The Liquid Diet (Your First 3 Weeks)
After your bariatric surgery, adequate protein and fluid intake are essential to a successful recovery. Most patients will go home from the hospital on a liquid diet for 3 weeks. The liquid diet is prescribed to provide a concentrated source of nutrition that will empty from the stomach easily and allow for healing. The liquid diet will consist of fluid to provide nutrition and fluids to provide hydration.
** Nutrition supplements should contain no more than 15-20 grams of sugar and at least 13 grams of protein in 8-12 fluid ounces. Fluids to provide hydration should be low or no calorie (5-10 calories per serving) and have no carbonation or caffeine.
Sip 2 oz or 1/4 cup every hour
- No sugar added Carnation Instant Breakfast and skim or 1% milk
- 8 fluid oz skim milk with 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder (16 total grams of protein)
- Boost High Protein, Ensure High Protein or Boost Glucose Control at the grocery store
- Whey or soy protein (Carb solutions, Spiru-tein, Designer Whey)
- EAS low sugar, high protein drinks(www.eas.com)
- Low Sugar Ensure (Glucerna)
- Slimfast Low Carb (available at most grocery stores)
Tip: To increase the protein content of your liquids, add dry milk powder or protein powder that is whey or soy based
Sip 2 oz every 15 minutes
- Crystal light
- Sugar free Kool Aid drink mix
- Unsweetened decaffeinated tea
- Decaffeinated coffee
- Clear juice diluted 50/50 with
- Fruit 2O
- Sugar-free popsicles
- Propel fitness water
- Strained low fat soup
- Low sodium tomato juice
You may use artificial sweeteners
Please do not start the soft solid foods until you have been instructed to do so by your surgeon or dietitian
Tip: It is common to experience taste changes after surgery. For this reason we recommend trying a variety of the above fluids and only purchasing a large amount of them after your surgery and after you know you can drink them.
Dehydration is one of the most common complications after bariatric surgery In addition to drinking 2 oz of a high protein fluid every hour you are required to consume 2 oz of a calorie free, caffeine free, non-carbonated beverage, every 15 minutes while awake. The goal is for a minimum of 64 fluid oz per day. Using the following schedule it will take you about 12-15 hours each day to reach your fluid goal. Remember to sip slowly and to not use straws.
Sample fluid schedule for your first 3 weeks at home
- 8:00 am: 2 oz high protein liquid
- 8:15 am: 2 oz water
- 8:30 am: 2 oz non-calorie liquid (ex. Crystal Light)
- 8:45 am: 2 oz broth
- 9:00 am: 2 oz high protein liquid