Always default to your bariatric surgeon and nutritionist's post surgical eating plans, however, when in need of a reminder, there are various plans online that you can fall back on like this sample one adapted from Duke Health -
Stage 3: Soft Foods
Soft foods will be added gradually to your meal plan over the next six to eight weeks. While on the soft diet you must continue to focus on high protein foods and avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, or fiber.
You may still need to get some of your protein from supplements until you are able to eat enough solid food to meet your nutritional needs (see the list of protein supplements above).
Consuming adequate protein in your diet will help you maintain muscle mass and heal as you lose weight. Because you will not be able to eat a large volume of food at one time you should plan to eat a small meal four to six times each day.
At meal times it is important to focus on high protein foods, making sure you eat them first. You will be instructed to add only one new food at a time to establish tolerance to foods slowly. If you do not tolerate a food well, the problem may be with the food itself, how it was prepared, or the way it was consumed.
Learn to recognize when you are full. Indications of fullness may be a pressure, tightness, or heaviness in the center of your abdomen just below the breast bone. Feelings of nausea, regurgitation, or heartburn are indications that too much has been eaten or the meal was eaten to rapidly.
Nausea, abdominal pain, or discomfort is most often the result of eating inappropriately and rarely a complication of surgery. Common eating-related causes of discomfort are: eating too fast, not chewing food well, eating too much food at once, eating solid foods too soon after surgery, or drinking liquids either with meals or right after meals.
Following are lists of foods allowed and those to be avoided while on the soft diet. The foods on the avoid list are there because most patients do not tolerate them for the first two to three months after surgery. Some patients do tolerate these foods, but it is best to start with the foods on the recommended list.
Once you have learned how to eat with your new gastric anatomy and have healed from surgery, you can start to add other foods one at a time over the next few months. If you follow these suggestions, your transition to solid foods and weight loss will be a success.
Recommended Food for Stage 3: Soft Foods
- Eggs (cooked with minimal fat)
- Light or low-fat yogurt
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Soft fish (baked, broiled, grilled)
- Small or baby shrimp, scallops, crab
- Tuna fish (fat-free mayo is okay)
- Tender cooked or ground poultry
- Tender cooked or ground beef or pork
- Bean and lentil dishes and soups
- Fat free refried beans
- Low-fat luncheon meats (turkey, roast beef, sliced thin)
- Shredded or soft low-fat cheeses
- Tofu (soy) mixed in soup or vegetables
- Oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits (thinned)
- Softened cold cereal
- Cooked, soft vegetables
- Soft fruits without skin or canned in natural juices
- Crackers and pretzels chewed well
- Low-fat soups
- Very dry toast
- Soft lettuce (green leaf or Boston Bibb)
Soft foods to avoid:
- Sticky foods
- Bread (may tolerate if toasted)
- Sticky rice
- Pasta (especially overcooked or large noodles)
- Melted stringy cheese
- Macaroni and cheese
- Peanut butter
Crunchy fibrous foods:
- Raw vegetables
- Fruit and vegetable skins
- Iceberg lettuce
Tough or rubbery foods:
- Tough meat (steak, pork chops, ham, hot dogs)
- Butter, margarine, oils
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Fat back, bacon
- Whole milk
- Salad dressing
- Hard cheeses
- Fried foods
- Bologna, salami