Here’s What to Expect from a Liquid Diet in the Weeks Before Bariatric Surgery

So you’ve made the appointment for your bariatric surgery and are excited to embrace new lifestyle changes in your weight loss journey. Although WeightWise won’t prescribe an all-liquid diet prior to surgery, there are occasions when it is necessary. Such as if the patient isn’t at their “goal” weight before the procedure.

In the weeks before surgery, your surgeon will assign a liquid diet leading up to the date. Adhering to a liquid diet before bariatric surgery is critically important to the operation’s success and your health moving forward. Here’s what you can expect from an all-liquid diet before weight loss surgery.

Why is a Liquid Diet Before Bariatric Surgery Important?

One of the most important reasons for strictly following a liquid diet is simply because it is easier and safer to perform bariatric surgery on patients with fewer barriers to the stomach. Many obese patients have a “fatty liver,” meaning the liver has expanded in size as they gained excessive weight.

Because the liver sits atop the stomach, surgeons may not be able to access the stomach and cancel surgery in these situations. A liquid diet in the weeks before bariatric surgery is known to decrease the size of fatty livers, helping it to be a successful surgery.

Furthermore, the liquid diet that your surgeon or dietitian assigns to you will include many protein shakes. During periods of rapid weight loss, healthy muscle mass breaks down as well. Following your liquid diet will ensure that you are consuming at least 60 grams of protein a day.

Example of a Pre-Op Bariatric Liquid Diet

Your bariatric surgeon will have a specific liquid diet for you to follow, but you can likely expect some version of this:

Clear Liquids: Broth, sugar-free drinks (no carbonation), flavored water, sugar-free JELL-O, sugar-free popsicles, decaf tea, and decaf coffee.
Full Liquids: Protein shakes.

Post-Op Bariatric Diet

Your diet after surgery is essentially a continuation of the diet before surgery. You’ll be limited to an all-liquid diet for the first two weeks, followed by two more weeks of soft protein foods. In the months to come, solid foods will be introduced and you’ll be well on your way to healthier eating.

Hydration is important every step of the way. At the start, you’ll be required to drink 96 ounces of water every day. That may seem like a lot, especially if you’re not used to drinking more than a glass or two. The key is to not gulp the water down, but rather take sips throughout the day.

After solid food is introduced, you’ll want to wait an hour after eating before drinking any more liquids. Remember, your stomach is up to 80 percent smaller than it was before, so you’ll need to give your stomach a chance to digest. There simply won’t be room in your stomach for anything else.

WeightWise provides effective surgical and non-surgical weight loss options to those who are looking to transform their health for the better. Our compassionate bariatric staff is committed to your long-term health and well-being, proudly offering years of weight loss expertise to address every part of your weight loss journey. Watch our FREE online seminar to learn more or contact us online today.