You’re going to need to transform your diet in the wake of a bariatric procedure if you hope to eventually hit your weight loss goals, but you also need to be mindful of what you put in your body in the days and weeks leading up to the procedure. Managing your diet before surgery can make it easier for the surgeon to successfully perform the operation, so you want to eat with a purpose as your weight loss procedure draws nearer. In today’s blog, we look at an example of what a diet before bariatric surgery may look like.
Diet Tips Before Weight Loss Surgery
It should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. The following is just a general guideline of what your preoperative diet may look like. You should always follow the specific instructions given by the surgeon who is overseeing your procedure. With that in mind, here are some of the preoperative dietary instructions we give to our bariatric surgeon clients so that they can put themselves in the best position to have a successful surgery.
For starters, in most cases your surgeon is going to recommend a low-sugar, low-fat diet that is mostly or completely liquid. The reason behind this is because weight loss procedures oftentimes involve the retraction of the left lobe of your liver, because this rests on top of the majority of the stomach that is being operated on. The purpose of a liquid diet that is low-sugar and low-fat is that this combination helps to shrink the liver’s size over the course of a few days. Done in the lead up to surgery, and a smaller liver will make it easier for the surgeon to perform the retraction, visualize the stomach and complete the rest of the operation.
In most instances, this diet starts between two days and one week of your operation. During this time you’ll likely be told to:
- Avoid solid, soft and even pureed foods
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid carbonated beverages
- Drink low-carb and low-fat liquid protein shakes
- Consume 60-80mg of protein per day
- Drink between 60-100 fluid ounces of liquid each day
You’re also going to want to consume fewer calories than you do normally, and we tend to tell our patients to shoot for between 800-1,200 calories each day. Some patients find it easier to download a calorie counting app or to write down all the liquids they consume so that they can stay within this ideal range.
If you’re wondering what types of liquids fit within these restrictions, ask your doctor or their care team for a list of options. Below, you’ll find a list of items that are typically appropriate for bariatric surgery patients who are preparing for their weight loss procedure:
- Soup broths and cream of wheat (without any solid pieces of food in them)
- Fitness water or low-sugar Gatorade
- Sugar-free jello
- Sugar-free popsicles
- V8 or similar low-sugar vegetable juices
The above list of items are all generally acceptable, but the primary source of nutrition will likely come from bariatric protein shakes. These protein shakes are designed specifically for patients who are preparing for weight loss surgery, so they are both low in sugar and full of healthy protein that aids in surgery prep. You can typically buy these at stores like GNC, Walgreens, Wal-Mart or your local pharmacy.
If you follow these eating tips, we’re confident that you’ll be helping lay the groundwork for a successful weight loss procedure. For more information, or to talk to one of our weight loss specialists, give the team at the Bhatti Weight Loss Center a call today at (952) 368-3800.