Stomachless Lifestyle

Gastrectomy Surgery: The Foods I Ate In The Three Weeks After Surgery

Gastrectomy surgery requires a delicate diet in the days following the surgery. Without a stomach, it is more difficult to digest certain foods. Plus, you will need to eat smaller meals. Therefore, to get enough calories, you will need to eat more frequently than before.

Accordingly, you should focus on eating soft foods, like pasta, cheese, olive oil, yogurt, peanut butter, protein cookies, and the like. Also, make sure your foods are calorie dense. Meaning, eat foods that are low volume but high calories. Plus, those foods should be low or no added sugar. This helps avoid dumping syndrome.

Eventually, you will be able to eat foods that are more difficult to digest, like steak, tuna, and chicken salad. Also, you will build a tolerance to added sugars, caffeine, and other substances.

However, in the early days, you should focus on foods that are safe, meaning soft, calorie-dense, low sugar, and bland. For the first few weeks following my surgery, I found 5-10 foods that I knew were safe and stocked my kitchen with them. They helped me get calories. That was one of my main goals. To get roughly 2000 calories each day.

How do you live without a stomach? My eating guidelines.

With my kitchen stocked with safe foods, I did not have to think too much about what I was going to eat. Plus,

  • I knew these foods were easy for me to digest and not going to cause dumping syndrome.
  • I had enough variety that I could always find something that sounded good enough.
  • I could focus on learning about my new gut rather than being distracted by food decisions or food mistakes.

Hence, I was able to focus on feeling good rather than struggling to eat and maintain my weight. Here is a list of the foods I stocked my kitchen with for the first three weeks following my total gastrectomy surgery.


My list of foods to eat following gastrectomy surgery


Low-Sugar Yogurt

80 calories. 4g sugar. 15g protein. Healthy gut bacteria. Very easy to digest because it is soft. This yogurt is great to eat plain. But because of its low calorie count, you can eat it with banana, peanut butter, granola, or protein bars to help increase the calorie count. I ate this either between bigger snacks or as part of my bigger snack.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Protein cookies

250 calories. 0g sugar. 15g protein, 17g Fat. It looks like a real cookie. But they have no sugar and are packed with protein and calories. Easy to digest and not huge. This is a great way to take in calories without the sugar. Also, you won’t feel too full after. I usually ate this between bigger snacks to help bridge the gap between.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Peanut butter

210 calories. 4g sugar. 7g protein. 17g fat. This is one of my favorite snacks. Peanut butter is very calorie dense. Lots of calories in minimal volume. It means you can eat a lot before getting full. Also, this peanut butter is relatively low sugar. Plus, it has healthy fats and protein. I love eating peanut butter with yogurt, bananas, chocolate, or granola to help increase the calorie count without increasing the volume too much. Peanut butter is so easy to digest because it is soft.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Low-sugar protein drinks

100 calories. 0g sugar. 17g protein. This is a great way to start the day. Most mornings, I am not hungry. Usually, I consume about half of my calories after 5pm. Low-sugar protein drinks help me take in calories while my gut is still waking up. They are easy on the digestive system and help keep me hydrated.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Olive oil

2 tablespoons is 240 calories. 0g sugar. 0g protein. 28g fat. Olive oil tastes great with noodles and bread. For instance, one serving of noodles is 200 calories. Adding two tablespoons of olive oil increases the total calories to 440. Plus, it is easy on your gut because it is liquid and therefore does not feel heavy on your digestive tract. Also, olive oil has lots of healthy fats. Sometimes, I eat olive oil all by itself just for the calories.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Noodles

200 calories. 2g sugar. 6g protein. Noodles are easy to eat because they are soft. Plus, they help hydrate you because of their water content. One serving is enough to fill you up. If you eat slowly and chew thoroughly, you should be able to eat at least one serving. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to increase the total calorie count to 440 calories. I add salt and pepper for flavor. This is a great mid-day or evening snack.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Mashed potatoes

150 calories. 1g sugar. 2g protein. Mashed potatoes are a good small snack by itself. However, if you are looking for more calories, it is also good as one component in a bigger dish. Add a serving of shredded cheese to increase the calories to 300. Add two servings of olive oil to increase the calories to 400. Add two eggs to increase the calories to 270. Mashed potatoes are easy to digest because they are soft.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Cottage cheese

120 calories. 4g sugar. 14g protein. 5g fat. Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and calories. Plus, it is gentle on your digestive tract. I like adding Worcestershire sauce and pepper on it. To add calories, eat it with crackers, bread, or fruit. It is a good mid-day snack because it is medium in volume relative to its calorie count. By mid-day, your gut should have warmed up a bit and is ready for larger volumes.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Cheese wheels

70 calories. 0g sugar. 4g protein. 6g fat. Cheese wheels are great when you need calories between meals or as part of a bigger snack. I used to try to eat three in one sitting. Three wheels is 210 calories and 12g protein. Plus, when I had no appetite, the cheese wheels were small enough that eating one felt achievable. You can also add calories by eating them with crackers, fruit, or vegetable juice.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Ritz crackers

200 calories. 5g sugar. 2g protein. 12 fat. Ritz crackers are easy to digest because they are easy to swallow and light on your digestive tract. At 200 calories, they serve as a great snack throughout the day. To increase the calorie count, eat them with peanut butter or yogurt.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Vegetable juice

60 calories. 10g sugars (natural). 3g protein. Vegetable juice is low calories but a good way to get servings of vegetables and round out your diet slightly. Also, it is a good way to pad other foods with additional calories. You can drink it with crackers, cottage cheese, noodles, and more. When you don’t feel like eating but need calories, vegetable juice might be a good option.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Mac ‘n cheese

230 calories. 6g sugar. 8g protein. 4g fat. Mac ‘n cheese is a classic. It is easy to chew and swallow. Plus, it is light on your digestive tract. It won’t make you feel heavy. To increase the calorie count, add shredded cheese (1 serving is 110 calories), olive oil (1 tablespoon is 120 calories), or bread (one piece is around 100 calories). Mac ‘n cheese is a great evening meal. I eat it after my gut is warmed up for the day.

gastrectomy-surgery
gastrectomy-surgery

Butter

100 calories. 0g sugar. 0g protein. 11g fat. Butter is an easy way to add calories to your food. Butter adds flavor, too. Like olive oil, one serving of butter is about 100 calories. Therefore, it can significantly increase the calorie count of your snack. Add it to noodles, mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, and bread.

gastrectomy-surger
gastrectomy-surgery

Want to know what I eat now? Everything. But here are the foods that are my go-to foods for calories and safe eating.

Use the above list of foods as guidelines. Obviously, you should find foods and an eating routine that works best for you. However, knowing what worked for me may help guide you in finding an approach to eating after gastrectomy surgery that works for you.

Looking for tips on how to control your portion size? And other eating strategies? Watch this video and use its tips to design your own eating strategies.

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cdh1gene

CDH1 mutation carrier. Thriving without a stomach since June 1, 2018. Although I do not have a medical degree, I have been researching, writing about, and orally explaining complicated medical and biotechnology issues since 2005. I excel at understanding and organizing complicated technical issues and explaining them in simple terms. I hope you benefit from my work on CDH1 mutations and total gastrectomies. Visit www.jonegrossman.com for information about patents, trademarks, and starting an online business. Visit www.yogainthewind.com for articles about yoga and healthy eating.

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