The time leading up to bariatric surgery is not the time to permit your health and diet to worsen. Getting started on a healthy higher-protein diet, drinking more water and beginning some gentle exercise are excellent ways to get ready for bariatric surgery.
Some bariatric surgeons actually require that candidates for gastric bypass surgery lose 10 percent of their weight before weight loss surgery is performed. This can be accomplished by following a traditional calorie-restricted diet or by using liquid protein diet supplements. It’s been shown that losing even 10-15 pounds before bariatric surgery can decrease the risks of complications.
Some surgeons require patients to follow a full liquid protein diet for two weeks before surgery to prepare their system for the transition. A high-protein, calorie restricted diet can also be useful prior to laparoscopic surgery, as it can decrease the size of the liver, which can shorten operating time. Adopting a healthy, reduced calorie diet plan prior to bariatric surgery gets you into the habit of eating less, eating healthy and making the essential dietary changes that will be required after your bariatric surgery, and for the rest of your life.
Bariatric weight loss surgery requires you to make life-changing adjustments before and afterwards. The nutrition consultation with the surgeon or dietitian before bariatric surgery is a very important step in the process – to explain the nutritional requirements and dietary changes that are necessary before and after your bariatric weight loss surgery.
Starting on a Pre-Bariatric Surgery Diet
Pre bariatric surgery diets typically begin 2 to 3 months before gastric bypass surgery. Depending on a person’s health, weight and body composition, bariatric surgery candidates are generally put on a diet by their surgeon or dietician ranging from 800-1200 calories per day, and consisting of 70-120 grams of protein each day. The diet also typically calls for a much lower intake of carbohydrates and dietary fat, especially refined sugars and saturated fat.
A pre-surgery bariatric diet is designed to:
- Reduce Bodyfat – especially the depot fat around the abdominal mid-section. Since this is the specific surgical area, this is beneficial to the safety of the patient.
- Preserve Lean Body Mass – intake of sufficient amounts of protein is “anti-catabolic” or “protein sparing”. This means that getting adequate protein prevents the body from utilizing lean muscle tissue as an energy source while losing body fat on a calorie restricted diet.
- Prepare the Body for Post-Surgery Recovery – eating healthy, increasing protein intake and avoiding refined carbohydrates, sugars and saturated fats provides the body with beneficial nutrients, vitamins and minerals that will help prepare it for the nutritionally demanding post-bariatric surgery recovery.
- Prepare the Patient for the Post-Surgery Diet – following a reduced calorie, higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet is essentially the way a bariatric surgery patient will be eating for the rest of their life. Therefore, before the surgery is the best time to get used to making healthy food choices and using protein diet supplements that will be needed after surgery.
Specially designed bariatric protein diet products and bariatric vitamins and minerals can be very helpful during the bariatric pre-surgery phase to help patients achieve their dietary goals. Many of our bariatric protein products come in convenient portion-controlled packets, which ensures the correct portion size, while providing the optimal amount of high-quality protein and minimal amounts of carbohydrates, sugars and fat. Make sure to consult with your surgeon and/or dietician before beginning a pre-surgery diet.