You might think that once you get bariatric surgery, all your problems will go away…

After all, you made the decision to spend a bunch of money so someone could fix you, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. 

We live in a magic pill culture, where people think that you’ll instantly get your money’s worth, right here, right now. 

The thing to understand about surgery is that it’s a stepping stone

Sometimes it’s not enough to do the right thing consistently over time, and you have to take drastic action to kickstart the process.

Think of it as like a surgery for a sports injury. Sure, you need to do the physiotherapy to recover, but it won’t do anything if you haven’t set your body back in the right place. 

But by the same token, you can’t exercise like an Olympian right after you leave the hospital! You’ll just end up back at square one. 

And it’s exactly the same with weight-loss surgery. It’s incredibly beneficial, but you need to follow through with the correct procedures.

You need to manage your hunger levels, follow a good diet and exercise.

But there are other, less obvious things you need to consider.

And that’s your digestive health. 

In particular, I’m talking about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD. You may know it as heartburn, where you feel as though your stomach acid has gone up into your throat.

It’s a common condition–one in five of us Americans suffer from it. 

People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from GERD, and if you’ve made the decision to get healthy, you’ll want to tame this beast too. Here’s how to do it…

Foods that can worsen GERD

There are things that can trigger GERD that aren’t food-based, like smoking, but I don’t need to tell you that smoking is a bad idea. 

Rather, which foods trigger GERD is more complicated, so let’s go through the foods you definitely want to avoid as you lose weight. 

I’m a big fan of a fat-based diet, but it is true that certain high-fat foods can make GERD worse. This mainly pertains to saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, which means most meats and oils.

Moreover, high amounts of salt can trigger GERD, and it’s not exactly great for your general health either…

Milk and cheese are also culprits, as they’re high in saturated fat, and a lot of people don’t digest cow’s milk particularly well.

While chocolate, mint, and fizzy and acidic drinks have a looser connection, most people find these foods trigger GERD too.  

Foods that can help with GERD

For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. While Isaac Newton probably didn’t have digestive health in mind when he said this, there are just as many foods that can have a positive effect on GERD.

For instance, you can still get your protein from meats with low cholesterol such as fish and lean chicken cuts. 

And while I don’t usually recommend them, beans, almonds and legumes are an option. 

As always, green vegetables come out on top. Fruits and whole grains also make the list, as they’re full of vitamin C, fiber, magnesium and potassium. 

But, if you’re serious about losing weight, you’ll want to avoid most fruits and whole grains as they’re heavy on the carbs. Luckily, keto options such as berries and avocados can supply those minerals.

Other ways to treat GERD

It’s not just foods which help with GERD, there are certain things you can take that are very good at settling your stomach.

The first is the good old medicine known as antacids. They come in a variety of classes. Gaviscon is known as a raft-forming alginate, which forms a floating barrier between your stomach acid and your esophagus.

If you have seriously bad GERD, you can get proton-pump inhibitors or H2-receptor blockers OTC or via prescription.

If you’re looking for more natural remedies, ginger is always a good call for all-things stomach-related. Slice some up and stick it in a mug of hot water with some lemon and relax!

You can also get more pre and probiotics into your diet. These are good for your overall digestive health and will keep your stomach calm. 

Sauerkraut, avocado, pickles, kefir, onions, garlic, leeks and Jerusalem artichokes are all good options that aren’t heavy on the carbs.


When you get bariatric surgery, you won’t get a quick fix. It’s just the start of your weight-loss journey, and it’s vital you take it seriously.

For the surgery to work for you, you need to respect your body. That doesn’t just come from eating clean, it also means you need to look after your digestive health. Luckily, GERD is pretty easy to treat, it’s just about being smart about how you eat!