We have covered the first two stages relating to food and weight loss surgery. Today, we are talking about the next stage, the soft food stage. According to the Weight and Wellness Program here in Maine, this stage happens beginning at week 3 after surgery and goes until week six. During this soft food stage, you may increase your volume of food to around 1/4 cup per meal. Remember, as with the other stages, this may or may not match what your weight loss surgery program says to follow. Consider this a guideline and be sure to talk with your own doctor(s) about the best plan for you.
Related: What can I eat? 4 WLS stages…
If you are anything like me, you are ready by week 3 to begin adding more food choices back into your diet. You may still eat everything that you did in the pureed stage, but by now your newborn baby belly can handle more (not necessarily in volume, but in regard to different foods). Let’s see what’s good to eat around here.
What Can I Eat? The Soft Food Stage
- Cheese (low fat, block) – cheddar, swiss, etc. – this was a game changer for me at 3 weeks; love me some cheese. Cube a bunch at a time and weigh out 1/4 cup portions to keep for grabbing quickly when you need a healthy snack.
- Yogurt – non-fat and low sugar – greek yogurt is on the list, too – just watch your sugar in this soft food stage.
- Cottage cheese – I used to love it before surgery. And I am pretty sure I still do, though I actually haven’t had any in the 4+ months (see those stats with before and after pics, here) since surgery. Just make sure if you do have cottage cheese, that it is low in fat.
- Soft-boiled eggs – I love some yummy eggs but was not that thrilled with soft-boiled ones. If you eat them right away, maybe they are okay. I boiled a bunch and it was not a pleasant experience later on to try and peel and eat them. I’ve since moved on to omelets and scrambled, every now and then (16+ weeks out).
- Chicken in a pouch – never have been a fan of chicken this way. I don’t think I hate it, just not my go-to.
- Tuna and other fish in a pouch – this was a nice addition for me during the soft food stage.
- Turkey deli meat – make sure you chew thoroughly before swallowing, but oh, so good.
- Soft and/or cooked veggies – another pretty major game changer here. I love some good oven roasted vegetables and really enjoyed adding those back into my diet. I’ll share just how I cook those yummy things, soon.
More tips for this soft food stage:
- Stay away from red meats, breads, pastas, and raw fruits and vegetables, yet.
- Don’t force yourself to finish a meal.
- Eat slowly, but don’t graze (anything taking you 30+ minutes to eat can lead to grazing).
- If you are having trouble getting all of your protein in (60-70 at this stage, per our Weight and Wellness Program, here), you may still supplement with protein shakes. (Here’s one with 51 grams of protein – 2-4 servings.)
I know at this soft food stage that it may seem like forever until you are eating “real food”. But you must take it slow to ensure your new belly is adjusting well. And if you embrace this stage, you’ll be through it in no time and on to more food choices at twice the volume per meal. It is my opinion that you don’t want to rush this stage (or any others). Better to take it slow and do it right – your weight loss success and overall health depend on it.
For your health and mine,
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