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Phase 4: Stabilization Diet for Post-Bariatric Surgery Patients

During this phase, or stage, after your bariatric surgery, you will be able to eat foods of a regular consistency. This does not mean, however, that you can go back to your old eating habits and patterns.

Key Goals of Phase 4: Stabilization Diet

  • Eat three, well balanced, meals each day with calorie free fluids between meals.
  • Avoid empty calories. Since you will only be able to tolerate limited amounts of food at a time, it's very important to eat nutrient-dense foods.
  • Avoid foods high in sugar or fat that do not contain protein, vitamins, or minerals.
  • Continue taking your vitamin supplement with minerals, since your meals won’t be large enough to meet your daily requirements through food alone.

Meal Plan for Bariatric Surgery Patients in Phase 4: Stabilization Diet

  • Consume three balanced meals each day containing nutrient-rich foods, such as:
    • lean meat, poultry, pork, and fish
    • low fat dairy products
    • low fat starches and whole grains
    • vegetables and fruits
  • These foods contain the energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs.
  • If you can't tolerate the amount of food at one meal, you may have to consume six smaller meals each day.
  • Stop eating whenever you feel full.
  • Protein — You should be able to meet your protein needs through foods. If not, you may need to supplement with protein shakes between meals.
    • Women: 50–60 grams of protein
    • Men: 60–70 grams of protein
      Gastric Bypass Patients: To meet protein needs, you may have to consume a low calorie protein food between meals.
  • 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.

Sample Menu Plan for Phase 4: Stabilization Diet

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


  • Protein: 1 egg or ¼ cup egg substitute
  • Starch: ½ cup hot cereal
  • Fruit: ½ banana
  • Fat: 1 teaspoon margarine

Gastric Bypass Patients: Add 6 ounce light yogurt


  • Protein: 2 ounces low fat turkey breast
  • Starch: ½ cup mashed potatoes
  • Vegetable: 1 cup salad
  • Fruit: 1 small orange
  • Fat: 2 tablespoons light dressing

Gastric Bypass Patients: Add 1 reduced fat string cheese


  • Protein: 2–3 ounces baked fish
  • Starch: ½ cup cooked rice
  • Vegetable: ½ cup cooked spinach
  • Fruit: ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • Fat: 1 teaspoon margarine

Gastric Bypass Patients: Add ½ cup low fat cottage cheese

Suggested Recipes

View Phase 4: Stabilization Diet suggested recipes for post-bariatric surgery.


Return to the overview of your diet after bariatric surgery.