Are you considering a bariatric surgical procedure in order to lose weight? If other traditional approaches have failed to provide the desired results, bariatric surgery could represent the most logical option. There are nonetheless several preparatory steps to take in advance and one of these involves a bariatric liquid diet.
Why a liquid diet before bariatric surgery? What benefits will this strategy provide? What substances can be consumed and are there any liquids to avoid? The professionals at Spatz3 have put together this bariatric full liquid diet “survival guide” so that you can know what to expect well in advance.
What is the Purpose of a Liquids-Only Diet?
We’ll begin by addressing what can only be called a universal question. Why liquid diet before bariatric surgery? There are actually two main reasons why this approach is normally recommended:
- A liquids-only diet will help to “jumpstart” your metabolism into losing weight.
- This diet causes the liver become smaller; allowing the surgery to be completed with fewer potential complications.
It is still important to note that unlike other weight loss plans, a full-liquid diet is generally only recommended to those who plan on undergoing bariatric surgery. This meal plan is often put in place for up to two weeks before the procedure is scheduled.
What Can I Eat on a Liquid Diet Before Bariatric Surgery?
While you will indeed be reducing the number of calories consumed at any given time, it is still crucial that your body receives all of the vitamins and minerals that it requires to function properly. Let’s therefore take a closer look at some recommended liquids as well as the benefits that each can provide.
Those who follow this diet should consume three protein shakes per day (limited each to 200 calories per serving). These can be mixed with low-fat milk, non-fat milk, soy milk, or water. It is normally best to choose whey protein, as this type of protein is the easiest to digest. Popular brand names such as Isopure, EAS Advantage and Body Fortress all contain ample amounts of protein.
Meal Replacement Drinks
Not only are meal replacement drinks extremely high in vital macronutrients, but they are excellent ways to stave off hunger pangs and to remain feeling full in between servings. Make certain that the beverages do not contain any additional sugar, as this can be detrimental to the digestive process. Well-known brands such as Carnation® Instant Breakfast® are therefore recommended although there are plenty of other options available.
The good news is that a 2 week bariatric liquid diet is actually more flexible than you may think in terms of the types of substances that can be consumed. For example, why not enjoy a cup of fat-free yoghurt in between meals? It is also possible to research a handful of tasty bariatric liquid diet soup recipes online. Consider these options:
- Chicken broth soup.
- Basil turkey broth.
- Butternut squash soup.
- Vegetable and beef broth.
- Lentil and chickpea soup.
These are only some examples that can be made in no time at all. Feel free to perform additional online searches to discover even more options as well as to appreciate the required ingredients.
Soups are not the only liquids to consider. You also drink sugar-free vitamin water, unsweetened black tea, and naturally, pure water. A well-rounded bariatric liquid diet should enable you to drink up to 64 fluid ounces per day.
What Happens if You Cheat on Your Liquid Diet Before Bariatric Surgery?
The best way to answer this question is to first highlight some of the most important foods to avoid. The main takeaway point here is that many of these substances can be difficult to digest immediately following bariatric surgery. Others may lead to issues such as cramps and bloating. This list summarises examples of what to eliminate from your pre-bariatric diet plan:
- Carbonated drinks.
- Soft drinks (such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola).
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Fruit and dairy smoothies.
- Most fruit and vegetable juices.
Not only may these lead to discomfort, but we need to refer back to the role that the liver plays. Drinks high in sugar can place additional strain upon this organ; preventing it from shrinking to the appropriate size and possibly even delaying the procedure in question.
Should I Follow a Liquid Diet After Bariatric Surgery?
Most doctors recommend a liquid bariatric diet immediately following any type of surgical procedure such as a sleeve gastrectomy. This will allow your digestive system and stomach to slowly adapt and once again, it can help to avoid any unpleasant sensations. In the majority of cases, this diet lasts for up to ten days after the surgery. Water, unsweetened black tea and coffee are commonly recommended. Doctors will also advise their patients to drink (approximately) two tablespoons of liquid per hour.
As this can be a challenging routine to follow, it may be wise to create a food diary (as highlighted in our previous Spatz3 article). You can keep track of what has been consumed as well as any potential side effects that you might experience. These may then be shared with your primary care physician or a nutritionist in order to obtain even more useful insight.
How to Survive Liquid Diets Before Bariatric Surgery
Dieting will often represent a significant lifestyle change and therefore, it can be quite challenging to follow such relatively strict guidelines. This is nonetheless a small price to pay of other approaches to weight loss have failed. Thankfully, the chances are high that you will begin to notice a decrease in your body mass index (BMI) well before the date of the surgery. This can provide an additional level of motivation that will be necessary after the procedure has been successfully completed. Above all, recognise the fact that a certain amount of self-discipline will be needed in order to follow the recommendations highlighted throughout this article.
Is Bariatric Surgery the Only Option?
To be completely fair, many individuals have experienced amazing results with the help of bariatric surgery. We still need to remember that technology is constantly advancing. One of the newest and most revolutionary treatments involves the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon. This is a non-surgical procedure and as the balloon can be removed in the future, the body will not be permanently transformed. Furthermore, the size of the balloon can be adjusted; providing a more personalised solution and also enabling the device to remain in place for longer periods of time. This is not possible with traditional gastric balloons.
If you follow the recommendations outlined above, the long-term results from a bariatric procedure should be even more noticeable. As always, feel free to bookmark this article or to contact a Spatz3 customer representative to appreciate the possible alternatives at your disposal.
Deciding to undergo bariatric surgery is nonetheless an important life step and it is always crucial to follow the bariatric liquid diet advice provided by a trained medical professional.