Undergoing gastric bypass surgery for weight loss is a big decision. In many ways having gastric sleeve surgery makes managing your weight loss program easier, however the patient needs to be willing to follow the gastric sleeve diet for the rest of their life, and many discover that life post gastric isn't always easy.

Long before it is time to head into surgery it is important to start putting into practice some of the habits that will need to become second nature as part of the gastric sleeve diet.

 A nutritionally sound diet is necessary in order to properly prepare for your future bypass diet, but in addition to this there are also general guidelines to follow. Some of these diet guidelines include drinking the equivalent of eight cups of water a day, or 64 ounces.

You should drink your water between meals, rather than with meals to get used to the time post gastric sleeve surgery where foods and liquids will be competing for valuable stomach space. Eating three meals a day, and always including breakfast is also an important part of preparing for the gastric bypass diet.

These meals should be eaten slowly, and will need to be chewed more than you are likely used to. It's recommended that someone on the gastric sleeve diet chew each bite between 20 and 40 times in order to get it to a paste consistency.

There are most likely many types of beverages you will need to live without.

Sugared beverages, alcohol,caffeine and carbonated beverages are all things you should begin to wean out of your life. Fatty and fried foods should also be avoided in favor of low fat choices, and more meals should be eaten at home using healthy recipes.

Fruits and vegetables also need to play a stronger role in the gastric sleeve diet, and exercise should become a regular part of your life. Preparing vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as protein supplements is also important. With the food and caloric restrictions of the bypass diet these will be necessary additions you'll need to keep up your strength and energy.

 While making all these changes in order to prepare for putting the gastric sleeve diet into practice full time will make the transition easier, there will still likely be challenges, especially in the first few months after weight loss surgery.

These challenges begin the first day or two after surgery when you will need to follow a clear liquid diet. Some examples of allowed foods include caffeine-free tea, sugar-free popsicles, and diluted apple juice. Anything acidic, such as coffee or citrus juices needs to be avoided.

After a few days, low fat milk, sugar-free yogurt without fruit pieces, and protein powder can be added.

A few weeks in, more "normal" food can be introduced, albeit in a pureed form. Eating like a baby is a good general rule to have until you are eight weeks into the gastric sleeve diet. Pureed poultry moistened with broth, cottage cheese, soft vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash are all good staples as you are relearning how to relate to food and fueling your weight loss success. Around nine weeks in non-pureed foods, such as boiled eggs, tuna, and canned fruit can be added.

Some foods that take longer to tolerate post gastric sleeve surgery include red meat, such as roast beef or steak because it has a lot of muscle fiber. Bread, rice, and pasta are also difficult as well as dried fruits and nuts, raw vegetables, and citrus fruits.

The gastric sleeve diet is far from easy to follow, as the rules involved make it a drastic lifestyle change for most people, rather than just a diet.

But it doesn't change the fact that many formerly obese people owe their lives to bypass surgery and the changes they made post gastric bypass. Those who need to experience dramatic weight loss need a dramatic change, and the gastric sleeve diet might be the solution you need.