Pre Bariatric Surgery Diet
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Low-down on the Pre Bariatric Surgery Diet

What you eat in the weeks leading up to your weight loss surgery is very important!

While you might feel tempted to binge, that "last supper" mentality can actually cause you some harm.

The obvious downside of overeating prior to bariatric surgery is of course, weight gain. But listen to this...

As you gain more weight, more fat may be deposited in your liver. A fatty liver is a big liver, and a big liver is particularly bad news pre-op.

Fatty liver = BIG liver

BIG liver = BAD news


Your stomach and liver are neighbors, and a big liver can actually get in the way during surgery. Your stomach is located under the liver. So a big fat liver makes it harder for your surgeon to see your stomach.

This increases the chance of having your surgery performed as an open procedure rather than a laproscopic one.

Think, "Big scar." Think, "Longer healing time."

Now, one big meal won't make or break you, but a pattern of overeating pre-op will most certainly lead to weight gain and a bigger liver.

So dump that "last supper," "last hurrah,"  "food funeral" thinking and accept your new relationship with food ASAP!

If you want to enjoy live life as a smaller person, you need to change how you think about eating. Starting your pre bariatric surgery diet on a good note is an opportunity to practice your new, healthy relationship with food.

Your Pre Bariatric Surgery Diet: What To Eat

There is increasing consensus among medical professionals that a high protein, low calorie diet before weight loss surgery can actually shrink the liver, while decreasing the risk of complications and improving outcomes.

A High Protein, Low Calorie Pre Op Diet May Shrink Your Liver as Quickly as 1 Week

Pre Bariatric Surgery Diet: Following a traditional calorie restricted, high protein diet that you prepare yourself

A calorie restricted, high protein diet can be defined as follows:

  • 800-1200 calories per day
  • 70-120 grams protein per day

Here's a sample menu for a pre bariatric surgery diet that's 1200 calories and 100 grams of protein:

Protein Shake: Blend 1 cup water + 1 scoop protein powder + 1 cup frozen strawberries. Blend until smooth. Eat with 1 slice whole wheat toast + 1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter

A.M. Snack
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt + 1/2 banana. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

1/2 sandwich: 1 slice whole wheat bread + 3 oz. turkey breast + 1 tsp. mayonnaise. Eat with 1 cup baby carrots.

1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese + 1 small apple

3 oz. baked chicken
1/2 baked sweet potato
1 tsp. butter
Garden salad: 2 cups salad greens + 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Here's a SIMPLE Approach to your Pre Bariatric Surgery Diet

Replace two meals/day with high protein shakes:

Breakfast: High Protein Shake (~250 calories with ~30 grams protein)
Snack: Piece of fruit
Lunch: High Protein Shake (~250 calories with ~30 grams protein)
Snack: Reduced fat string cheese OR 1 hard boiled egg
Dinner: 500 calorie dinner: Lean Cuisine frozen meal (~350 calories) + Garden Salad (2 cups salad greens + 1 Tbsp. olive oil for dressing)

Recipe for 250 Calorie Protein Shake with ~30 Grams of Protein:

Blend 1 cup skim milk (8 grams protein) + 1 scoop Jay Robb Whey Isolate Protein Powder* (25 grams protein) + 1 cup frozen strawberries. Blend until smooth.

* Jay Robb is just one brand of protein powder I recommend. I love the taste myself! Feel free to use something comparable (~100-120 calories with 25-30 grams of protein).

Pre Bariatric Surgery Diet for Stomach Band Surgery: When to Start

Typically, patients follow a low calorie, high protein diet for at least 2 weeks (and for as long as 3 months) prior to bariatric surgery in order to get the body ready for surgery and make recovery easier. Be sure to follow the advice of your surgeon.

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