After bariatric surgery as a vegan you are probably at a loss of what to include on your full liquid diet stage. Most times the educational materials provided at bariatric centers are not geared towards vegans. There will probably be a few things that are suitable for vegans but not enough for you to really know what to do.
If that’s you, you’re in the right place. In this article I am going to share with you everything you need to know to be successful on a full liquid diet after bariatric surgery as a vegan. At the end of the article, you’ll have the option to download a free full liquid diet menu PDF so you can reference all of this information anytime either printed or electronically on any device.
Why do you need a full liquid stage after bariatric surgery?
A full liquid diet is important for a variety of reasons after bariatric surgery.
Full liquids help with meeting hydration needs and are easy to digest. Since it is easier for you to digest full liquids than other foods, it helps you to more easily meet your nutrition needs after surgery.
Nutrition Goals During Full Liquid Diet After Bariatric Surgery
During the full liquid diet stage after bariatric surgery there are some nutrition goals you should be working towards.
There is not enough evidence available currently to provide an exact recommendation on the amount of protein needed after bariatric surgery. Most bariatric centers recommend 60-80 g per day for most patients, with a minimum of 60 g per day being commonly recommended.
The amount of calories someone consumes during the full liquid stage after bariatric surgery will vary but many patients are around 400 calories per day at this time.
There are no specific amounts of carbohydrates and fat that are recommended during the full liquid diet stage after bariatric surgery. It is likely during the full liquid diet stage that you will be consuming about 50 g of carbohydrates per day.
The amount of fat that you should consume during the full liquid diet stage is also not known. The foods that you eat to meet protein goals will likely include some fat. If you are making foods at home for the full liquid diet stage use foods that are a source of heart healthy fats when cooking such as olive oil or canola oil and add foods such as avocado or nut butters to your pureed full liquids.
The full liquid diet menu PDF linked at the bottom of this post will show you how to meet your nutritional needs during this stage.
How Long Does a Full Liquid Diet Last After Bariatric Surgery?
A full liquid diet stage typically comes after a clear liquid diet stage. The clear liquid diet stage usually lasts 24-48 hours. The full liquid stage lasts 10-14 days at most bariatric surgery centers.
After the full liquid diet stage is usually the pureed diet stage or soft diet stage, depending on your bariatric center and surgeon’s preferences.
What Should You Eat On a Full Liquid Diet as a Vegan After Bariatric Surgery?
After bariatric surgery there are a wide variety of choices to eat (well, drink really) to meet your nutritional needs as a vegan. I’m going to divide the options into ready to eat and choices that will require some preparation.
Ready to Eat Options for a Full Liquid Diet
- Protein Shakes
- Silk Ultra Protein®
- Soy Milk
- Pea Protein Milk
- Premade Dal Pouch (can blend it if there are chunks)
- Vegan Yogurt
- Soy usually contains the most protein
Ideas for a Full Liquid Diet That Require Some Preparation
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- Protein Pudding
- Thinned Hot Cereal
- Cream of Wheat
- Blended Bean Soup
Tools to Use to Make Full Liquids at Home
- Blender: great for soups and smoothies
- Immersion Blender: works great for soups and you don’t even have to transfer the soup out of the pot to get it blended.
What To Avoid on a Full Liquid Diet After Bariatric Surgery?
Along with foods that you should be eating on a full liquid diet after bariatric surgery there are also some that you should avoid. Here are some things that you should avoid while on the full liquid diet stage after bariatric surgery:
- Can make you feel too full and uncomfortable
- Can irritate your digestive system. Once you are fully healed from surgery you may be able to include some caffeine.
- Raw Vegetables and Fruits
- These are more difficult to digest and take up too much room in your new, smaller stomach.
- Firm Tofu
- Choose soft or silken tofu instead that you can easily blend (for example in a soup or smoothie)
- This is too firm for this diet stage. Would recommend waiting to introduce tempeh.
- Seitan is typically too firm to be blended adequately for a full liquid diet.
- Nuts and Seeds
- Nut and seed butters can be blended into soups, smoothies, or hot cereal. Solid nuts and seeds are still too difficult to digest at this stage.
- Alcohol should be avoided during the full liquid stage for a variety of reasons. It is a liquid, so that’s not the problem. The problem with alcohol at this stage is that it is providing extra calories that can inhibit your weight loss, it can irritate your digestive system that is still healing after surgery, and it can dehydrate you. This is all without the fact that alcohol will affect you much more rapidly after surgery. Read more about Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery here.
Figuring out what to eat as a vegan during the full liquid diet stage after bariatric surgery can be so overwhelming. Maybe your bariatric program is trying to help you but they don’t know how. This article has provided a basis of what you should be eating to meet your nutritional needs as a vegan after bariatric surgery on a full liquid diet.
To make it easy for you to reference this information at any time, I have condensed it into a PDF version. Click here to get the full liquid diet menu PDF for free!
Click here to join our email list to get regular updates about what is going on with Vegan Bariatric Dietitian as well as your FREE copy of the Ultimate Vegan Bariatric Smoothie Guide!
Ashley Krautkramer, RD, CSOWM, CD, CDCES is a vegan and bariatric nutrition expert with more than six years of experience. She is a board certified specialist in obesity and weight management.