Many patients who start the process towards weight-loss surgery will require a pre-op diet.
But programs differ so much, you can bet the diets will too! Several programs will require you to lose weight before you can get schedule for surgery. In my opinion, these are the best of the best programs.
But why would they do that?? If you could lose weight, why would you even be going to that doctor?
The reason for pre-op weight loss are purely for safety. It’s not a way to test your devotion or make you prove yourself. Losing weight prior to surgery reduces the size of the liver and makes for a safer operation for you. From my perspective, when patients need to meet with me on a monthly basis and start the changes they need to make for surgery BEFORE we start talking dates…they end up better off for it in the long-run. More on my thoughts about changing your lifestyle before surgery here.
Other programs may not require you to lose weight before surgery, but they will put you on a 2 week or 10 day pre-op diet before your surgery. The idea behind this is the same but to me it’s a little more on the tough side. Going on a liquid, all-shake diet for 2 weeks to shrink the liver sounds terrible to me. You already have to be on a liquid diet after surgery, so 2 weeks before and now 2 weeks after means a MONTH of shakes only. Pass.
Some programs may be even more intensive about their liquid diet and require longer than 2 weeks.
In my personal and professional opinion, I would prefer to follow a reasonably structured low-carb meal plan to lose 5-10% of my weight than have to going on a month of liquids before surgery! Once again, this will vary from clinic to clinic but I would certainly ask at the seminar or at your doctors office what to expect in terms of the pre-op diet!
For those of you who do need to lose 5-10% of your weight prior to surgery, below is a typical meal plan I may use in my office. Keep in mind this is NOT medical advice and has NOT been adapted for your needs or medical history. Rather is a brief outline of a typical pre-op weight loss program to help you lose weight and prepare for surgery. Losing weight is the goal after all…isn’t it?!
Breakfast: Low-carb protein shake (15-25 grams protein, less than 7 grams carbs)
AM Snack: 2 oz lean protein (2 low-fat cheese sticks, 2 hard-boiled eggs, 2 oz lean beef jerky)
Lunch: 4-6 oz lean protein (chicken, beef, pork) with 2 cups non-starchy veggies (green beans, carrots, salad, broccoli)
PM Snack: 2 oz lean protein OR protein bar (15-20 grams protein, less than 20 grams carbs)
Dinner: 4-6 oz lean protein (chicken, beef, pork) with 2 cups non-starchy veggies (green beans, carrots, salad, broccoli)
Evening Snack: Low-carb protein shake
Just a brief online on a good, solid pre-op weight loss diet plan! Yes…this is different than after surgery when 3 meals will be your focus and fluids in between. For a detailed food list, consider Premier Access Membership and access the food list here.