How To Survive Liquid Diet Before Bariatric Surgery


Are you looking for how to survive liquid diet before bariatric surgery? I was. I was planning to go in for a scheduled weight-loss surgery but, beforehand, I needed to be restricted to eating only liquids and softfoods. So, I researched on the internet and learned the ways on how to survive just fine without being able to eat firmer foods. Here are some tips that helped me.

How To Survive Liquid Diet Before Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Pre-Op Liquid Diet before weight loss surgery

Regardless of the kind of bariatric treatment being done, all patients are required to follow a two-week pre-op liquid diet. It could seem horrifying and daunting to consider consuming solely liquids for two weeks. But we want to inform you about the benefits of the liquid diet, the risks of not following it, and how to do so in this blog. So grab a beverage, settle in, and let’s get started!

As a bariatric surgeon, we are aware of how challenging it can be to even consider quitting solid foods in order to prepare for weight loss surgery. Throughout these past two weeks, we have witnessed numerous patients struggle. Contrary to what you might believe, this is not intended to torture you! In order to reduce the risk of the treatment, we actually demand that patients only ingest liquids before surgery.

Purpose of the Bariatric Pre-Op Liquid Diet

Many people will have extra fat in their liver or elsewhere before surgery. The surgeon must relocate the liver in order to successfully perform the bariatric treatment on the stomach. Additionally, it is more difficult for the surgeon to work around the liver in a safe and efficient manner the larger the liver is in combination with the fat in and around it. The patient may spend more time under anesthesia as a result, greatly raising their risk of problems and their associated costs. Patients who follow the two-week liquid diet lose enough weight to shrink their livers and cut down on the amount of time the surgeon has spend manipulating the liver.

The Bariatric Pre-Op Liquid Diet Meal Plan

The pre-op liquid diet will include broth, sugar-free popsicles, sugar-free gelatin, sugar-free beverages, and permitted protein shakes.We constantly advise our patients to drink at least 64 ounces of sugar-free beverages each day and five protein shakes per day. Carbonated beverages, including sodas, sparkling waters, milk, and alcohol, are off-limits to patients, and the maximum number of calories per serving for all beverages is 10.Additionally, we advise patients to consume no more than two 8-ounce portions of caffeine daily, so you coffee lovers can still indulge in your favorite brew. (with sugar-free sweetener, not sugar).

*This strategy does not have to be carried out exactly. The times can be changed to suit your schedule.This diet plan is based on the liquid diet that patients in our practice are required to follow on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, we advise you to discuss what you ought to eat before surgery with your doctor.

What to Expect with the Pre-Op Liquid Diet

When you restrict the total calories and carbohydrates you consume in a day to an extremely low amount, some patients may experience symptoms.

Some of the symptoms you can expect to experience include:

  • Extreme Hunger Pains
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea, Constipation, Diarrhea
  • Mood Swings

The symptoms listed above are completely normal, and they should subside within 3 to 4 days, once your body gets used to consuming so few calories and carbohydrates. Drinking 64 oz of sugar-free beverages and broth can help with the severity of these symptoms.

Success Tips for the Bariatric Pre-Op Liquid Diet

The bariatric pre-op liquid diet is hard—there is no doubt about it! Therefore, we highly recommend that our patients mentally and physically prepare themselves for the challenge ahead.

1. Plan ahead for success.

We advise you to visit the grocery store ahead of the days you will be following the liquid diet to stock up on everything you will require for the entire two-week period. The strategy may not be followed if the protein drinks, gelatin, and broths are not purchased in time. Make sure you position yourself for success right away.

2. Find a support and accountability system.

We advise bariatric patients to find a support network. This network could consist of friends, family, or a collection of current or former patients at your bariatric clinic. By asking for help, you are ensuring that not only are you being held accountable by yourself but also by others. We have witnessed firsthand that patients who choose to lose weight independently (before and post-op diet planning) are less successful than those who obtain support.

3. Remember, it’s temporary.

The two-week liquid diet can be daunting. It is critical that you mentally prepare yourself for the challenge. Tell yourself, this is temporary, and it is a part of a bigger plan! 

4. Ignore the numbers on the scale.

Don’t get fixated on the scale, even if the bariatric pre-op liquid diet is designed to help you lose weight quickly before surgery. You might be more likely to start cheating if you notice that you aren’t losing weight as quickly as you would want since “what difference does it make anyway?”

We are aware that the pre-op liquid diet might be frightening, particularly if you have never before followed a very rigorous food regimen. To avoid having to postpone or cancel your operation, you must, however, be absolutely dedicated to the pre-operative liquid diet. All patients are required to engage in the pre-op liquid diet, which is an important step before the weight loss surgery, so you are not alone!

We recommend watching our free online lecture if you’re interested in learning more about the pre-operative bariatric surgery steps.

How to Survive a Liquid Diet Before Bariatric Surgery

The majority of patients must adhere to a liquid diet for around two weeks before their scheduled operation date. Patients who battle obesity for years frequently develop the habit of eating larger meal portions to satisfy an enlarged stomach. They therefore question how to survive a liquid diet prior to bariatric surgery when faced with the potential of consuming only liquids for 10 to 14 days.

Liquid diet before bariatric surgery

The ideal liquid diet for weight reduction surgery will be minimal in fat and sugar, and it will typically offer up to 1,000 calories per day, including roughly 120g of lean proteins. Before having bariatric surgery, your bariatric team will suggest a pre-op meal plan and a few tasty liquid diet dishes. Depending on your age, BMI, co-morbidities, and the kind of weight loss surgery you’ll have, the specific strategy will change.

Liquid diet before gastric sleeve surgery

Before undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, patients should understand what the liquid diet entails. This diet will mostly consist of liquid, readily digestible foods with a focus on protein drinks. In the two-week pre-op diet plan, the first week may consist of a strict liquid-only diet and a few items that are primarily liquid in nature.

Here are the core elements of a liquid diet before gastric sleeve surgery:

  • Meal replacement protein shakes will constitute a large part of your diet in these two weeks.
  • Sugar-free drinks or sugar substitutes will only be permitted for the most part.
  • No carbonated, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages will be allowed.
  • You may consume chicken or vegetable broth without any solid chunks of food.
  • Vegetable juice and fruit juice in limited quantity are acceptable.
  • Ultra-thin cream of rice and cream of wheat may be recommended.

Liquid diet before gastric bypass surgery

When a patient has a gastric bypass and type 2 diabetes, the subject of how to endure a liquid diet prior to bariatric surgery can be more critical. It becomes crucial for these individuals to control their blood sugar levels while meeting the objectives of a liquid diet prior to gastric bypass surgery.

Here are the core elements of pre bariatric surgery liquid diet for Roux-en-y gastric bypass patients:

  • Exclude all types of solid, pureed, or soft foods from the diet two weeks before gastric bypass.
  • Low carb / high protein shakes containing about 25g of protein per 10 oz. serving are recommended.
  • Hot cereals and strained soups along with other low fat, sugar free liquids are acceptable.
  • Just one decaffeinated coffee or tea (8 oz.) may be consumed per day to improve hydration.
  • One bottle of electrolyte beverage (sugar free) of up to 16 oz. may be allowed per day.
  • A daily multivitamin to cover the essential nutrients may be a part of your liquid diet before gastric bypass surgery.

Why liquid diet before bariatric surgery

When you gain excess weight or suffer from obesity, your body demands more food in order to keep you energized. This becomes a vicious cycle, which can be hard to break. In this situation, it can be appear a daunting task when your surgeon asks you to go on a pre bariatric liquid diet. Here are a few proven tips on how to survive liquid diet before bariatric surgery.

  • Liver fat reduction: The most important reason why liquid diet before bariatric surgery is required is to reduce excess fatty tissue from your liver. A smaller liver size will allow your surgeon to maneuver the area to perform surgery.
  • Pre-op weight loss: If you are worried about how to survive liquid diet before bariatric surgery, you should look at the brighter side. You may lose 10 to 15 lbs. with this pre-op diet, so you are fitter to undergo the surgery and there’s nothing wrong with losing weight! This is the entire purpose right?
  • Preserving lean muscle: Your bariatric surgery will lead to rapid weight loss, which may also cause loss of muscle mass. With a higher intake of proteins, lean muscle will be preserved. This begins with your liquid diet.
  • Cleansing of the toxins: It helps to have your stomach cleansed thoroughly of harmful bacteria and toxins prior to your bariatric surgery. A pre-op liquid diet will do a deep cleansing and reduce your risk of complications.
  • Body & mind adaptation: Bariatric surgery is the beginning of a long weight loss journey. A two-week pre weight loss surgery liquid diet will help your body and mind adapt to the process, and set you up for complete success.

5 Tips to survive liquid diet before bariatric surgery

Your body needs more food to keep you energized when you put on more weight or have obesity. This develops into a vicious cycle that might be challenging to end. In this circumstance, your surgeon’s request that you follow a pre-bariatric liquid diet may seem like a daunting endeavor. Here are a few tested strategies for surviving a liquid diet before to weight loss surgery.

  • Prepare ahead of time: Once you decide to have a weight loss surgery, your planning and preparation should begin right away. Start working on improving your diet gradually, so that your body and mind will be ready for a pre-op liquid diet.
  • Choose the right surgeon: When you have a respectable bariatric surgeon, nutritionist, and other bariatric team members, they will be able to devise the best liquid diet for weight loss surgery tailored to your needs. This will make compliance easier.
  • Enlist support of loved ones: Your family and friends can play a significant role in helping you go through your pre bariatric liquid diet plan and emerge successful. They will give you emotional support while also helping you hold yourself accountable.
  • Ignore what the scale says: It is natural to feel excited about losing weight with your pre-op bariatric diet, but don’t let the numbers on the scale distract you. Stay focused on your pre bariatric surgery liquid diet and that’s all you need for a tremendous start.
  • Get good liquid diet recipes: Scientifically designed yet creative recipes for liquid diet before bariatric surgery will help in compliance. With a variety of recipes, you will have something new to look forward to each day and will not get bored or tired of your liquid diet.

Final Takeaway

Looking for more information on how to endure a liquid diet before having bariatric surgery? Speak with a dependable, compassionate expert in the field of weight reduction surgery. They will impart to you practical advice and knowledge on how to navigate your weight loss journey successfully. You will soon be prepared for a long and healthy life free of obesity with a skilled bariatric team by your side.

Following A Liquid Diet Before Bariatric Surgery

You carefully weighed the advantages and disadvantages of having bariatric surgery, underwent the initial medical examination, altered your diet, and are now almost ready for surgery. You are instructed by your surgical team to consume only liquids for two weeks before the procedure. This liquid diet will be maintained following bariatric surgery as well.

What is the purpose of this liquid diet, and how do you follow it? In this post, we will discuss the idea of adhering to such a diet before to surgery and offer advice on how to succeed with it.

Why is a liquid diet needed for bariatric surgery?

A liquid diet is recommended before to bariatric surgery in order to ensure that the procedure goes as well as possible, not to simply put another hurdle in your way. This liquid diet is often followed for two weeks leading up to surgery. The diet succeeds in three primary objectives:

  • Jumpstarts weight loss
  • Reduces the liver size
  • Prepares you for liquid diets after surgery

A liquid diet will usually be needed before and after surgery, but this can include a variety of foods.

Jumpstarting weight loss

The two most common bariatric procedures, the roux-en-y gastric bypass and the gastric sleeve operation, can aid patients in losing between 60 and 80 percent of their extra weight. The majority of this weight reduction happens within the first year following surgery as a result of a number of variables, most notably decreased appetite, stomach size, and nutritional absorption.

A liquid diet typically contains just 800-1000 calories per day, which can aid in weight loss prior to surgery. As you grow used to consuming much less food following surgery, this initial weight loss is simpler to maintain.

Reducing liver size

The big organ known as the liver, which is situated directly above the stomach, is in charge of processing nutrition and eliminating poisons.

The pre-surgery liquid diet is intended to be minimal in calories, fats, and sweets as well as calories. The liver will momentarily become smaller since it is not processing these substances as actively. Fat also builds up directly on the liver itself. (this results in fatty liver disease over time). This liver fat can be reduced by cutting calories on an extremely low-calorie diet, such as the liquid diet before bariatric surgery.

Because it makes it easier to operate on the stomach, reducing the size of the liver is crucial. This translates to a safer, quicker, and simpler procedure for the surgeon.

Preparing for liquid diets after surgery

Another advantage of the liquid diet prior to surgery is that it helps you become accustomed to eating just liquids, which you’ll need to do after surgery. You will typically need to gradually transition from a clear liquid diet that consists primarily of broths, water, sugar-free juice, and gelatin to a full liquid diet that is similar to the pre-surgery diet. This adjustment will go much more smoothly if you have beverages on hand and have tried with the fluids you favor.

What does a pre-surgery liquid diet look like?

A healthy liquid diet before surgery should contain between 800 and 1000 calories, 70 to 120 grams of protein, and little to no simple carbohydrates and fat. Depending on the institution you undergo the operation at, the specific food composition may change. Some clinics favor a rigorous liquid-only diet, while others will allow modest snacks or meals. Your medical team will provide you with tailored suggestions based on your unique nutritional needs.

It’s crucial to consume enough protein because the diet only contains a very tiny amount of food. On a liquid diet, protein shakes work best for achieving this goal. When choosing a protein shake, make sure it has at least 15 grams of protein and no more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. This mold can be used for many products. Protein requirements cannot be satisfied by a protein shake with too little protein without adding too many calories or sugar.

Other liquids, such as strained soups and hot porridge, are permitted. Choose foods that are low in sugar and fat, and drink plenty of water and sugar-free beverages to stay hydrated. Aim for 64 ounces or more of fluids.

Finally, a multivitamin is advised to ensure that you are meeting all of your nutritional needs. It is a good idea to test out chewable multivitamins before surgery as they are frequently utilized after surgery.

Sample foods allowed

  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Sugar-free gelatin
  • Low-sodium broth-based soup and
  • Low-sodium strained cream soups
  • Sugar-free popsicles
  • Protein shakes (<5g sugar per serving)
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Sugar-free flavored water
  • Skim milk
  • Unflavored almond milk
  • Low-fat soy milk

Example pre-surgery liquid diet


  • Protein shake (20g protein, 4g sugar)
  • 6oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 16oz water


  • Protein shake (20g protein, 4g sugar)
  • Sugar-free gelatin
  • 4oz low sodium cream soup without chunks
  • 12oz sugar-free flavored water


  • Protein shake (20g protein, 4g sugar)
  • 8oz skim milk
  • 4oz low sodium broth-based soup


  • 6oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 24oz additional water or sugar-free flavored drink
  • 1 chewable multivitamin

Nutrition information: 800 calories, 100g protein

Tips to make the liquid diet work

You will need to adhere to a liquid diet for at least 4 weeks to fulfill pre- and post-surgery requirements. The following advice can be helpful, but it will take some getting used to.

  1. Examine the nutrition information label.The nutrition labels will assist you in calculating the overall number of calories in your liquid diet and ensuring that you are getting enough protein while limiting your intake of sugar.
  2. Interval between meals and snacks.Eating everything all at once can make it more difficult to control your hunger throughout the day and will result in stomach issues following surgery.
  3. Steer clear of eateries.There won’t be many options on the menu that are suitable, which will only make it harder to stick to your diet.
  4. Comply with a shopping list.It is far simpler to exercise restraint at the grocery shop once a week than it is to try to stay away from tempting items all week.
  5. Highlight the big picture. Remember the reason you are choosing to undergo surgery and that liquid diets are ultimately temporary.


Before bariatric surgery, a lot of surgeons demand a particular pre-op liquid diet that lasts for roughly 2 weeks. This diet is meant to help you start losing weight, get accustomed to eating only liquids, and shrink your liver. The optimal surgical outcome is eventually ensured by these considerations.

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