Before you have weight loss surgery, you have to undergo a wide array of testing to ensure you’re eligible for the procedure. Part of the prerequisites for weight loss surgery is to lose weight before undergoing the procedure and participate in a pre weight loss surgery diet composed of fluids only. 

Bariatric Surgery Diet for Losing Weight

The first part of your pre weight loss surgery diet consists of consuming a low-carbohydrate, protein-rich diet. Typically, this diet lasts for a few months prior to your surgery.

Bariatric eating at this stages requires limiting the number of starchy foods you consume, such as potatoes. Additionally, you should switch to whole-grain rice, bread, and pasta. Basically, you want to limit the amount of simple and starchy carbohydrates you ingest tremendously.

During this part of your bariatric surgery diet, you also need to limit the amount of unhealthy fats you eat. For instance, your dietician advises you to avoid deep-fried foods. He or she also recommends using water to cook eggs or a healthy fat to pan-fry foods.

Bariatric eating consists of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. You should also change your eating habits. For example, if you take your time eating, you can tell when you feel full sooner and ultimately decrease your food intake.

At this point in your bariatric eating, your dietician monitors your weight. You have to lose weight continuously for between three to six months. 

Second Step of Your Bariatric Surgery Diet: Liquid Diet

What the Liquid Diet or Protein Shake Diet Consists of

Two weeks prior to your procedure, you begin the liquid diet portion of your pre weight loss surgery diet. At this stage, your surgeon or nutritionist tells you to start consuming only liquids, more specifically clear liquids.

Some examples of clear liquids you may drink before your surgery include the following:

  • Water
  • Chicken, beef, turkey, ham, or vegetable broth without any pieces of anything
  • Jello
  • Popsicles
  • Certain juices such as V8 and other vegetable juices

When you start the diet, all fluids you choose can’t contain any sugar, which means you must choose options that are sugar-free, not just low in sugar.

Since your body requires more than just liquids to thrive, your nutritionist may recommend you consume nutrition shakes. Also known as the protein shake diet, this portion of your preoperative care requires you to drink proteins shakes to replace meals. Your surgeon or nutritionist suggests the maximum number of shakes you can have on the protein shake diet, but you may have as many clear liquids as you like.

Why You Must Follow the Protein Shake or Liquid Diet

First and foremost, consuming a diet of nothing else besides clear fluids prepares your stomach and body before the surgery. In addition, you do lose more weight before the surgery when drinking liquids only. 

Another reason why you must adhere to an all-liquid diet is because it reduces the amount of fat you have around your liver and spleen, which makes the procedure easier on you and the surgeon, and recovery is quicker as well. Consuming only liquids removes toxins from your system and prevents choking when you’re under the anesthesia.

Bariatric Surgery Diet After Your Procedure

Your liquid diet continues after your procedure. Since your stomach shrinks after your bariatric surgery, you start a diet of all liquids immediately after the procedure. The surgeon tells you to drink small medicine cups filled with liquid after your surgery to get your stomach used to sustenance.

After you consume small amounts of liquids for a few days and are able to handle it without throwing up or experiencing any other side effects, your surgeon lets you move to the next level of your bariatric diet. This is the transition stage between liquids and solids. At this point, you may eat soft foods like pureed proteins with up to 64 ounces of fluid and a recommended number of protein shakes.

Eventually, once your stomach can handle foods, you start consuming solids once again. You have to eat slowly and only small portions, usually of protein-rich foods. During this stage, you learn what foods your body can process and which ones you can’t. Often, tougher meats like steak are hard on your body after surgery.

You also receive information regarding foods and beverages you no longer can have after the surgery, such as carbonated beverages and broth soup.

Lose Weight Naturally 

Bariatric surgery is life-changing, especially if you have a poor self-image and any health issues resulting from your obesity. Although you have to change your diet several times over the course of your procedure, it’s well worth it if you struggle to lose weight naturally.

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