Weight Loss Surgery: What to Know

Weight Loss Surgery: What to Know

A liquid protein diet is usually prescribed by doctors for a number of reasons. The most common use of this regimen is when preparing for weight loss surgery, since a high protein diet is the most effective for pre and post-surgery. This diet is also recommended for weight loss, especially when all other forms of diets have failed. This diet must be followed by a short amount of time, as its long-term use can deprive your body of the essential minerals and nutrients found in real, healthy foods.

Pre-Weight Loss Surgery Liquid Protein Diet

Before undergoing weight loss surgery, its required to follow a high-protein liquid diet to help reduce the amount of fat in and around the liver and abdomen, as well as reduce the size of the liver. Not only will this make the procedure easier to perform, but it will also help reduce any surgical risk associated with the surgery and ensure the body is in good nutritional status. This diet also helps individuals to start losing weight and to familiarize themselves with new eating habits. 

The diet begins seven to fourteen days before weight loss surgery and generally requires the individual to consume from 60-70 grams of protein per day. Although the guidelines may vary, it normally requires cutting back on saturated fats, foods high in carbohydrates and sugar, alcohol, and cigarettes. It encourages individuals to exercise portion control and to supplement the liquid proteins with calcium or multivitamins to ensure basic nutrient needs are met. 

In the pre-op diet, protein shakes will be the diet’s primary component. They can be accompanied by sugar-free beverages, soup broth, vegetable juices, or other liquid sources as recommended by the doctor or nutritionist. It’s important to sip beverages very slowly and to wait at least 30 minutes before and/or after consuming another liquid.

Post-Weight Loss Surgery Liquid Protein Diet

Once the surgery is complete, individuals must follow a strict diet plan to ensure the stomach heals properly. This diet will consist of four stages: clear liquids, pureed food, soft foods, and solid foods. The clear liquid stage lasts up to seven days after the surgery and usually consists of drinking clear liquids such as water, broth, and fat-free milk. After 7 days, individuals are advised to start consuming pureed foods and liquefied sources of protein. About 60-70 grams of protein is recommended, spread out into smaller meals throughout the day. This stage can be between one to two weeks. The soft food stage will follow and will also last from one to two weeks. Lastly, individuals can start eating solid foods approximately six weeks after surgery. Individuals may slowly start to incorporate solid foods and eliminate refined sugar and foods that are difficult to digest. 

During all stages, it’s important to stay hydrated and follow the diet plan set forth by medical professionals. Getting in the right types of nutrients, vitamins, and protein is crucial for weight loss surgery to be a success.  

Is a High Liquid Protein Diet Safe for Uses Other Than Weight Loss Surgery?

Liquid protein diets are very common for weight loss, as they involve consuming fewer calories than usual. Although there is no “one-size fits all”, for the most part, these diets are an effective and a safe way to lose weight when done correctly and for a short period of time. Consuming only liquids can deprive the body of essential vitamins and minerals that it needs to function properly. It also means that your body has less energy to carry about normal activities. Although following a liquid protein diet can provide the body with all essential and non-essential amino acids, its best to only follow when recommended by a healthcare professional.

What Protein Should I Use?

Following a liquid protein diet requires individuals to have the most effective protein source available, as this protein will likely be the only source of food, energy, minerals, and nutrient for the body. If choosing protein shakes or protein meal replacements, its vital to verify the carbohydrates, fats, and sugar to ensure there is a proper ratio of nutrients. It’s also important to check where the protein came from. Is it sourced from dairy? Does it come from peas or almonds? Will the body be able to properly digest it? How much is the serving size? These are all questions to ask yourself before committing to a liquid protein diet and deciding which protein to choose. 

When considering a liquid protein diet, our recommendation is to opt for collagen protein sources that contain all essential and non-essential amino acids, such as Proteinex. Proteinex is a liquid hydrolyzed protein source, which means that it has been predigested so your body doesn’t have to put in the work. It’s an easily absorbable source of protein that the body can quickly enjoy. It also has a high amount of protein in a small serving size; it can be taken as is or mixed with water or any beverage. This is the ideal integration to a pre or post-operative weight loss diet as its also free of fat, carbs, and sugar. 

Although it may be difficult to get enough protein without eating any solid foods, having Proteinex at hand can help individuals follow through a liquid protein diet to accomplish their weight loss plans after and before surgery.