Phase One: The Bariatric Surgery Clear Liquid Diet
Duration: 5 – 7 Days Post-Surgery
After surgery, your body needs time to rest and adjust to the changes. There are 4 phases of the post-op diet to help gradually incorporate foods back into your meal plan as your stomach completely heals, which usually takes 6 weeks.
The reason there is a range of phases after surgery is that each person is different and you heal and adapt at different rates. It is very important for you to learn to be mindful and listen to your body; it will tell you when it is ready to go to the next phase.
The first phase of the post-op diet focuses on hydration and strictly consuming clear liquids.
List of Approved Clear Liquids
Phase 1 of the Clear Liquid diet only lasts for 5 to 7 days after bariatric surgery. Your goal is to be able to consume 48 to 64 oz of fluids per day to stay hydrated before moving to the next phase. Drink small sips and never use a straw!
Clear liquids are anything that is transparent and sugar-free including;
- Flavored Water
- Sugar-Free Jello
- Herbal Tea
- Apple Juice (Diluted with Water)
- Ice Chips
We recommend getting a low sugar juice like Honest Kids; it only has 10 grams of sugar per serving versus the 28 grams of most juices. If you buy regular juice, just dilute 50/50 with water. Being mindful not to consume too much sugar at one time will help with minimizing the chances of diarrhea or nausea that sometimes comes post-surgery.
To assist with being able to get the minimum requirement of 48 ounces of fluids, avoid any extremes like too hot or too cold.
Having warm teas or broths and room temperature water or juices are the best options. The other thing that will assist you is having something warm first thing when you wake up; this helps in relaxing the stomach muscles. After the surgery you will not be able to gulp fluids anymore, so train yourself to sip throughout the day.
What We Recommend
Overall your clear liquids will consist of water, broth, herbal tea, juices like apple, grape or cranberry, jello, or popsicles. If you want to add lemon to your tea that would be fine, this will decrease the acidity of the drink; although lemons are acidic, they have the opposite effect in our bodies and help in creating an alkaline environment.
A lot of people ask about clear liquid protein. You don’t need to take them during this phase but if you want to use it for a variety it’s fine. Remember your goals during this phase are rest for your body so it can heal and to constantly keep fully hydrated.
What to Avoid
You can not have any carbonated beverages, such as soda, and you must also rule out regular and decaf coffee from your diet. After surgery, your stomach is very sensitive and many people have problems with nausea and acid reflux.
Because coffee is acidic it can exasperate the acid reflux. You want to wait a minimum of 30 days before you attempt to incorporate coffee back into your meal plan. If you are having any type of acid reflux DO NOT have coffee until this goes away.
Learn More: Drinking Coffee After Bariatric Surgery
Moving to the Next Phase
When you are drinking 64 ounces and feel hungry, your body is telling you it is ready for phase 2, which is thick liquids.
Feel free to join our Facebook support page for more information or view the post-surgical meal plan for specific guidelines which you can print out from our website; Links are below. Here at Mexico bariatric center, our goal is to take this journey with you and provide you with excellent care with both pre and post-surgical support.
- Post-Op Diet Guide to Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Post-Op Diet Guide to Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Best Articles and Resources Post-Op Diet
- Approved Foods You Can and Can’t Eat After Gastric Sleeve Surgery!
- 5 Things to Get Used to After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Recovery after Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Bariatric Surgery Post-Surgery Support
- Bariatric Meal Plan for the Four-Phase Post-Op Diet
- Pre-Op Dietary Guidelines
- When Can I Resume Normal Eating Habits?