How to Survive the Liquid Diet After Bariatric Surgery

How to Survive the Liquid Diet After Bariatric Surgery

Alex Brecher

Nobody actually looks forward to a liquid diet, much less one that lasts for a couple of weeks, but it’s likely that that’s what you’re in for after bariatric surgery. Being careful to always follow your surgeon’s guidelines, you can also take steps to make your liquid diet easier. Here are tips for surviving the liquid diet after bariatric surgery.

1. Know What You Can Have

To stay on your liquid diet, you need to know for sure what’s allowed. You’ll probably be on a clear liquid diet for a few hours or days after surgery, and be limited to drinks such as water, juice, broth, and ice pops. 

When you progress to a full liquid diet, you’ll be able to include drinks with protein in them. That will help nourish you. Be sure you understand which types of liquids are okay and how much, if any, sugar it’s okay for you to have. The BariatricPal Store has Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Protein Drinks, as well as Protein Gelatin, that can help you stick to your liquid diet and get protein.

2. Sip Slowly

You’ll be sore after surgery, and your pouch or sleeve will be smaller than your stomach was before surgery. That means you’ll get full faster. It’s best to sip your liquids slowly so that you avoid an upset stomach and you are able to monitor how full you feel. This is a good time to learn the feelings of fullness that will help you lose weight according to plan.

3. Focus on Rules, Not Weight Loss

This is not the time to focus on weight loss. This is the time to heal from surgery and establish a foundation for safe and healthy weight loss to come. The liquid diet after bariatric surgery can last for one to two weeks, depending on which type of bariatric surgery you had, how well you heal, and what your surgeon recommends. During this time, it’s best to think about following the diet. Later, you can think about weight loss.

4. Get Enough Fluids

Dehydration is a real risk after bariatric surgery. It’s one of the most common reasons for post-op admissions to the hospital or trips to the emergency department. You probably need at least 64 ounces of liquid a day. If you’re sipping slowly, it can take a long time to hit that amount. 

Keep working at it so that you can stay hydrated. Hydration also helps keep you feeling full, and it supports better healing after surgery. Plus, it improves energy levels.

5. Get Enough Protein

The goal for many bariatric surgery patients is 65 grams a day. Protein Drinks can help you get to that amount on a liquid diet. Protein Shakes and Smoothies, Protein Hot Drinks, and Protein Soup can all be choices that add to your daily protein totals. Protein helps you heal after surgery, and getting enough of it is a habit that can help you lose more weight over the next year.

6. Choose Interesting and Delicious Liquids

Did you know it’s possible for a liquid diet to be interesting? It’s true when you shop at the BariatricPal Store! Protein Shakes come in all kinds of flavors including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, mocha, salted caramel, chocolate peanut butter, cheesecake, and so many more. Protein Fruit Drinks have banana, orange, lemon, raspberry, and mango flavors, while Protein Hot Drinks have hot chocolate, vanilla mocha, and other flavors. You can also opt for savory protein drinks, such as Protein Soups, that give a different experience on your liquid diet.

7. Take It Easy

You just had surgery. Your body has gone through a lot. Do what you can to take it easy during the liquid diet. It is nice to take time off work if that’s possible, though some patients don’t have the option of taking a full two weeks off. Still, you may be able to ask friends or family members for help with grocery shopping, child care, or house cleaning to let yourself rest more. 

8. Follow a Meal Plan

You don’t have to follow a formal meal plan if your surgeon doesn’t give you one, but a meal plan can relieve some of the burden of figuring out what to drink at each meal and snack time. It’s easier for some people to just look at the day’s menu and consume what the plans says to consume. 

Ask your surgeon or nutritionist for meal plans if you don’t already have them. You can also look at the meal plans at the BariatricPal Store. They include meal and snack options, and have suggestions for Low-Carb and Sugar-Free Protein Drinks that can fit onto your plan.

9. Think About the Future

The present can feel challenging as you are recovering from surgery and stuck with consuming nothing but liquids, but thinking about the near future can help. Soon, you’ll feel better, you’ll be able to eat more foods, and your weight loss journey will be in full swing. Staying positive can help time pass faster.

10. Talk to Your Doctor

Stay in touch with your surgeon throughout the process. Ask questions whenever you are not sure about what to drink, how much to drink, or whether a pain or sensation that you are feeling is normal. 

The post-op liquid diet isn’t fun or something to look forward to on its own, but there are a lot of ways to make it better. From choosing nutritious protein drinks and making a meal plan, to sipping slowly, you can make this two-week period a healthy foundation for your weight loss journey.

The BariatricPal Store is here to help you enjoy great-tasting, bariatric-friendly liquids and to check out meal plans to make the liquid diet easier. Take a look around to see which Protein Drinks and other liquids you can find, and then see which fun bariatric-friendly foods may be part of your journey once you graduate to eating pureed and then semi-soft foods. Put yourself on the path to success after bariatric surgery, and enjoy the journey!

Post op liquid diet