Protein is King!
The good news is that you can start adding protein to your diet, which will also provide you with more energy. After bariatric surgery, protein is king, so start consuming at least 60 grams of protein a day. At this point, you’ll only be eating about two ounces of fluid per meal. It is nearly impossible to squeeze in 60 grams of protein in two ounces, so you’ll have to supplement with protein shakes. I used Bariatric Advantage protein powder but have since switched to RedCon1. I like RedCon1 better because they have more variety of flavors, run sales frequently and taste better. Check out their Isotope protein powder, which is made from whey protein isolate. Plus, use code T20NickyBi to get 20 percent off your order!
Examples of Full Liquids
If you are tired of broth and Jello from your clear liquid diet, you will be excited about the new variation of fluids you can start consuming. In addition to your protein shakes, which you can make with milk for added protein, or blend until smooth with ice in a blender for a thicker taste, you can also have soups, thinned-down Cream of Wheat or oatmeal, yogurt
You can also drink skim milk or V8 too. Gatorade and Powerade also make great zero sugar varieties of their sports drink. If you are getting sick of water, this is a great alternative to help get your fluids. You can and should continue with any fluids from the clear liquid diet to help meet your fluid goals. Remember that your protein shakes, soups and any other liquids you consume count toward your fluid goals. Keep track of them so you can make sure you’re well-hydrated and can avoid additional hospitalization due to dehydration.
Tips for Full Liquid Diet
As you progress through your post-op diet stages, each one is exciting and scary in its own right. After all, you are retraining your body how to eat and watching for new satiety clues. You’ll want to schedule times for your meals again so that you make sure you’re not missing any. I know it sounds crazy to think about skipping meals when you’re pre-op, but many people after surgery don’t feel hungry for a long time. Stop drinking 30 minutes before your meal and wait 30 minutes after your meal before you drink again. Also, do this fluid restriction before and after your protein shakes.
When you are eating meals, you’ll aim for two to four ounces of liquid over 30 to 45 minutes. Go slow and take your time. As I mentioned, watch for your new satiety clues. Some people burp, hiccup or even sneeze when they’re full. Stop as soon as you reach a sign of fullness. Do not overdo it, as you will get sick and be in pain. You can use a baby spoon (and at a year post-op, I still do!) to help take smaller bites. You can’t chew liquids at this point, but if you’re doing a thicker fluid, make sure to mimic chewing a little bit to get your saliva going. If you can’t tolerate full liquids, contact your doctor and return to clear liquids for a day or two.
Foods to Avoid on the Full Liquid Diet
When you’re on the full liquid diet, there are some foods you should avoid. Livestrong gives an excellent list of the foods you cannot eat on the full liquid diet. You should avoid any food that needs to be chewed, as your stomach cannot handle the digestion of this food yet. Do not mix solid foods, such as nuts, into your full liquids, such as yogurt. Mashed foods are also not allowed, but you can soon eat those on the next stage: pureed. You should also avoid any cheese, fruit or breakfast cereal.
Oatmeal is also allowed at this stage, but you must cook the oats well. Pour the cooked oatmeal into a blender and add an equal amount of milk or water. Blend thoroughly until it’s completely liquified. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer to get out solid pieces that remain. Remember, after bariatric surgery you cannot have pieces of food until you get to the soft foods stage. You must follow the steps laid out by your doctor and do not skip any stages. Eating solid foods too soon can lead to blockages, pain and hospitalization. Stick with the plan because it will work!
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