Information for patients
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From this point forward, try to aim for a healthy, well balanced diet and lifestyle.
Your balloon will need to be removed after either 6 or 12 months. It is important to use this time to establish a well-balanced diet and regular activity to help maintain your weight loss after the balloon is taken out.
This will also improve your nutritional and physical health for the surgical procedure you may go on to have. Having the balloon will not guarantee weight loss. You are advised to work with it as a tool just as you would with a surgical operation.
What should I eat after having a gastric balloon?
After the balloon is put in, you should take sips of fluid. You should stay on fluids for the first 2 to 3 days. It is important that you drink enough fluids; 2 litres is recommended. Try to sip these fluids slowly while you adjust to having the balloon in. Start with about 100ml and work up to about 200ml at any one time.
What should I eat and drink during Day 1 to 3?
Try to have:
Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk (1 pint daily)
Milkshakes made with fruit and semi-skimmed milk
Soup without lumps
Water and diluted fruit juices (half water, half fruit juice), low calorie squash and flavoured water
Weak tea or coffee and herbal teas.
Try to avoid:
Full fat milk and cream
Energy supplements, unless advised by your dietician (a healthcare professional who specialises in giving people advice abut the food they should eat)
Carbonated beverages e.g. cola, lemonade.
During the first few days, your nutritional intake is likely to be very low. Therefore, you should try to drink at least 1 pint of semi-skimmed milk daily. This will help to make sure you take some calories and protein to maintain your health.
Tip: if you do not like milk, try making fruit smoothies with soft fruits like bananas, strawberries and peaches and add some natural fruit juice. Ask your Dietitian for some further ideas and recipes.
What should I eat and drink during Day 3 to 10?
Over the following week (Day 3 to 10), you should be able to build up the textures (feel and look) of food in your diet. Start with very soft foods that can be blended or mashed, and then introduced more solid textures.
How quickly you progress will depend on how well you can tolerate (cope with) that texture. Soft foods will help your stomach adjust to the new balloon.
Choose a light diet and avoid foods high in fat or those that can cause irritation. It is likely that you will only be able to tolerate very small amounts.
Different people are usually able to manage slightly different amounts however, do not be alarmed if you can only manage 1 to 2 tablespoons; this is normal.
Try to have:
Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk (half pint daily)
Water and diluted fruit juices (half water, half fruit juice), low calorie squash
Tea or coffee and herbal teas
Fish and fish-based dishes e.g. fish pie
Minced meat based dishes e.g. shepherd’s pie or bolognese
Jacket potatoes without skins
Egg-based meals e.g. scrambled eggs, omelette
Porridge / cereal soaked in milk
Smooth low fat / diet / light yoghurts
Stewed fruits / soft fruit without skins and soft vegetables without skins
Try to avoid:
Full fat milk and cream
Rich, fatty foods such as pastry, pies, cheese, cream, fried foods and takeaways
Strongly flavoured or spiced foods
High sugar cereal
Fruits with seeds and tough skins
Hard fruits and vegetables
Sample meal plan for Day 3 to 10
Breakfast: 2 tablespoons pureed porridge / instant oat cereal made with 200ml milk
Snack: 125g smooth low fat yoghurt and 1 tablespoon stewed fruit
Light meal: Scrambled egg made from 1 egg and 3 tablespoons of pureed baked beans
Snack: 100ml diluted fruit juice
Main meal: 25g minced beef, gravy, 1 to 2 tablespoons pureed potato / instant mash and 1 to 2 tablespoons pureed carrot and swede
Supper: Low calorie hot chocolate made with 200ml milk.
How should I eat?
To help reduce the likelihood of pain, discomfort, nausea or vomiting, try to:
- Eat slowly and take your time when you are eating
- Chew your food well
- Stop as soon as you feel full
- Avoid lying down after eating
- Avoid taking in air when you eat and drink. You can do this by slowing down, try not to gulp and avoid talking while eating
- Avoid fizzy/carbonated drinks; they can cause bloating and discomfort
- Keep eating and drinking separate. Aim to leave a gap of roughly 30 minutes before and after meals
- Keep to small portions
- Avoid tough and fibrous food
- Use 20:20:20 principle as a guide. Try to chew food 20 times before swallowing, wait 20 seconds before taking your next mouthful and try to stop eating after 20 minutes.
After 7 to 10 days, you should find that your stomach has settled and your tolerance of foods increases. Aim to eat a balanced, varied and healthy diet to help you stay well. Try to get into the habit of eating small meals in a regular pattern.
Helpful healthy eating tips
These following tips can help you achieve a healthful diet.
- Use a tea plate to serve food to help limit your portions
- Eat regularly; at least three meals per day. This can help to maintain your energy levels throughout the day
- Eat solid foods; soft/liquid foods may not fill you up
- Include one portion (one fist size) of starchy carbohydrate, such as bread, cereal, chapatti, pasta, rice, potato, or yam with each meal. Try to choose high fibre options such as wholemeal bread or wholegrain cereals where possible. These foods provide you with energy, but are also a good source of B vitamins, calcium, iron and fibre
- Limit high fat and high sugar foods and snacks. These provide excess calories with little nutritional value, for example, chocolate, ice cream, cakes, biscuits, sweets, crisps, pastry products, sugary drinks; sugar added to drinks, sugar coated cereals.
- Aim to drink at least 2 litres of fluid each day. This will help you to stay hydrated
- Keep a food diary if you want to monitor your eating habits.
Do I need to take an A to Z multivitamin and mineral supplement?
You should be able to follow a healthy balanced diet in order to stay well.
If you are struggling, however, it may be helpful to take an A – Z multi vitamin and mineral supplement to help you get what your body needs during this time.
If you need further help or dietary advice, please contact the dietitians via:
Specialist Services Admin Hub
Telephone: 01429 522471
Opening hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm (Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays)
If you have any general queries about your bariatric surgery, you can contact:
Specialist Bariatric Nurse
If your call is not answered, you have the option to leave a voicemail message.
Telephone: 01642 624601
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
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Email: [email protected]
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Telephone: 01642 617617
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Telephone: 01642 383551
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This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1075
Date for review: 9 November 2025