What Diet Before Bariatric Surgery Looks Like

Aug 15, 2023

Did you decide to undergo bariatric surgery?

There is a lot of preparation before you embark on the journey to surgical procedures for weight loss. The decision to opt for bariatric surgery is made after years of struggle to lose weight with the help of diets and exercise does not show successful outcomes. Committing to weight loss surgery means signing up for a different lifestyle and diet and living with some restrictions that are crucial for your health. The changes begin way before you go into surgery, and you will have to upkeep a diet as well. So, to learn more about diet before bariatric surgery, carry on reading!

Why is Diet Before Bariatric Surgery Important?

Your bariatric surgeon will probably suggest dietary changes three months before surgery. You will have consultations with a dietitian who will help you lose weight in a suitable manner. Generally, it is recommended to lose 5 to 10 pounds or 10% of your body weight if you are extremely obese. According to experts, if you do better at this stage, you will have higher chances of success after surgery.

When you consume a low-calorie diet, it reduces glycogen stores and fatty deposits, along with shrinking the size of your liver. This way, it becomes easier to move the liver aside during the surgery. In addition, changing diet before bariatric surgery will also preserve and protect the muscle tissue.

Changes in Diet Three Months Before Bariatric Surgery

Firstly, you will have to start by eating healthier meals. This means cutting down your portion sizes to what is considered better and taking your dietitian’s suggestions. Your healthcare team will prepare the meal plan or diet plan for you based on your specific case, which helps prepare your body for bariatric surgery.

Usually, the formula used includes 30% non-starchy vegetables, 25% proteins, 25% whole grains, and 20% fruit. Your meal should include the following:

  1. Lean Protein: Your diet should include chicken, fish, turkey, and lean red meat to ensure you’re getting your fair share of proteins.
  2. Non-Starchy Vegetables: You should definitely have a good portion of non-starchy vegetables, preferably steamed, in your diet. These include broccoli, carrot, green beans, and more. Consult your healthcare provider and dietitian on what your meals should contain.

Changes not only mean including healthy meals in your diet but cutting down on some food options as well. Usually, your healthcare team will recommend avoiding high-fat meats, starchy vegetables, sugary beverages, fast food, and fried food.

Dietary Changes Two Weeks Before Bariatric Surgery

You will switch to a liquid diet a week or two before bariatric surgery. This means your diet plan will be low-sugar, low-fat, and all-liquid. Whatever you consume will be rich in protein and low in carbs to maintain your body prior to going into surgery. Protein helps your body during recovery after the treatment and is effective in shrinking the liver, so performing the surgery becomes easier. Here are some liquid foods you might switch to before bariatric surgery:

  • Water
  • Sugar-free, non-carbonated beverages
  • Coffee and tea without caffeine
  • Sugarless popsicles and gelatin
  • Protein drinks
  • Low-sodium broth

Final Word

If you are eligible for bariatric surgery, your doctor will provide you with some mandatory lifestyle and dietary changes to make. Your diet before bariatric surgery will be a low-calorie diet that helps prepare your body for surgery and recovery after the procedure.

At Nova Bariatrics, we have an exceptional team who work diligently to deliver their best. Talk to us at (469) 639-0953 or give us a visit at 1081 Kinwest Pkwy #110, Irving, TX 75063.

Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai

Dr. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon, passionately leads Nova Bariatrics and General Surgery. Formerly an Assistant Professor at McGovern Medical School, he’s a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. His academic journey includes a Bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, Medical School at UT Southwestern, and residencies at UT Southwestern. Specializing further, he completed Bariatric and Robotic Fellowships, advancing surgical techniques with a focus on patient well-being.



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