You made one of the most significant decisions in your life. You went to the doctor and got approval to undergo gastric bypass surgery after probably waiting six months to a year. Now, it is time to get your body prepared for the procedure by starting a pre-op liquid diet.
This particular weight loss procedure will reduce you comorbidities and in the long term make you look and feel better. The desire requires commitment and self-discipline to achieve results.
And that means changing your diet before and after going to the OR.
Though it may sound simple, I mean, you might say: what could so tricky about dieting for surgery? Well, you need to be ready for a mental and physical struggle after years of bad eating habits.
Pre-op Liquid Diet
Gastric bypass surgery patients are required to follow a strict 7 to 14 pre-op liquid diet to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and spleen.
How many days of pre-op liquid diet? Up to 14?. Yes, that is correct?
Your doctor will supervise the process while you put the courage and determination. Millions of people have done it, who says you can’t?
Here is the thing. As we mentioned earlier, a pre-op liquid helps to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and spleen, making your body go into ketosis. Fat metabolizes and used as energy.
A shrunk liver lets your surgeon visualize the stomach during the procedure, making it safer.
Pre-operative weight loss also:
- Reduces intra-abdominal fat.
- Improves visual field.
- Increases your understanding of post-op requirements.
- Less operation time.
- Helps decrease post-op risks.
Further, if the liver is too large, your gastric bypass surgeon may not perform. All the time and money invested in lab tests, doctor appointments, etc., go down the drain as your surgery may get canceled and rescheduled to who knows when.
You need to understand this can happen if you do not follow the guidelines given. Though irritability and headaches are possible, most patients adjust to the new diet in a few days.
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Ideally, doctors recommend consuming 800 to 1,000 calories per day from liquids. Clear juices like Apple should not have pulp or carbonation.
What should a pre-op liquid diet include?
Meal replacement shakes (protein shakes) are usually the primary component of this type of regime.
Make sure the shakes contain at least 20 grams of protein per serving.
Laparoscopic MD suggest making sure you read the label on the shakes. “Stay away from the shakes that are intended for ‘bodybuilding.’ You want to choose a shake that has a high amount of protein and a low amount of sugar and calories.”
According to Obesity Coverage, “only sugar-free beverages are allowed” while sugar substitutes are fine.
The list includes the following:
- V8 and vegetable juice are acceptable.
- Soup broth with no solid pieces of food*.
- Slowly sip all beverages and liquids.
- Avoid caffeinated or carbonated beverages.
Carbonated beverages include soda, floats, seltzer, tonic water, sparkling cider, coffee, tea, lattes and any derivatives of these products. “These kinds of beverages can act as appetite stimulants and also add empty calories both of which contribute to weight gain,” indicates Laparoscopic MD.
Clear broths: Chicken, Vegetable, or Beef. The soup should not have solid pieces of food.
A basic pre-op liquid diet may look like this:
|8 AM||Protein shake|
|9 AM||8 oz vegetable juice|
|10 AM||8 oz water|
|11 AM||8 oz vegetable juice (carrots)|
|Noon||8 oz water|
|1 PM||8 oz broth (chicken)|
|2 PM||Protein shake|
|3 PM||Sugar-free Jello-o|
|4 PM||8 oz water|
|5 PM||Thin wheat cream|
|6 PM||8 oz water|
|7 PM||Protein shake|
|8 PM||8 oz water or broth|
*Sample only, consult your doctor first*
Is soft food acceptable?
Wheat cream (skinny) or cream of rice are good options. Vegetables and lean meat are acceptable only with your surgeon or dietician’s permission.
Do not mix liquids with meals. Therefore, you should wait at least 30 minutes to consume fluids, including water.