Lowdown on the
Liver Diet Before Bariatric Surgery

Are you freaking out about the thought of having to do a liver diet before bariatric surgery? Don't worry, I've got you covered with all the deets on the how-tos of this pre surgery prep.

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Jump Right To HOW TO FOLLOW the Liver Diet Before Bariatric Surgery

First things first, ideally you spend 3-4 months before surgery:

Then 1-2 weeks right before the surgical procedure you enter what I call the “botta boom, botta bing” phase- a final pre op liver shrinking diet consisting of a 2 week liquid diet plan.  It's the final thing to check off your to-do list so you’re optimally prepared for bariatric surgery.

Shrink You Liver Like a Raisin in the Sun:
HOW the Diet Works

Basically, the bariatric preop diet is a low carb, low calorie diet that will make your liver say "bye-bye glycogen, hello smaller size!" See, when you eat carbs, your body uses some for immediate energy and stores the rest (in a form called glycogen) in the liver. And like a hoarder, the liver also stores water with the carbs.

The more carbs you eat, the bigger your liver gets. But no worries, the liver diet before bariatric surgery is here to save the day and shrink that liver down to size.

Are We There Yet?
HOW LONG Do I Have to Follow this Crazy Thing?

As for how long you have to follow this diet, it's like trying to predict the weather - it depends on a number of factors. Your weight and your surgeon's guidelines are the 2 biggies. Some doctors may make you follow it for 2 weeks, and others may base it on your BMI possibly like this:

  • BMI > 50: 2-4 week pre op diet
  • BMI 40-49.9: 2 week pre op diet
  • BMI 35-39.9: 1-2 week pre op diet

Just remember to follow your surgeon's instructions like a boss.

Waist Shrinking Too?

Don't get TOO excited about losing weight on the bariatric pre op diet, that's not the main goal here. The purpose of this diet is to shrink your liver, not to shrink your waistline. But hey, if you do lose weight - bonus points!

Weight loss results vary and are dependent on several factors, including your starting weight. I’ve seen many patients lose between 5-20 pounds on the 2 week bariatric liquid diet pre op!

My Professional Opinion

The ALL LIQUID approach to the pre op diet is best.

It eliminates any confusion about what and how much to eat.

Liver Diet Before Bariatric Surgery:
HOW to Follow

The bariatric pre op diet is a low carb, very low calorie, high protein diet that will shrink your liver like no other. There are no standardized guidelines for it which simply means, you have options:

Liver Diet Before Bariatric Surgery:
The Bottom Line for Your Bottom Line

  • A low carbohydrate, very low calorie, high protein diet is used in the weeks before bariatric surgery to shrink your liver.
  • It's important to have a smaller liver.
  • The liver shrinking diet is typically followed for 2 weeks pre op, although it may be a little shorter or longer depending on your surgeon’s guidelines.
  • There is more than one way to follow the liver diet before bariatric surgery.
  • You likely lose weight on the bariatric preop diet, but that’s not the point. It’s really all about your liver.

So, are you ready to shrink your liver and live your best life? Let's do this!

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