The solid food stage – the fourth and final stage in your bariatric weight loss journey. Perhaps the most favorite stage, as you are through all the other stages and can now begin to add foods back in that are more pleasing and of a greater variety than all the other food stages combined. This solid food stage can be a fabulous reward for all the hard work you have put in so far. And though we have to be careful (in not rewarding ourselves with food), we can celebrate our steps into normal eating once more.
Related: What can I eat – the 4 food stages
If you have been considering your new belly as growing from newborn to adult, it is at this solid food stage that you are able to eat much more food (not all in one sitting, of course) and with so many more choices, feel good about fueling your body with tasty, healthy foodstuffs. Our program here in Maine, recommends that you begin this solid food stage at week 7 after weight loss surgery.
So. What can you eat in the solid food stage? Let’s find out…
What Can I Eat? The Solid Food Stage
- All lean meats – beef, ground beef, turkey, and chicken
- Fish (most kinds – lobster, shrimp, salmon, etc.)
- Veggies (cooked.)
Adding these foods to your diet, along with all foods from your previous food stages, gives you endless ideas for what to make, for you and the whole family. It is best to get them all on board with a healthier lifestyle, especially regarding food.
Our Weight and Wellness Program does recommend waiting until about week 12 to add in raw fruits and vegetables. It was a happy HAPPY day when I ate my first little salad, 3 months out. Being able to have some good crunch in my diet has helped keep the munching things I’m not supposed to, far from sight. Our program also recommends not adding any starches (potatoes, rice, bread, etc.) back into your diet until you are at least 6 months out from weight loss surgery.
Personally? I am perfectly fine ignoring most of those foods that have all those pesky carbs in them. I don’t want to expand my belly and I don’t need the extra sugar. I do know some weight loss programs allow mashed potatoes during the smooth food stage. I just can’t imagine putting all those carbs in my body at such a critical stage. Remember, I said this was personal choice. You must make your own smart and sensible choices regarding this solid food stage and those that came before it.
At this stage, you should be able to consume around 1/2 cup of food (volume) per meal. Keep in mind that half that (1/4 cup) should be protein based. You still need at least 60-70 grams of protein daily – often more of the right kinds of protein – if you are burning fuel, you must replenish, and protein is the perfect source for that.
8 Foods to Avoid at This Stage and Beyond
- Anything with added sugar
- Grilled or fried foods
- Fruit skins and/or stringy veggies
- Sticky foods (gum, corn, etc.)
- Cream soups/sauces
- Dry or stringy poultry
- Tough meats (steak, pork chops)
As you progress to this stage and through it, you will find what you are able to tolerate and you may discover many foods that certainly aren’t new, but with your new lifestyle yummy foods that you enjoy much more than you did before WLS. I know that my taste buds have changed since surgery and for the good of my whole body healthy. I have embraced those changes and (for the most part) don’t miss anything I know I shouldn’t be eating any old way. Especially given all the delicious choices you have for this solid food stage and beyond.
Related: 44+ Easy Bariatric Meals for you!
Congrats. You have made it through the most difficult food parts of your new life and are able now to enjoy many of the foods you did before surgery. Keep in mind that volume per meal matters and taking it slow (adding new foods carefully) is essential for your overall weight loss success.
For your health and mine,
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Tis the season for slow cooker recipes and we have gathered up some good ones for you. Enjoy!
…and we also rounded up some seriously YUM cauliflower recipes for you to try, too!