diet journal
  •  Maintain regular support group attendance
  •  Start walking (slowly increase to 30 minutes/day, 5 days per week by Week 3 post-op)

Begins 1 day post-op to 14 days post-op (varies by surgeon)

Your surgeon will confirm that you have no nausea or vomiting before allowing you to begin Stage 2 of your post-op gastric sleeve diet. Stage 2 lasts from one day to 2 weeks, depending on your surgeon, and includes thicker drinks, pureed foods, and small “meals”:

  •  Clear liquids list from Stage 1
  •  Protein shakes
  •  Clear broths (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  •  Cream of Wheat
  •  Cream soups (no chunks)
  •  Carnation Instant Breakfast (sugar free)
  •  Greek Yogurt
  •  Natural applesauce
  •  Sherbet (sugar-free)
  •  Skim or Lactose-Free Milk Products
  •  Thicker sugar-free juices like low-sodium V-8 or pulp-free orange juice
  •  Vitamins and supplements

Remember: No soft or solid food and no drinks with chunks or seeds.
You can also drink clear liquids between meals.
While drinking anything:

  • Take small sips
  • Stop immediately as soon as you feel full or feel any pressure

Begins 2 days post-op to 3 weeks post-op (varies by surgeon)

Stage 3 of your diet after gastric sleeve surgery will last from 1 to 7 days, depending on your surgeon.
This stage allows softer solids, but take it slow!

When you’re ready to start pureed foods, blend water, skim milk, broth, or sugar-free juice with one of the following:

  •  Beans
  •  Cooked vegetables
  •  Eggs
  •  Fish
  •  Ground meats (lean)
  •  Soft fruits

 As soon as the pureed foods are going down without a problem, work your way into soft foods like:

  •  Cooked vegetables
  •  Ground meats (lean)
  •  Soft fruits (no seeds or skin)

General post-gastric sleeve diet guidelines during Stage 3 include:


  •  Test one new food at a time to confirm you can tolerate it
  •  Eat as healthy as possible, protein first
  •  60+ grams of protein per day
  •  Small portion sizes
  •  Cut food into small pieces
  •  Eat slowly, chew food thoroughly
  •  No more than 3 small meals per day
  •  Limit snacking (no more than 2 small snacks per day)
  •  Limit high-fat foods
  •  No fibrous foods like asparagus, celery, or broccoli
  •  No starchy foods like rice, pasta, or bread
  •  No greasy or spicy foods
  •  No whole milk products
  •  No sugar
  •  Take your vitamins



  •  Plenty of low-calorie fluids (64+ oz [2+ liters] per day)
  •  Sip fluids, don’t gulp
  •  Do not drink anything 30 minutes before, during, or after meals
  •  No sodas or sugary drinks
  •  Limit caffeine

Other Habits


  •  Maintain your diet journal
  •  Maintain regular support group attendance
  •  Slowly transition to more aggressive, muscle-building exercises (30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week)

Begins 3 days post-op to 4 weeks post-op (varies by surgeon)

Stage 4 of your post-op gastric sleeve diet will last anywhere from a couple of days to 1 to 2 weeks, depending on your surgeon. During this stage you will complete your slow transition to your “new normal” long-term diet.

 Your focus should be on eating your proteins first, in solid form (not protein shakes). Here’s why:

  •  You need 60+ grams of protein to stay healthy, and getting that much can be tough if you fill up on other food first
  •  Liquid protein is okay while you are in healing mode, but switch to solids after recovery. Solids make you feel full sooner while eating and reduce the risk of weight regain.

 Other points to keep in mind include:

  •  Stage 3 guidelines above
  •  Test one food at a time to make sure you can tolerate it
  •  Eat healthy “whole” foods (foods from the farm or water; avoid processed foods)
  •  Eat slowly and chew thoroughly
  •  No starchy foods like rice, bread, and pasta
  •  No whole milk products
  •  64+ oz (2+ liters) of fluids spread throughout the day
  •  No drinking 30 minutes before or after meals