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Tips for the Liquid Diet Stage

Woman drinks protein shake while on liquids diet after bariatric surgery to improve her weight loss success

The first and possibly most intimidating dietary stage after bariatric surgery is the liquid stage.  If you haven’t gone through it yet, you’re probably thinking, “There’s no way I could only drink a few liquids in a whole day!”  Those of us who have been there know the mind-blowing feeling of being Thanksgiving dinner-level full after a sip of water!  Read on for tips to help you navigate the liquid stage!

The name of the game during the liquid stage is to “keep on sipping.”  Your number one goal during this stage is to keep yourself hydrated.  In the hours and days after your surgery, your stomach will be healing, so it will be EXTRA small.  Even a tiny sip or two may make you feel full!  Don’t worry.  It’s normal.  But you must keep sipping if you want to get your 48-64 ounces a day!  Trust me; it’s hard!  You’re likely not going to feel hungry or thirsty in those first few days, so you’ve got to make a conscious effort to sip all day long.

During the liquid stage, you can have full liquids.  This can be things like flavored water, broths, sugar-free popsicles, sugar-free Jello, sports drinks, protein shakes, low-carb milk, and strained soups.  You still want to avoid anything containing seeds, big pieces of herbs, or chunks.  When in doubt, strain! Introduce a new liquid slowly and in small sips to see how your stomach tolerates it. If you don’t have any pain or nausea after a couple of minutes, keep sipping! Some doctors will recommend avoiding caffeine and spicy liquids at this stage. Ask yours what they suggest.

As much as possible, prioritize protein! These days there are all kinds of protein-infused flavored waters, flavored and unflavored protein powders, protein gel packs, etc., that can help boost your protein intake while still in the liquid stage. Shop around and research online to see what you can find. New, innovative products are launching all the time.

As with most things, the best defense is a good offense. Plan for the liquid stage. Have lots of options on hand BEFORE your surgery. You can try different products and flavors beforehand to find a good variety of things you like. You likely won’t feel up to hunting around the grocery store for options immediately after your surgery, so it makes sense to stock up beforehand.

The liquid stage can seem intimidating. But, with some planning and preparation, you’ll crush it and be one step closer to your weight loss goals! You got this!

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