After you undergo weight-loss surgery, your surgeon will put you on a strict liquid diet to allow your stomach and digestive system to fully heal and adjust to its new, smaller size.
The liquid diet phase is the first phase of your post-op diet, and will consist mostly of clear liquids that allow you to stay fully hydrated and well-nourished during your time of healing.
During the liquid diet phase, your surgeon will recommend that you stick to liquids such as clear-colored vegetable, beef, or chicken broths, watered-down sugar-free drinks, skim milk, and even sugar-free gelatin. Additionally, the liquids you consume during the liquid diet phase should be at room temperature, since liquids that are excessively hot or cold in temperature can shock and disrupt your digestive system.
Though it may only last a few days or up to a week depending on the type of bariatric surgery you have, the liquid diet phase may seem difficult to endure. However, there are a few ways you can make the liquid diet phase just a bit more enjoyable throughout your healing period.
Here are three creative ways to make your liquid diet phase more satisfying post-surgery:
1. Try new flavors of clear broth
The most common types of broth you may run across in the grocery store are vegetable, chicken, and beef broths; however, there are actually many different types of broths you can choose from. Look for broth in cans, cartons, and packets that have flavors such as turkey, ham, mushroom, and onion. Just make sure that the broths are clear and don’t have a creamy consistency, and also make sure that you consult with your surgeon about approved broths you can eat immediately following surgery.
2. Buy your favorite flavors of sugar-free gelatin
Today, you can find gelatin in a wide variety of different flavors. Gone are the days when cherry, lime, and orange were the only available gelatin flavors. Now you can buy gelatin in flavors such as candy cane, cherry lemonade, margarita, pina colada, watermelon, and much more. Just make sure you buy gelatins that are sugar-free and lack chunks of fruit and other solid ingredients.
3. Drink non-dairy milk products
Most surgeons approve skim milk for consumption during the liquid diet phase, but some patients go on to develop lactose-intolerance following surgery. Lactose-intolerance can often result in bloating, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. To lower your risk for lactose-intolerance following surgery, swap out skim milk for soy, almond, or coconut milk. You might even be allowed to drink vanilla-flavored milk, but verify with your surgeon prior to buying any flavored milks.