As a dietitian, one of the most important things I do is prepare my patients for the pre weight loss surgery diet.
It's a 1-2 week liquid diet designed to shrink the liver and prepare the body for surgery. And while it may seem daunting, it's an essential step on the journey to a healthier, happier life.
I have the pleasure of working with many successful patients, but one in particular stands out. This patient was determined to make it through the bariatric pre op diet without cheating (or killing a child) and with the help of my advice, she did just that.
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So without further adieu...here is RG in her own words...
“RG” has graciously agreed to share her experience and the tips that helped her make it through preop diet...
...So, I decided to take the plunge and go for weight loss surgery. I was so excited to get on my way to a healthier, happier me. But before I could get to the good stuff, there was one small obstacle standing in my way.
That dreaded pre weight loss surgery diet that we all hear about circulating on the internet and FB. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong.
That's where my dietitian, Suzette, came in. She sat me down and explained the importance of the bariatric preop diet and gave me some tips on how to survive it. And let me tell you, it was a lifesaver! These were her tips...
Stock up on protein supplements, vitamins, fluids and "free foods" ahead of time. She explained to me the importance of being prepared and not running around at the last minute like a chicken without a head.
So, I made sure to purchase all my bariatric protein supplements, vitamins, acceptable beverages, and sugar free popsicles and jello, well ahead of time.
And thankfully I did! Because once I got the approval back from the insurance company, time seemed to speed up. While I had been waiting an arduous 6 months to have the surgery, everything went super fast once I was approved.
I was so filled with emotions…excitement…fear…second guessing myself…it was hard to concentrate. I can’t even imagine having to sit down and think through what I needed at that point. I was really glad I had already done it a good month and half before surgery!
She gave me a piece of paper and had me write down what time I wake up and what time I go to bed, then map out each hour on a separate line.
Next, she had me plan the time of day to drink each of my approved protein meal replacement supplements and plan 64 ounces of low calorie fluids spread out in between. This was particularly helpful as I was able to see how my fluids fit in once I had it all on paper.
She suggested that I find someone to keep me on track, whether it was my spouse, neighbor, friend, or even a dietitian, like her. (I used her).
This was especially helpful as I was able to check in with Suzette daily and report how my pre weight loss surgery diet was going. She always says, "Everyone does better with another pair of eyes on them." And I believe Suzette is right!
She suggested that I make a vision board and hang it in the kitchen. This was a reminder of my ultimate goal and helped me keep my eye on the prize when the going got tough. It helped a lot. Because it was a struggle, to say the least.
There were times I was tired or low energy on my pre weight loss surgery diet, and I felt like I wanted to cheat at times. But my vision board reminded me why I decided to have surgery in the first place.
I wanted my life back. I wanted to be able to travel again. To wear jeans. To cross my legs. To have confidence.
It was a struggle, to say the least. I felt like a bird in a cage, pecking at my protein supplements and sipping on water. The first few days were the hardest. My stomach grumbled like an angry bear, and my taste buds were in mourning for the loss of real food. But with the help of my dietitian, Suzette, and her tips, I was able to make it through.
So, if you're about to embark on the 2 week pre op diet, know that it's not going to be easy…But it’s POSSIBLE!
And it's a bit easier if you follow the 4 tips I got (they're so simple, yet so effective!):
If I can do it, you can do it too. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!