The Health Nut Blog

Understanding the Pre-operative Liquid Diet

by Jessica Springer | Jun 15, 2020

All surgical weight loss patients are required to start a liquid diet 14 days before their surgery date. This diet is high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates.

“The pre-operative liquid diet is an important step for patients leading up to surgery,” said registered dietitian, Selena Diaz, RD. “By following these recommendations for 14 days it helps jump start weight loss and reduces the size of the liver which allows the surgeon to see and navigate the anatomy more easily and thus leads to a more successful surgery.”

An important aspect of the liquid diet is consuming enough protein which helps ensure good nutritional status prior to surgery. Patients should drink five protein shakes throughout the day, three to four hours apart and consume approximately 60-80 grams of protein per day.

Approved protein shake options include a whey or soy isolate protein powder and adding Carnation Breakfast Essential Light Start or Orgain Vegan Nutritional Shake Option, which is a vegan option for those who are lactose-intolerant or do not tolerate artificial sweeteners.

During the 14-day period, patients must also consume an additional 64 ounces of clear fluids which are non-carbonated, caffeine-free, and sugar-free. Water should be the main source of fluid. However, patients may choose to include the following in their liquid diet:

  • Crystal Light™ (avoid flavors labeled, “with caffeine”)
  • Hint fruit infused water™ (not “fizz” or “caffeine kick”)
  • Fruit2O™ (“classic” only)
  • Wal-Mart Great Value brand sugar free non-carbonated beverage
  • Sweet Leaf Water Drops™
  • Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth – choose low sodium
  • Sugar-free gelatin
  • Sugar-free popsicles
  • Decaffeinated coffee or tea with sugar substitute

*Do not use sugar-free beverages with “energy” on package.