Diet & exercise

Learn to choose the right foods
to keep enjoying what you eat


You can carry on enjoying your food however, as with everyone, regardless of whether they have a stoma or not, you can react differently to certain foods.

For you, the best option is to have a varied diet where all food groups are eaten in moderation to aid recovery and general good health. After your surgery eating a varied diet will help you to find out which foods may cause an upset or ‘windy’ stoma and when to avoid eating them.

Food management after surgery

After surgery, a healthy diet is important to help healing and for you to regain any weight that you may have lost. However, while recovering, you may not have a great appetite so the following tips may help:

  • Eat small, frequent meals (5-6 daily)
  • Chew food thoroughly to aid digestion
  • Reintroduce your favourite foods slowly
  • Meat and dairy products are rich in protein so are recommended for healing

Daily food management

After your initial recovery period you may have regained your appetite and be ready to eat a varied diet. These tips are good to keep in mind:

  • Eat 3-4 meals daily, at regular times
  • Eat a varied diet, spread across all food groups
  • Drink plenty of fluids. It is advisable to drink around 2 litres of fluid a day to keep hydrated
  • Try to avoid eating late at night as this can make your pouch fill up quickly and interrupt your sleep to empty it


Following surgery the thought of exercise may be the last thing on your mind, however, exercise can aid recovery and help you feel better, quicker. However, it is important to start off slowly.

Walking is an excellent gentle exercise that you can do everyday with friends, family or alone. Gradually increase the distance and pace as you get stronger and fitter. Once you are ready, brisk walking is a great way to stay fit.

If you need them, abdominal support garments can give extra support to your muscle wall during exercise. These reduce the risk of causing injury and a hernia potentially developing. For lighter support try a support waistband can help.

Make sure you stay hydrated before, during and after exercise and you should always speak to your GP or stoma care nurse before you start more strenuous sporting activities. It is recommended that support garments are worn for the first three months following surgery.


If you have any further questions about diet and exercise with your ostomy, please give us a call on 0800 220 300 or email [email protected]

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