Why do I need to diet before undergoing weight loss surgery? I will lose weight anyway post-surgery..let me eat whatever I can now !
This is one of the most common complaints we get from patients.
So I thought I’d clear the air and set the facts straight … The pre- operative diet is not meant for weight loss (though you will lose a few kilos ) and its definitely not meant to torture you before surgery!
Truth be told the pre- operative diet, helps the surgeons make your surgery safer and less taxing. Fatty liver is a common occurrence in overweight and obese individuals and the pre – operative diet helps to shrink the liver so that it’s easier for the surgeons to access the stomach.Have a look at the diagram below, see how the liver sits on top of the stomach? In order to reach the stomach, the liver needs to be retracted, the heavier the liver the more tedious it is to retract it.
The pre – operative diet or the liver shrinking diet as it is also called, is a low carbohydrate high protein diet.
What does a pre – operative diet look like?
Breakfast – protein supplement or meal replacer
Lunch -protein supplement or meal replacer + bowl of salad or bowl of soup
Dinner -protein supplement or meal replacer + bowl of salad or bowl of soup
Mid meals -Buttermilk, coconut water, dal soup, salad
All carbohydrate foods and high calorie foods are restricted – Rice & rice products, wheat & wheat products, starchy vegetables sugary drinks, fried snacks & alcohol
Excess carbohydrate from our diet gets stored in the liver as glycogen, so when you go on a low carbohydrate diet, the body utilises the reserves in the liver, thereby reducing the size of the liver.
The high protein component of the diet has various reasons too; to preserve muscle mass,maintain nutritional status and provide satiety.
It is important to keep hydrated while on this diet and avoid keeping gaps of more than 2 hours between intake . Avoid strenuous physical activities like gymming etc. while on this diet.
The take home message here is that pre- operative diet helps to make your surgery safer.
So, help us help you and comply with the pre-operative diet.