Four-stage dietary plan
There are four main stages to the eating plan that support effective weight loss.
Stage 1: the pre-operative diet
Two weeks before your surgery you will be asked to follow a meal plan which is low in carbohydrate and fat. Its main purpose is to help to reduce the amount of these substances stored in your liver, to make the liver smaller which makes it easier for the surgeons to carry out the surgery.
Stage 2: the immediate post-operative period (weeks 0-2)
Only clear fluids, such as sips of water, will be tolerated during the first 24-48 hours. After this initial period you can begin to vary the fluids to a more liberal fluid intake for about two weeks.
Stage 3: The puree and soft/mashed diet (weeks 3-4)
You should still avoid eating food with lumps in it, but may begin to increase the texture of your diet to the thickness of yoghurt or custard-style consistency.
Stage 4: Normal textured, healthy meal plan (weeks 5-6 and beyond)
Foods with a firmer texture should be introduced to your diet gradually, one food at a time. Most foods should eventually be tolerated provided you chew them thoroughly.
In addition to these four stages, it is important to remember the following rules for eating:
Try to eat three meals each day but allow one snack
Chew food thoroughly
Stop eating when full
Drink plenty of fluids between meals, and sip throughout the day
Choose to zero-calorie, non-carbonated drinks (such as water)
Take your prescribed vitamin supplements
It is important to be aware that the surgery in itself will not achieve successful weight loss. Your commitment to longer term dietary and lifestyle changes are also crucial to initially lose and then sustain weight loss. Your dietitian will be happy to talk to you about any aspect of diet or lifestyle as you progress through weight loss.