Help! I Need to Do a Pouch Reset.

Steph Wagner MS, RDN

February 1, 2024

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Ask Steph – I want to do a pouch reset diet

Updated February 2024

What are the options for a post-op reset diet plan after bariatric surgery?

This blog is in response to an email I received. I knew she wasn’t alone in this question so I wanted to share my response for all to see.

Can you tell me where to find more info on Post-op diet…I want to do the “reset”

Great question! Let’s dig in deeper.

History of the bariatric pouch reset or pouch test

A “pouch reset” diet does have some backstory that is worth talking about.

Around 2007 a post-op Gastric Bypass patient created a “pouch reset” or sometimes called a “pouch test” diet to shrink her pouch back to its early post-op size. She turned it into a 5 day diet and marketed it to post-op patients.

The important thing to know:  there is no scientific evidence that the pouch shrinks back to early post-op size. 

Early after surgery there is inflammation and the further you get out, portion sizes DO increase. We also want them to because we can get more quality nutrition in you again.

One thing I would like to make clear is that a pouch reset or pouch test is not necessary for a post-op patient to get back on track. 


Different spins and styles of a bariatric pouch reset diet

Since the 2007 creation of a pouch reset, there have been several spin of versions of “reset” type of diets. Remember, the name is misleading. There is not reseting really. You’re changing your food intake but not your stomach anatomy.

The main goal, whichever direction you take, is to get back to structured meals focused on protein and limiting starches (bread/pasta/rice) and sweets.

Some patients prefer to do the “Pouch Reset” type of diet which is traditionally a 5 day routine starting with 2 days of protein shakes, 2 days of really soft protein foods like scrambled eggs and then back to solid protein.

There are several variations to reset diets, but this is often what patients refer to.

Patients who are not interested in going back to protein shakes might make this a NO SHAKE reset plan by substituting 2 ounces of protein instead of a protein shake. Read more about a no shake plan here

Bariatric Surgery Reset Diet Plan Sample Day


Other pouch reset diets are longer on shakes such as two weeks. I’ve had patients do a pattern of 3 shakes and 2 protein bars per day and did a small frequent eating pattern for two weeks. (I would not say that I advocate for this one but mentioning it as something that some use.)



I have other patients that cannot stand shakes and they make a clear meal plan focusing on protein and vegetables. Truth be told, this is my personal favorite. Getting back to meal planning, focusing on food based protein and vegetables and filling up on quality food.


No matter which “style” the first 5 days of of significant diet changes are the hardest. 

If you’ve been eating a high amount of starches and sweets, then go back to lean protein and veggies with more limited starchy foods prepare to feel the change. You may feel tired, hungry, headaches and cravings.

That is part of the experience of moving the body into using different fuel, so even if you have to eat some low fat cheese or shaved lunch meat to control hunger and stay the course, it’s okay because at the end of the week your hunger comes way down and you feel back in control again.

It’s all about what you do next.

Whichever way you go, the biggest key of all is transitioning off any more short term “reset” and on to a healthy post-op daily plan.

Three meals per day, protein and vegetables and water in between meals. Protein based snacks if needed for true hunger. This is really where the results pay off, the consistency in the long run.

Before starting a reset diet, I always encourage patients to think of it as a mental reset more than anything. It’s like hitting the reset button to clear out the mind and home of the habits that have crept back in.


I would even go as far as to say don’t weigh during a reset and focus more on clearing out the mind and the cravings.

I do have a “Back on Track” video course for members to my website. The first lesson of all my video courses are free! Joining as a member unlocks all of the lessons, and one in particular covers the different approaches to reset diet and includes some meal plans and shopping lists.

Get back on track with the After the Honeymoon Course and Community!

If you’re more than a year out of surgery and wonder if it’s too late for you – let me be the one to say…NO! It’s not!

Find out more about my After the Honeymoon course inside Premier Access Membership. Join hundreds of patients that have lost regained weight and maintaining it together!


After the Honeymoon: Video Course by Steph Wagner MS RDN Bariatric Dietitian on how to manage regain weight after bariatric surgery

7 thoughts on “Help! I Need to Do a Pouch Reset.”

  1. Hi, so I started to watch the reset videos. When ibviewes them again the didnt show they were completed. Am I doing something wrong? Is there something different o need to do to make them competed courses?

    Thanks ,,

  2. @Lisa I hope I am following your question correctly. When you are in a video course on the main “course” page you will click the button that says “Start Taking this Course.” Then you click on a lesson to view. When you feel you’ve completed the lesson you click on “Complete Lesson” and it will automatically take you to the next lesson. Click these buttons will move the progress bar to show where you are and what’s been completed.

    If you have further questions please let me know!

  3. I recently had my yearly labwork at Weightwise. My cholesterol was high at 211. I need help combining my bariatric diet and a low fat diet please. Thank you!!

  4. @Janell Dial Did you meet with a dietitian while you were there? Focusing on lean meats and avoiding processed foods are the biggest keys to keeping the bariatric diet low in saturated fats. Unfortunately, cholesterol is highly genetics so you do want to focus on lifestyle choices like watching fats and getting in exercise but sometimes it does need to be paired with cholesterol lowering medication!

  5. Just following up Lisa that we moved to email and should be all set! Let me know if you need anything else.

  6. I noticed on your Amazon list you had sipping broths. Only one flavor appealed to me lol. Do you have other brands you’d recommend? I enjoy reading your emails as they’re very informative.

  7. I’m don’t have other specific brands. I like that brand for having a tea bag type of option but there isn’t anything specific about that broth that’s better than another. You could also infuse broths with your own flavors and then keep them in a mason jar or frozen to heat when you’d like. Here are a couple of recipes to show what I mean: Aromatics Infused Chicken Broth Peppercorn Chicken Broth

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