Bariatric patients are well aware they can’t simply show up on the day of their procedure without taking proper measures to prepare beforehand. If you’ll soon undergo a gastric sleeve surgery, adhering to your doctor’s dietary guidelines is an important part of the preparation process. So what can you eat and what should you avoid? Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. explains everything you need to know about following his unique gastric sleeve diet to the letter.

The Three-Week Gastric Sleeve Diet

If you’re concerned about making the dietary changes required before your gastric sleeve surgery, don’t worry. Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. has created a three-week diet to prepare patients for the procedure. You might notice that Dr. Andrei’s recommended diet looks a little different than others you’ve seen. That’s by design – Dr. Andrei has developed this diet based on research and extensive experience to ensure every patient achieves the best possible outcome.

So what can you eat before surgery? During this time, you’ll need to avoid bread, rice, and pasta, but can still enjoy many familiar foods.

  • Three weeks before your surgery, you may eat a wide variety of lean proteins, plus cheese, eggs, and many dairy products. Your diet should also include fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy starches, like brown rice and potatoes.
  • Two weeks before surgery, patients eliminate starches from their diet while continuing to eat the same dairy products. You may also enjoy fish, skinless chicken, and turkey.
  • One week before surgery, you will avoid all starches and dairy products except protein shakes. You may continue to eat fish and skinless chicken during this time.

You can include a number of liquids in your pre-surgery diet as well. Soups, unsweetened beverages, coffee, and tea are all permitted throughout all three weeks. Sugar-free Jell-O and sugar-free ice pops can be added too and make a great snack. Staying hydrated is also extremely important. You should drink water throughout the day and aim for a minimum of 64 ounces total.

How Should You Eat?

In addition to changing the foods you eat, you’ll also need to change the way you eat in the weeks before your surgery. You may be used to eating three meals each day, or perhaps you prefer to snack throughout the day and eat later in the evening. Dr. Andrei recommends that patients on the gastric sleeve diet eat three meals and several snacks each day. This helps you feel full while reducing overall consumption, so it will be easier to follow your diet and stay on track for surgery.

Protein is also very important at this time, especially in the week before surgery. You can choose from a variety of protein powders and beverages, as long as they meet the following criteria per serving:

  • At least 15 grams of protein
  • 150 calories or less
  • Less than 15 grams of sugar
  • Less than 5 grams of fat

Mixing the powder with water is an easy way to get the protein you need. Protein powder can also be mixed in unsweetened almond milk or yogurt as permitted two and three weeks ahead of surgery.

Most importantly, be sure not to eat or drink at all after midnight (12:00 a.m.) the day before your surgery. If you eat or drink after this time, your surgery will be rescheduled.

Learn More about Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Once your surgery has been successfully completed, your post-gastric sleeve diet will begin. Our team of experts will guide you every step of the way to ensure you get the nutrition and support you need. Ready to learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and other weight loss procedures? Contact Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. online or call 800-200-5553 to speak with a representative today.