The Liquid Diet – Day 1-14
The liquid diet is an essential part of your aftercare program and will last from two to three weeks depending on the procedure performed and the degree to which you can tolerate foods. Soon after surgery, solid foods will make you feel ill and will put unnecessary strain on your stomach. That’s why there’s a strict no-solid-food policy in effect for the first 14 days.
The Clear Liquid Diet (Days 1-3)
In the first few days after surgery you will be on a clear liquid diet. That means anything translucent is acceptable except for sugary, alcoholic and carbonated drinks, of course! The goal during this period is to keep you hydrated. All foods have some degree of water content and since you will not be eating anything solid you have to drink more fluid than you normally would. The target for most patients is six to eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Don’t drink your entire days’ worth of fluid right away. Sip your fluids consistently, all day long to remain hydrated and balanced.
Some ideas for the clear liquid diet may include:
- Low sodium beef broth
- Low sodium chicken broth
- Low sodium vegetable broth
- Water (with or without Crystal Light)
- Low sugar sports drinks
- Decaf unsweetened tea
- Water with flavor enhancers*
- Certain low-sugar popsicles*
*An important note on artificial/no calorie sweeteners: You can consume artificially sweetened drinks during this time. They will likely make bland drinks more tolerable. However artificial sweeteners have no nutritional value and may make it harder to lose weight. Please be judicious with your use of artificial sweeteners.
The Full Liquid Diet (Day 4-14)
After the first few days, you will be able to transition into a modified liquid diet. Again, we will be avoiding any high sugar, alcoholic and carbonated drinks – these are bad for your stomach pouch and your diet. This liquid diet will expand your options dramatically. You’ll be able to drink low fat milk and protein shakes to boost your protein intake. You’ll also be able to drink some diluted fruit juices, broths, soups and more. Be mindful not consume anything that has chunks, pieces, seeds or other solids. You may also continue to consume Clear Liquids in addition to the suggestions below.
Below, you will find a list of suggested liquid foods and drinks (in addition to those above):
Protein Packed Liquids:
- Yogurt (plain, no fat). Greek yogurt can be thinned with water
- Skim milk
- Protein-based meal replacements
- Protein powder mixes (low sugar)
Low Fat cream-based soups** such as:
- Cream of chicken
- and more
All soups must be strained or blended to remove any chunks.
**A quick note on soups. Canned soups tend to be very high in sodium and calories. Please check the nutrition label carefully before choosing your soup. Ideally, make your own soup with fresh ingredient from the produce department.
Bear in mind that your tastes may change after surgery. What you liked in the past may not be palatable today. Feel free to try different liquid products (especially when it comes to protein meal replacements) to find the ones that you truly enjoy.