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7 Foods to Avoid after Weight Loss Surgery

When you have weight loss surgery, this does not mean you will automatically lose a significant amount of weight. Bariatric operations are powerful tools that enable people to take their hard work and commitment to lifestyle changes and turn those into results.

However, you also need to be mindful of what you eat to maximize your weight loss journey. At West Medical, we place important emphasis on supporting patients with their diet and food choices.

Patients often ask us what lessons we’ve learned as weight loss experts, and what lessons we’ve learned from helping so many patients along a successful journey to finding optimal health.

While there is much discussion around foods that are great for weight loss, there are specific foods we encourage patients to avoid after bariatric surgery.

It is important to note there is no single food that will “ruin” your weight loss efforts. Even foods that are traditionally thought of as unhealthy – such as pizza, cake and potato chips can have a place in your new healthy eating routine as long as they are eaten in moderation. Trying to completely deprive yourself of a favorite food can backfire.

However, there are foods that can be potential roadblocks to losing weight. Here we look at seven foods to avoid after weight loss surgery that can hamper your success.

After Your Weight Loss Surgery: 7 Foods to Avoid


While a milkshake may not be the first “food” that comes to mind as something to avoid if you have had weight loss surgery, there is an important reason why you should try not to drink them. When a patient has weight loss surgery to help them lose weight, in many cases their stomach pouch is smaller, so food fills them up more quickly.

When you eat solid food, it sits in your stomach as you digest it. However, a milkshake is not going to sit in your stomach for a long time. Complex liquids like smoothies and shakes take about 40 to 60 minutes to digest. They are also a source of a high amount of liquid calories, which do not add bulk to help you feel full.

White Bread

White bread is a refined carbohydrate that adds little nutritional value to your diet. If you are going to eat bread, a truly whole-grain piece of bread will give you more protein and more fiber for the same amount of calories.

Processed Lunch Meat

Sometimes a slice of turkey meat can be a good option, especially as a quick snack. However, many processed lunch meats are very high in sodium. For instance, Hillshire Snacking offers chipotle chicken slices. With only 45 calories per serving, that sounds like a good option. However, those same 45 calories come with over 600mg of sodium! That’s more than triple the sodium in a serving of Lay’s potato chips.


While a little ketchup here and there is not going to ruin any diet, this tomato based source has a surprising amount of sugar. Some brands of ketchup can give you one teaspoon of sugar for every one tablespoon of ketchup you eat. The same goes for BBQ and hoisin sauces.


Popcorn can be a relatively healthy snack food if it is “air-popped” as it is low in calories and has some fiber. However, we recommend avoiding popcorn as it can irritate your digestive system after you have had weight loss surgery. You may be able to add some popcorn back into your diet after you have healed following your bariatric sleeve surgery, but we suggest you take it easy.

Fried Food

Fried foods tend to be high in fat and sodium – even if you’re eating a fried veggie like zucchini sticks. Not only will this work against your weight loss efforts, but greasy fried food can be hard to digest and can cause digestive issues after gastric sleeve surgery.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is still fruit and that is the good news. However, during the process of dehydrating the fruit, the water content is lost and the volume of the fruit is reduced substantially. For example, most people would struggle to eat 10 whole fresh apricots but could easily eat 10 dried apricots. The reason is the water content in the fresh fruit would fill you up and slow down your eating. One cup of dried apricots has over 300 calories, and almost 70 grams of sugar.


While we’ve given you some foods we recommend avoiding after receiving a weight loss surgery sleeve, these are also great foods to examine if you are trying to lose weight with diet and exercise alone.

Losing weight – even with weight loss surgery – is a lot of work. We are here for you if you have any questions about our procedures, what life is like after weight loss surgery, or how our procedures can help you realize your weight loss goals. Please call or text us now at (855) 690-0565. One of our expert team will be available to help you with any questions you may have.

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