Phase I – Pre-Surgery Clear Liquid Diet
The first phase of clear liquids will actually start 5 days prior to surgery. You will be advised to drink only clear liquids and be expected to adhere to this for a minimum of 3 days prior to surgery depending on which operation you will be undergoing. Gastric bypass patients must be on a clear diet for the full 5 days. You will continue to drink only clear liquids for 24-48 hours after surgery and advance with protein supplements as per the doctor’s directives. The body needs time to heal and the clear liquids will provide electrolytes and keep you hydrated. This includes water, Crystal Light and almost any zero calorie and sugar free beverages.
Cleanse your system with sugar-free clear liquids
The clear liquids that you will be consuming for the days leading up to your operation will help ensure that your intestines are ready for surgery. The liquids will also help you become accustomed with your diet after the operation. The first or second day of the liquid diet is probably the hardest. Your body will become quickly comfortable and your anxiety and urges will quickly decrease.
Avoid Carbonated Beverages
By now you have been advised numerous times to avoid carbonated and caffeinated beverages. This includes soda, floats, seltzer, tonic water, sparkling cider, coffee, tea, lattes and any derivatives of these products. The carbonated beverages and drinking through a straw will fill the pouch with air and expand it over time. In addition these kinds of beverages can act as appetite stimulants and also add empty calories both of which contribute to weight gain.
Brew your own Iced Tea
Iced Tea can be an excellent beverage that can keep you hydrated and mix up some of the monotony of the pre-surgical and Stage I Diet. It is much more economical and better for the environment if you brew your own rather than buying individual glass bottles. Consider adding lemon or mint leaves to give it a touch of flavor.
Supplements and Vitamins
You should also start your multivitamin supplementation at this stage because you must be able to continue to take multivitamins after surgery. Before starting the pre-op Phase I Diet, you may try some protein drinks so you will know what to expect after surgery.
Start your vitamins before your operation
You may be given prescriptions for vitamins at your pre-surgical office visit. Please keep in mind that prescription vitamins are not any better than the vitamins that you may purchase at your local pharmacy or health food store. You are free to try different varieties including liquid formulations. If you have any questions then please bring the bottle to the office so that we can see the ingredients.
Be careful about stocking up on protein drinks before surgery. Your sense of taste may undergo a change after surgery and you may not like the same flavors before and after your operation. Most of your proteins will come from protein drinks. We will discuss different types of protein shakes and guidelines to choose protein shakes in a later section.
Try different varieties of protein shakes
Protein shakes come in many different flavors, colors, textures and consistency. Please make sure you read the label on the shakes. Stay away from the shakes that are meant for ‘body building’. You want to choose a shake that has a high amount of protein and a low amount of sugar and calories.