The full liquids phase is the second stage of the bariatric diet progression. This phase typically lasts 1-2 weeks after surgery. The goal is to reintroduce thicker liquids and pureed foods while still allowing the stomach and digestive system to continue healing.
|1-2 weeks after surgery
|Expand nutrition while avoiding solid foods
|Protein shakes, milk, thin soups, yogurt, pureed foods
|Foods to Avoid
|Solid foods, tough meats, bread, rice, pasta
|Clear Liquid, Pureed foods, soft foods, solid foods
While the clear liquid phase provides hydration, the full liquid phase allows you to boost your nutrition intake, especially protein. Getting adequate protein helps maintain muscle mass as you rapidly lose weight after bariatric surgery.
Protein is essential for preserving lean body mass, supporting your immune system, and keeping you feeling fuller longer. Full liquids like bariatric protein shakes, and pureed foods like Greek yogurt and ricotta cheese allow you to consume high-protein options that are gentle on your post-op digestive system.
In addition to protein, fuller liquids provide carbohydrates to help replenish depleted energy stores. Your body needs carbs to heal and function properly after bariatric surgery. The lactose sugar in milk and yogurt gives you an easy-to-digest carb source.
Here are some common examples of allowed full liquids in the phase 2 diet:
Focus on getting sufficient protein at each meal to protect your muscle mass in the second phase of your bariatric diet.
Read More: Here's our list of the Top 10 Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
It is important to avoid all solid foods at this stage. Solids can get stuck in the newly created pouch or stoma and cause pain, nausea, vomiting, and damage to the surgical site. It is critical to allow the stomach and digestive tract to continue healing without having to break down and process solids.
Only consume liquids that can liquidize completely in a spoon. There should be no chewing required. Avoid any foods with crunchy, dry, or sticky textures that could get lodged. Also steer clear of tough, fibrous foods that are hard to break down.
Some specific examples of solid foods to avoid include:
Since you are avoiding nutrient-dense solid foods during this phase, your bariatric surgeon or dietitian may recommend certain vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Look for vitamins designed specifically for bariatric patients.
Some common supplements prescribed in Phase 2 include:
With some creativity and commitment to following your diet, the full liquid phase will set you up to progress to richer textures and succeed in your weight loss journey.
The full liquid phase usually lasts 1-2 weeks after bariatric surgery. Follow your surgeon's recommendations for the exact duration.
Whey, plant-based, Greek yogurt, and milk-based protein shakes are usually allowed. Check labels for sugar content.
Your surgeon will let you know when you can progress to soft foods after evaluating your healing. This is usually 3-4 weeks after surgery.
For those who have undergone bariatric surgery and are looking for a structured meal plan, we recommend checking out this 7-Day Sample Bariatric Meal Plan. Authored by Dr. Kevin Huffman, this guide provides a detailed 7-day meal plan designed to meet the nutritional needs of bariatric patients. It's an excellent resource for anyone looking to maintain a balanced diet post-surgery.
Writer: Carrie H.
Carrie is a dedicated health and nutrition writer with a strong background in medical and scientific research. She is driven by a passion for helping others lead healthier lives, diving into the latest scientific research. Combining evidence-based knowledge with practical advice, Carrie strives to provide accurate and valuable information on health, nutrition, and wellness. Her ultimate aim is to empower readers, enabling them to make informed choices about their well-being.
Reviewed By: Dr. Kevin Huffman
Dr. Kevin D. Huffman, D.O., is a leading board-certified bariatric physician with extensive expertise in treating obesity. He has trained countless healthcare providers and founded American Bariatric Consultants to develop protocols and training materials sought by medical societies, pharmaceutical companies, patients, and hospitals. Dr. Huffman's impact extends beyond patient care as he prepares physicians for board certification, expanding access to this vital treatment.