Pre-operative Nutrition

You all come from different backgrounds of eating difficulty. Your relationship with food and the years of trying to deal with it vary. You have now selected a surgeon and together have decided on which surgery is right for you. Your surgeon may have their own requirements for you before surgery.

Some may require pre-op weight loss, others may want you on a liquid diet before the big day. You might ask your surgeon about their specific protocols.

You can do many things in preparation for your surgery to promote good health. The following are general guidelines for you to follow in the time you have, once you have committed to have the surgery, up until your surgery date. Make smart choices from every food group:

  • Eat good, quality protein. Select lean protein from different sources to incorporate into your meals (animal, plant, legumes, dairy, fish, poultry, eggs, and nuts).
  • Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol. Eat fats that are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Keep your total fat intake between 20-35% of total calories.
  • Limit sugar. If sugar is one of the first three ingredients on the list, don’t eat it.
  • Use the food label. Check the serving size and calories. Look to see how many servings you are actually consuming. Look at the %DV. If you are limiting something in your diet make sure it is 5% or less. Trying to increase fiber- select foods that are 20% or higher. How easy is that to identify the healthy foods?
  • Snack on fruits. Pick different colors. Make it interesting. Try one that you have never tried before.
  • Eat three meals a day. No skipping! Emphasize eating fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low fat dairy products, and whole grains (fiber).
  • Increase drinking water.
  • Increase daily physical activity. This needs to be discussed with your doctor. Different weights require different physical activity in order to be safe.
  • Maintain or lose weight. Do not gain weight prior to surgery.

Now that you have made some healthier food choices, maybe lost a few pounds, now you can walk into your surgery knowing that you are ready!

Interesting fact: If you eat 100 more calories a day than you burn, you will gain about 1 pound per month. That is about 10 pounds a year!