Stage 1 Bariatric Diet:
Clear Liquid Diet Ideas

On the Stage 1 bariatric diet, your surgeon may instruct you to drink only clear liquids for the entire week or you may start out on clear liquids for 2-3 days and also be allowed full (thick) liquids for the remainder of the week. Follow your surgeon’s instructions.

“Clear” liquid isn’t a reference to the color of liquids that are acceptable. “Clear” simply means liquids you can see through.

bariatric clear liquid diet ideas

Bariatric Diet Clear Liquid Diet Ideas: 

  • Water
  • Alkaline water
  • Fruit infused water/"spa water"
  • Ice chips/crushed ice/shaved ice
  • Sugar free, non carbonated beverages like these
  • Cold tea- herbal or decaf
  • Sugar free popsicles 

Pro Tips:

  • All waters are not created equally. If you think "water tastes funny" after surgery, try ALKALINE water. You'll be amazed at how much easier it is to drink!
  • Use a snow cone machine to make shaved ice and drizzle with flavored sugar free syrup. Nom nom nom.
  • See what to drink if you don't like water, here.
  • Just about everything will taste TOO sweet after surgery, so use more water or add crushed ice to dilute liquids: Use 2-3x as much water as per directions when mixing Crystal Light®, Sugar free Kool-Aid®, etc. in order to dilute sweetness.

Bariatric Clear Liquid Diet Ideas:

warm tea

Warm fluids are very soothing and will help relax the muscles of your stomach:

  • Hot Tea- herbal or decaf
  • Warm water with lemon or lime
  • Low Sodium Broth or Boullion (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • Bone broth

Bariatric Clear Liquid Diet Ideas:
High Protein Options

You have a lofty protein goal after surgery that will be impossible to meet right out of the gate. But there’s no reason why you can’t make a little headway toward it as early as possible by choosing protein containing clear liquids starting at the Stage 1 bariatric diet:

High protein Bone broth

Clear proteins drinks:

  • Premier Clear
  • Atkins Lift
  • Protein20
  • Liquacel Liquid Protein (Can be taken straight or diluted with 1-4 oz water)
  • Cytosport
  • New Whey Bullets

Fruit Flavored protein powders that can be mixed with water or a beverage like Crystal Light®:

  • Syntrax Nectar
  • IsoPure Infusions

High protein sugar free JELL-O®, (yes, JELL-O®, is considered a clear liquid!). See recipe below.

Pro Tips:

The clear protein drinks may taste VERY sweet after surgery.

Dilute them with water, sip over ice, or mix them with unsweetened tea or a favorite sugar free beverage.

Bariatric Clear Liquid Idea:
High Protein JELL-O® Recipe



  • 1 small box of sugar free JELL-O®, any flavor
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup unflavored whey protein powder (like Isopure)


  1. Dissolve JELL-O® in boiling water. Add cold water.
  2. Whisk in protein powder until dissolved.
  3. Place JELL-O® in refrigerator to set, about 30 minutes.

Note: You HAVE to cool the boiling water down, or the protein powder will curdle (because it starts to cook!)

Stage 1 Bariatric Diet:
What to AVOID

Stay away from the following list of foods and drinks on the Stage 1 Bariatric Diet. It's a good idea to avoid them always, really!  They contain sugar (=calories) and could cause the  dumping syndrome side effect after weight loss surgery:

  • Fruit juices
  • Full sugar sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.)
  • Clear sodas (Sprite, 7-Up, Ginger ale)
  • Sherbets
  • Fruit Bars

Stage 1 Bariatric Diet FAQs

Why Only Clear Liquids after Surgery?

Simply to allow your system to get its needed rest. Clear liquids are very easily absorbed, minimize the need for digestion, and lessen production of solid waste.

How Long?

Doctors require anywhere from a day to a week of the Phase 1 bariatric diet. Follow your surgeon’s guidelines.

How Much Do I Have to Drink?

At least 64 ounces Daily

Drinking enough clear liquids will be challenging in the beginning because your stomach is so much smaller than it used to be. You can get dehydrated quickly and easily if you don’t stay on top of it. Dehydration is the #1 cause of readmission after surgery. It may take some strategizing in the beginning to get the required 64oz of daily fluids down.

 Pro Tips

Stage 1 Bariatric Diet Fluid Strategies:

1. Sip all day long: Make it a goal to sip 1 ounce over 15 minutes in the beginning. Then repeat. This translates to drinking:

  • 4 ounces in 1 hour
  • 16 ounces in 4 hours
  • 64 ounces in 16 hours

Over time it will get easier to drink a larger volume at one time.

2.  Set a recurring alarm to remind you to drink every 15 minutes.

3.  Keep track of your fluid intake with pen a paper or with an app. Accountability is critical!

4. See more on how to avoid dehydration.

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