Post Op Liquid Diet

Stage One – Liquids

Stage one will last for about 2 weeks AFTER surgery or as indicated by the MD or RD. Follow the guidelines provided; this progression allows your stomach to heal properly and prevent complications.


Clear Liquids (consume clear liquids for the first 3 days after surgery)
While in the hospital, you will be provided appropriate meal trays for a post bariatric patient.

Items allowed:

  • No calorie/sugar free beverages- 4 oz serving
    • Examples: Water, Crystal Light, Gatorade Zero, Powerade Zero, Propel Zero, Vitamin Water Zero, SF Kool Aid, Wyler’s Light, decaffeinated tea or coffee for 1st month (sugar substitute/artificial sweeteners are allowed), clear protein drinks(20+ g protein, <5 g sugar)
  • Sugar free popsicles or Jell-O
  • Low sodium broth – 4 oz serving
    • Examples: low sodium chicken/beef/vegetable broth

Clear Liquids + Full Liquids (Begin on Post-op Day 4)

Items allowed:

  • Clear liquids listed above
  • Protein Supplement – at least 1/day
    • Examples: premade or powders mixed with water, low-fat or fat-free milk, unsweetened almond/soy/cashew/oat milk
  • Non fat/low sugar yogurt – 4 oz serving
    • Examples: Dannon Light and Fit, Yoplait light (NO fruit chunks and <10 grams’ sugar), Oikos Triple Zero, Nonfat Greek yogurt (higher protein); NO mix ins or toppings (granola, nuts)
  • Thickened Vegetable Soup (low sodium/low fat) – 4 oz serving
    • Examples: Tomato Basil, Roasted Red Pepper, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato Bisque, or homemade option: steamed vegetables blended/pureed in broth/water and strained, NO LUMPS
    • No more than 15-20g of carbohydrates/serving
    • NO: Cream of Mushroom, Broccoli Cheddar, Chicken Tortilla, Cream of Chicken
    • NO chunks of rice, pasta, noodles, or meat.
  • Plain Unsweetened Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Cream of Rice – ¼ cup serving (2 oz)
    • Make with water first (may use unsweetened almond, cashew, soy or skim milk in preparation if tolerated);MUST BE WATERY, RUNNY AND THIN!
  • Sugar free pudding – 4 oz serving

Tips to remember…

  • Take small sips
    • No gulping liquids or using straws; no carbonation
  • No more than 4 ounces at one serving or as indicated for Full Liquid items
    • Use small Tupperware/Pyrex or ramekins to help with measuring servings
  • Stop as soon as you are full
    • You may only be able to tolerate only a couple tablespoons at a time
  • Only one new food at a time
    • Make sure you know what foods you are or are not tolerating
    • If you do not tolerate something; leave it alone for a couple days before you try it again
  • Keep hydrated – goal of 48 – 64 ounces per day
    • Try to consume 4-6 ounces every hour or take sips every 30 minutes to help reach this goal
    • It will take time to achieve this goal
  • Protein, Protein, Protein – goal of 60 grams per day
    • It will take time to achieve this goal—most people will not reach this for several days
  • Avoid gum, soda, straws and carbonated beverages

    • Can cause an obstruction if swallowed
  • No caffeine within 1st month after surgery. No alcohol within the 1st year.
    • Caffeine is a gastric irritant and can upset the stomach; no energy drinks
  • Walk daily
    • You will be able to get up and walk around in the hospital
    • Keep up the walking once you get home; this helps prevent blood clots

You may start adding recommended vitamins and minerals two weeks post-surgery. Always try to take these with food as they may cause nausea on an empty stomach. Always separate iron and calcium; take 2 hours apart from each other.

Your post-operative appointment will be two weeks after surgery, with your Surgical Nurse Practitioner and Dietitian. It is best to schedule these appointments once you receive your surgery date. If you have not scheduled your post op visit, please call the office at (858) 457-4917 to make an