Skip to main content

FAQ: Bariatric Surgery Diet Stage 1

Clear liquid diet

What can I have on the Stage 1 Diet?

Clear Liquids- this is anything that you can see through. All liquids must have less than 5 grams of sugar per serving, have no carbonation, and be caffeine-free/decaf. 

How long does the Stage 1 Diet last?

This diet stage lasts from the day you have surgery (day 0), until Day 7. So, for example, if you had surgery on January 1, you would continue to follow the Stage 1 diet through January 8th.

What are examples of clear liquids?

Why do I need to avoid decaf coffee on the Stage 1 Diet?

Both regular and decaf coffee are both really acidic, which causes your stomach to make more stomach acid. This contributes to heartburn and a more uncomfortable transition after the surgery.

Why can’t I have caffeine for 30 days after surgery?

Caffeine is a diuretic. This means it can cause you to lose fluid and become dehydrated. Right now, the focus is making sure you’re able to drink enough each day. We do not want caffeine to contribute to dehydration at this time when you’re learning to drink 64 ounces each day.

Why do I need to avoid carbonated drinks like regular or diet soda, ginger ale or sparkling water?

Carbonation expands in the stomach which can cause uncomfortable gas pains and may contribute to overeating in the future by stretching the stomach over time. This is one of the few items we say to forever avoid after surgery.

How much do I need to drink each day?

At first, the goal is to make sure you are able to drink at least 48 ounces of water each day. But by the end of this week, the goal is to drink 64 ounces of water each day.

I’m really struggling to reach my goal, what do I do?

Ask yourself the following questions. Have I been taking a sip of water or a sugar free drink every 5-10 minutes? Have I been forgetting to drink for 30 minutes or more at different times during the day?

I find that people are forgetting to drink, and do not have a beverage close by when they are only drinking 1 water bottle per day. Remember to always have a beverage close by to help remind you to drink. Possibly set alarms to help as well.

When do I start my Protein Shake?

If you are tolerating the clear liquid diet (no nausea or vomiting), you can begin drinking 1-2 protein shakes per day on Day 3 after surgery. In the example above, If you had surgery on January 1, you could begin drinking your protein shake on January 4th. 

What protein shakes are okay to have during the Stage 1 Diet?

We suggest beginning with a clear liquid protein drink. Take a look at this article on clear liquid protein supplements for a few examples and more information.

What do I do if I feel nauseous?

Make sure that you are sipping very slowly. For example, it is helpful to take a small sip every 5-10 minutes. Drinking more than 1 ounce of water every 5-10 minutes can make you feel nauseous.

Start slow, and slowly increase how much water you drink. However, make sure that you are always sipping. Drinking too much water will also contribute to nausea. 

When you do feel nauseous, take a break from sipping on your fluids until the nausea goes away. Once you feel better, resume sipping slowly throughout the day.

Katie Ott, MS, RD

You Might Also Enjoy...

Stage 2 Diet: Puree

Stage 2 Diet: Pureed Foods

After completing the Stage 1 diet for 7 days, you will advance to the Stage 2 diet for the next 7 days. This is also known as the Pureed Foods diet. 
Why Am I So Tired After Bariatric Surgery?

Why Am I So Tired After Bariatric Surgery?

Feeling fatigued after bariatric surgery is not uncommon, especially in the first few months. However, there are a few factors that can increase the amount of fatigue that you experience. Take a look at these 5 causes of fatigue after bariatric surgery. 
Motivation to exercise

How to Get Motivated to Exercise: Tips and Tricks

Are you struggling to find the motivation to exercise? You're not alone. However, regular exercise is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, so it's important to find ways to stay motivated.