Pre-op Diet Guide for Bariatric Surgery
Hi & Welcome to Mexico Bariatric Center. I’m Prudence Ticknor, Bariatric Dietitian and Health Coach.
Today we are going to be discussing the pre-surgery diet.
The first thing to understand is why it’s important to follow a pre- surgery meal plan. The main purpose is to shrink your liver making the operation much easier; decreasing the chances of complications.
This is also a time where you begin to detox your body, making the post surgery meal plan much easier to follow. People who start eating a clean diet well before surgery have less of a chance of experiencing the diarrhea and nausea associated with surgery. If your diet is high in processed foods and fats prior to surgery this is one of the reasons you may experience diarrhea after surgery.
Things to remember during this phase is you still want to get proper nutrition and appropriate amounts of calories, so your blood sugar does not drop too low.
This diet is general and can be modified to accommodate specific needs for each person. So use this as a general guideline. Especially for people who have diabetes; you want to make sure you monitor your blood sugar levels and change your medications accordingly.
The general timeline for starting the pre-op phase is 14 days before surgery. Depending on your body mass index your coordinator may advise you to start sooner or later. You will be told when you need to start according to your particular needs.
The general overview of the pre-surgery diet is 2 to 3 protein shakes per day and one to two meals consisting of a 4 ounces of protein, a healthy fat, and as many vegetables as you want. You still wish to focus on your nutrients getting 60 to 90 grams of protein and 1,000 – 1,200.00 calories. So lets look at how you can do this.
An Ideal meal plan might look like a protein shake for breakfast, your food meal for lunch, protein shake for dinner and then if needed another protein shake in the evening. Now if you prefer to have 2 shakes and 2 meals consisting of 4 oz. of pure protein like chicken, turkey or fish and as many vegetables as you want and a healthy fat that is fine as well.
First, let’s look at your protein. You want to make sure you have a protein powder that has at least 20 grams of protein per serving and has less than half that of sugar.
So what does that mean? If you have a protein shake that has 20 grams of protein, then it needs to have less than 10g. of sugar.
Looking at premade drinks for example this one has 25 g. of protein and 5 g. of sugar so this is fine. Now this protein drink has 10g. of protein and 18g. of sugar; this is for sure a no. Never get a protein drink that has more sugar than protein. The most important thing to realize is you have to read the labels.
I prefer you get a protein powder and make your own. If you are making your shake; here are some things you can put in it.
Protein isolates, 8 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk, and one TBSP of a healthy fat like coconut oil, Barlean’s Essential Fatty Acids, ½ an avocado, almond butter or chia seeds, will do the trick. I cannot say enough about chia seeds. These are a super food, loaded with nutrients. They are high in fiber and an excellent source of protein, calcium, magnesium, and much more. They are high in tryptophan the amino acid needed to make the feel good hormone serotonin and they expand 9 times their amount so they make you feel satisfied, longer.
If you are going to add milk I prefer it be either almond or coconut milk because there is less sugar.
Now, adding fruit. Fruit does have natural sugar in it, so you want to be mindful, but it is ok to add ½ cup of frozen berries or ½ of a banana to your shake.
Your meal will consist of 4 ounces of any protein, chicken, fish, turkey, even lean ground beef and raw or cooked vegetables. Remember corn and peas are a starch not a vegetable. Then a healthy fat like 1 ounce of nuts, olives, grape seed or coconut oil, or avocado. For example you can have 4 ounces of tilapia, with salted green beans with olive oil and slivered almonds or you can do a chicken salad with lots of raw veggies and 2 TBSP salad dressing. With your meal, the key is to stay away from pre-made pre-packaged foods as much as possible.
What you cannot have- Absolutely no processed carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta, no potatoes, no sugar or sweeteners like honey. If you do use sugar substitutes, keep to a minimum because in many ways they affect your body like regular sugar. Keep all salad dressings and sauces to a minimum (2 TBSP).
Now when you get to 2 days before your surgery your diet will change and you will cut out all foods and change over to a clear liquid diet. This helps empty your stomach and take out any glycogen storage to help with the shrinkage of the liver.
For the clear liquid phase, you will only be having fluids that are transparent; like apple or cranberry juice, herbal teas and any flavored broths. For juice, I recommend either Honest Kids which only has 10g of sugar or low sugar juices. If you do regular juice be sure to dilute with water 50/50.
Now during the clear liquid phase you will also have 2 plain Greek yogurts per day. It has to be plain yogurt. The main purpose is for the healthy bacteria in the yogurt. This does assist with minimizing post surgery side effects. You cannot do flavored yogurts.
Feel free to join our Facebook support page for more information or visit our website. Here at Mexico bariatric center our goal is to take this journey with you and provide you with excellent care with both pre and post-surgical support.