I was on a clear liquid diet for five days following surgery, and while that seems like a long time without eating something of substance, it didn’t bother me. In fact, the first few months after surgery, I didn’t feel hungry at all and would have to remind myself to eat. The first few days I had some pain, nausea and lethargy. These are normal reactions to major surgery on your stomach. I was thankful for the clear liquids and nothing more at that point, although I did find it difficult to drink the required amount of liquids. However, it’s absolutely necessary that you stay hydrated so you don’t have to go back to the hospital for dehydration.
Examples of Acceptable Liquids
The clear liquid diet phase is made up of simple liquids. You’ll want to stick with plain, non-caloric, sugar-free liquids. You can add water enhancers to plain water, as long as they are sugar-free. Try Mio, Crystal Light
Below is a complete list of liquids you can have:
- Water, with or without water enhancers
- Fat-free soup broth, like chicken or beef
- Sugar-free gelatin, like Jello
- Sugar-free ice pops
- Decaffeinated, sugar-free tea, iced or hot
Tips for Drinking
You’re going to find that drinking during the clear liquid diet is much different than before surgery. I wrote a post previously about ways to drink more water, and a lot of those same principles still apply to this phase of your bariatric diet. However, you want to sip all day long at this point. You probably won’t feel like drinking, but you have to do it. Set a timer on your phone for five minutes, and aim to drink half an ounce to an ounce of water at that point. Use a medicine cup for easy measuring. In an hour’s time, you’ll drink six to 12 ounces.
Set a schedule to have your meals. I had sugar-free Jello for breakfast, chicken broth for lunch and beef broth for supper. I ended the day with sugar-free ice pops. All of these meals count toward your 48 to 64 ounces of required liquids per day. If you aim for a cup at each meal, that’s three cups or 24 ounces. Keep drinking your water every five minutes between your meals, and you’ll hit your fluid goal.
Things to Avoid
Some things you’ll want to avoid are gulping, as it’s going to hurt your new tummy. Also avoid straws, as they can introduce extra gas into your stomach which can be quite painful. Just make sure to keep sipping throughout the day and keep walking every hour to prevent blood clots. These are your main focus during the clear liquid diet phase of your bariatric surgery.
Also, avoid caffeine at this point. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, caffeine should be avoided for at least the first 30 days following bariatric surgery. Caffeine can dehydrate you and stimulate your appetite. It’s also usually found in high-sugar drinks, so you’ll want to make sure you are avoiding those. After the first 30 days, consult your doctor whether you can have some caffeine again.
Clear Liquid Diet Recipes
Since you’re eating plain liquids on the clear liquid diet, it’s tough to really develop recipes for this phase. However, I wanted to include some recipes if you decide to go homemade for some of your meals.
Click next to get all the yummy recipes!