Stage 1 Bariatric Diet:
Clear Liquid Diet Ideas

spa water

The Stage 1 bariatric diet is only a short time, but for the few days or week you're following it, it helps to have a variety of choices! By the way...“clear” liquid isn’t a reference to the color of liquids that are acceptable. “Clear” simply means liquids you can see through.

Fun Idea

Use a snow cone machine to make shaved ice and drizzle with flavored sugar free syrup.

Nom nom nom

Bariatric Diet Clear Liquid Diet Ideas: 

spa water

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 really tastes different!
  • 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 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 liquid 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 also taste VERY sweet after surgery.

Dilute them with water, unsweetened tea, or add lots of extra ice.

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 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 also cause the dumping syndrome side effect after weight loss surgery:

  • Fruit juices
  • Full sugar sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.)
  • Full sugar sodas (Sprite, 7-Up, Ginger ale, etc.)
  • 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 per day of clear liquids.

Drinking enough 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. 

What Are Some Strategies to Prevent Dehydration?

Stage 1 Bariatric Diet:
The Bottom Line

  • The phase 1 diet is only a short period of time. You'll get through it!
  • Have a variety of options on hand, both cold and hot.
  • There are lots of options beside water.
  • Be prepared for a potential change in taste. Don't be surprised if everything tastes too sweet. Dilute your beverages as needed.
  • Be accountable: Track your fluid intake with pen and paper or with an app.
  • Have a strategy so you don't get dehydrated.

Yes, Send Me Recipes!

Clear Liquid Diet Recipes

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