The stoma bag diet is a myth

Forget food fads and trends – when it comes to the food you can eat with a stoma, there’s no single diet or regime that suits everyone. 

In simple terms: you can carry on enjoying the same foods as before.

Keep in mind that diet is highly individual, and whether you have a stoma or not, you can react differently to different foods.

The best approach overall? Variety.

What (and when) to eat after stoma surgery

A varied diet is your best friend. It not only speeds up recovery but also helps you reclaim any lost pounds. Plus, a diverse diet serves as your personal stoma gas detective, sourcing out which foods can cause a ‘windy’ stoma.

While everyone’s journey is unique, during stoma recovery, remember to:

  • Eat smart with small, frequent meals
  • Give your food a good chew – digestion starts in your mouth!
  • Slowly reintroduce your favorite food
  • Beef up your diet with protein-rich foods to aid healing

Beyond stoma surgery: enjoying the foods you love

Once you’ve recovered from stoma surgery and your appetite returns, it’s time to enjoy your favourite foods again. To keep your health in check, here are some simple tips:

  • Stick to regular meal times, aiming for 3 to 4 meals a day
  • Include a variety of foods from all food groups in your diet
  • Stay hydrated by drinking around 2 litres of fluids daily
  • Avoid late-night eating to prevent disrupting your sleep and filling up your bag too quickly – your beauty sleep is just as important as the rest!

Exercising after stoma surgery

It’s not about prioritising one food over another (unless you have food sensitivities or allergies, of course). It’s about enjoying a variety of foods from all the food groups to optimise your health and help recovery.

Getting active might be the last thing on your mind after stoma surgery. But, exercising after surgery can help speed up your recovery and make you feel better, quicker. Slow and steady wins the race:

  • Take a stroll—it’s a gentle exercise you can do solo or with company, like friends and family.
  • Gradually ramp up your walking distance and speed as your strength improves.
  • Consider getting some abdominal support garments for that added reinforcement. They’re especially handy in the first three months post-surgery, reducing injury risk during workouts.
  • Before diving into more intense activities, chat with your GP or stoma care nurse. They’ll guide you on the best approach and recommend any supportive products you might need.