Eventually, you’ll be able to move from clear liquids into the next stage of your post-surgery diet – full liquids. You will only be able to progress to this level if you experience absolutely no nausea or vomiting with clear liquids. Full liquids are those that are not transparent and that generally have a base made up of some substance other than water, such as milk or juice.
Gastric Band: Days 2 – 14 after surgery
Roux-en-Y: Days 2 – 7 after surgery
Duodenal Switch: Days 2 – 7 after surgery
Gastric Sleeve: Days 2 – 7 after surgery
When consuming full liquids, you should not drink anything that’s too thick. The basic rule is: If a liquid is so thick that you could trace in it with your spoon, then it’s too thick.
This is easily remedied by the addition of some water to help thin the liquid out. If any of the full liquids you eat have chunks in them, like fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, you must either blend the chunks so they are liquefied or you will need to strain it so the chunks are removed.
Some examples of foods that are considered full liquids are:
- Thinned fruit sauces
- Vegetable juice
- Sugar-free yogurt, pudding, or custard that has been thinned with milk or water
- Certain pre-made protein shakes (see the next page for acceptable examples)
Of course, not every liquid that qualifies as a full liquid is acceptable.
Full liquids to avoid include:
- Soda or any carbonated beverages
- Caffeinated beverages such as carbonated water and beer
It’s important to remember not to drink full liquids that contain sugars. Often, milkshakes, protein shakes, fruit juices, and other drinks are filled with sugar and can lead to malnutrition, dumping syndrome, and inhibited weight loss. Falling into the sugar-filled drink trap is very easy at this stage, so you must be sure to read all nutritional information on prepackaged drinks and stay away from unhealthy choices.
Checking Nutritional Value
Once you move on to eating full liquids, it’s not just about having the right consistency of liquid in your diet—it’s also about having the right nutritional values within your liquids. Just because the texture of your food is limited doesn’t mean your nutritional needs are any different.
One great way to make sure you’re getting the protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins your body needs is to eat soup during the full liquid stage. You can choose low-fat cream-based soups, tomato-based soups, or chicken- and beef-based soups. If the soup has any chunks in it, you can either blend it to liquefy the chunks or you can strain it to remove the chunks and enjoy the broth alone. Remember, if the soup is so thick that you can draw in it with your spoon, you need to thin it with water or milk (when appropriate).
For your fiber, vitamin, and mineral needs you can turn to cooked cereals and grains that have been thinned. Some examples are Cream of Wheat or Cream of Rice. Malt-O-Meal is another good choice. Each of these foods will need to be thinned, as they’ll be too thick when cooked according to package instructions. You can buy enriched versions of these cereals to really beef up your vitamin and nutrient intake.
Pre-made protein shakes are always a good option for ensuring you get enough protein in your diet; however, not just any protein shake is suitable for the full-liquids stage of your diet. You must make sure that your shake contains no more than 10 grams each carbohydrates and fat and 15 to 25 grams of protein.
Roux-en-Y: If your protein shake contains too much sugar (which many of them do), then it will have a large amount of carbohydrates and could contribute to dumping syndrome.