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Phase 3: Adaptive or Soft Food Diet for Post-Bariatric Surgery Patients

During this phase after bariatric surgery, you will transition to more solid foods. This may include soft meat, fish, chicken, cereals, cooked vegetables, and canned and fresh fruits.

During the adaptive or soft food diet, continue to:

  • Incorporate high protein foods into your diet and consume them first at meals.
    • Women: 50–60 grams of protein
    • Men: 60–70 grams of protein
  • Take your chewable vitamin supplement with minerals.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, 48–64 ounces (six to eight, 8-ounce cups) per day.

Post-Bariatric Surgery Meal Plan for Phase 3: Adaptive/Soft Foods Diet

  • Consume three small meals each day.
  • Add a variety of low fat, low calorie starches, fruits, and vegetables to your diet, as tolerated.
  • Avoid skins and seeds on fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid breads.
  • Chew foods thoroughly.
  • Stop eating whenever you feel full.
  • Continue using protein supplements after each meal to meet your daily protein requirements.
  • Liquids between meals
    • Wait at least 30 minutes after each meal. Then consume an 8 ounce protein supplement or shake, followed by 16 ounces of sugar free, clear liquids.
    • Try to spread fluids out over a three-hour period.
    • Stop drinking at least 30 minutes before mealtime.

In addition to the foods listed on the pureed diet, begin introducing the following foods to your diet.

Suggested Food Ideas for Phase 3: Adaptive or Soft Food Diet

Protein Sources

  • All varieties of fish and shellfish
  • Turkey breast or chicken breast (chopped, white meat)
  • Low fat deli lunchmeats
  • Sliced or grated low fat cheese (5 grams of fat or less)
  • Hard boiled or poached eggs
  • Soups (dilute with skim milk or add finely minced meats)


  • Hot cereals
  • Unsweetened cereals softened in skim milk
  • Baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, or yams
  • Boiled pasta, noodles, or white rice


  • Canned fruit (in own juices or water packed)
  • Soft, fresh fruit without skins (apples, pears, peaches)
  • Bananas
  • Cooked or canned vegetables
  • Avoid raw, fibrous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Avoid skins and seeds.

Sample Menu for Phase 3: Adaptive or Soft Food Diet

Eat the protein portion of your meal first, and don't forget your liquids between meals (about 30 minutes after each meal).


  • Protein: ¼ cup scrambled eggs or egg substitute
  • Starch: ¼ cup hot cereal
  • Fruit: ¼ cup canned peaches in own juice
  • Fat: 1 teaspoon margarine


  • Protein: ¼ cup (1 ounce) deli sliced turkey breast
  • Starch: ¼ cup mashed potatoes
  • Fruit/vegetable: ¼ cup pears or mixed fruit in own juice or light
  • Fat: 1 teaspoon margarine


  • Protein: ¼ cup (1 ounce) white fish (no breading)
  • Starch: ¼ cup sweet potato
  • Vegetable: ¼ cup cooked green beans
  • Fat: 1 teaspoon margarine

Suggested Recipes

View Phase 3: Adaptive or Soft Food Diet suggested recipes for post-bariatric surgery.

Tips and Ideas for Staying Hydrated

  • Sip all fluids slowly to prevent nausea and vomiting
  • Carry a water bottle with you everywhere
  • Other liquids to help maintain hydration include decaffeinated coffee and tea, broth, and sugar free fruit juices and other beverages with artificial sweeteners


Your bariatric surgeon will advise you when to advance to the next phase of your diet.