The Liver Shrinking Diet For Gastric Bypass
Are you interested in learning more about the Liver Shrinking Diet also known as the Liver Reduction Diet? If so then this is the article for you!
When I announced I was going on a liver shrinking diet to prepare for my Gastric Bypass Surgery planned in January 2016. I wanted to find information on what to eat on the Liver Shrinking Diet. I honestly found very little information and so I decided to share my experience for others searching for information on the liver reduction diet.
The Liver Shrinking Diet Before Gastric Bypass
I wrote a post about my decision to have bariatric surgery and why I felt a Gastric Bypass was the best way to improve my health. Today I am sharing the Liver Shrinking Diet plan that I was given to follow.
Why I Am Having A Gastric Bypass Operation
I wanted to have a Gastric Bypass to give me a better quality of life and to help me reduce my weight which will in turn reduce the steroid dose I required for my Adrenal Insufficiency
Reducing my cortisol requirements ultimately reduced the cost of my steroid medication Hydrocortisone, which I needed to buy each month while on the Adrenal Pump.
I believed a Gastric Bypass would also benefit me in many other ways and improve my general health and so my official bariatric preparations began.
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Why Do you Need To Go On A Liver Shrinking Diet Before Gastric Bypass?
Before any bariatric surgery, a patient is required to undergo a Liver Shrinking Diet which makes it easier for the surgeon to operate on the stomach.
I had to start my diet two weeks before my operation which for me was the 5th of January. I decided I might as well eat healthier from the first and so I started eating healthier right away after all 2016 was my year for major weight loss and so I was ready to start on the 1st of January.
The Liver Reduction Diet can be different depending on where you live and which hospital or team your under.
Here is my Liver Shrinking Diet which I was given to follow and will follow until I have my Gastric Bypass which is ten days time.
What Foods Can You Eat On A Liver Shrinking Diet
Prior to my liver Shrinking diet I had watched a lot of television shows about successful gastric bypass surgeries. This gave me the courage to follow through with my plans and prepare to be a great success and lose the weight I needed to lose to become healthy.
On every show I saw, the patient was shown to be living a strict regime of only jelly and milk and I expected that would be the case for me. I was very surprised at the foods I was able to eat on my Liver shrinking diet.
My Liver Reduction Diet Plan
Breads, Cereals, Potatoes and Rice on the liver shrinking diet
Choose 2 of the following per day:
- One Weetabix/ shredded wheat
- One slice toast/ bread
- 1/2 Pitta bread or bread roll
- Three crackers
- Too small egg size boiled potatoes
- 1/2 mediu m baked potato
- Two tablespoons of boiled rice/pasta
Milk and Dairy on the liver shrinking diet
Choose 2-3 of any of the following per day:
- 200mls Semi skimmed milk
- Small part of love that yoghurt or fromage frais
- 1oz Low fat hard cheese
- 4oz Cottage cheese
- 2oz Low fat soft cheese
Fruit and Vegetables on the liver shrinking diet
Choose 3 of the following per day (a maximum of two portions should be fruit)
- One large fruit, e.g apple, banana, orange
- Two small fruits, e.g plumbs, kiwifruit, tangerines
- 100mls unsweetened fruit juice (once per day only)
- 2 tablespoons of stewed/ tinned fruit and natural juice
- One small bowl of salad
- Two to Three tablespoons of cooked vegetables
Meat, Fish and Alternatives on the liver shrinking diet
Choose 2-3 of the following per day
- 2-3oz lean beef, pork, lamb, mince, chicken, turkey or oily fish
- 5oz white fish or Tuna in brine
- Two eggs
- Three thin slices of lean cold meat
- 40z Soya, tofu, quorn
Items You May Need For Your Liver Shrinking Diet
To prepare for gastric bypass I needed a good set of kitchen scales, containers and measuring spoons. This helped me to keep on track and and ensure I measured my portion sizes correctly.
During the Liver reduction diet phase you will need to prepare food for the weeks following your operation. I was very unwell following bariatric surgery. That is the painful truth and so the food I prepared in advance came in very handy.
I would recommend buying a journal or food diary to help keep on track and monitor the food you eat. You can also record any symptoms, concerns or feelings you have as you begin your gastric bypass journey and join the losers bench.
Cheating On The Liver Shrinking Diet
One might wonder what will happen if you begin cheating on the Liver Shrinking Diet. I have to say as I prepared for my procedure the dietician reinforced how important it was for me to stick to my liver reduction plan and pointed out that the operation could be cancelled mid way through if my Liver was too large for surgery.
It is important not to cheat on the liver shrinking diet because a larger liver will make the surgery more difficult for your bariatric surgeon and that could put you at greater risk.
Having a gastric bypass is not always a safe option. Not everyone survives the operation. I have been in facebook support groups where people preparing for the operation become friends, they announce the operation, everyone says good luck and the patient sadly passes away.
Death is a risk when having a gastric bypass or any kind of bariatric surgery and whilst it was a risk I was willing to take, I needed to do all I could to ensure the surgery would run as smoothly as possible.
People do cheat on the Liver Shrinking diet and my surgeon told me he had on occasion been forced to stop a procedure after discovering the liver was too big to proceed.
I was told however that one fatty meal during the diet would not harm me. In fact, my surgery was originally planned just before Christmas and I was told to eat whatever I wanted on Christmas day and enjoy my last Christmas before bariatric surgery.
The point is, if you have one meal or one day that you fail to follow the plan, it is unlikely to prevent the surgery. However if you don’t follow the plan at all or cheat regular you most likely will run into problems.
I have heard of people cheating on the Liver Shrinking Diet and all I can compare it to is someone following a plan like weight watchers or slimming world and having a blip then getting back on track. It can and it does happen but it is not the end of the world so long as you do your best to stick to the liver reduction diet your given.
The aim of the Liver Shrinking Diet is to have low carbs. Successfully shrinking the liver increases the chances of laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. If the liver is too large and someone cheats this could cause serious post operative complications such as bleeding and leakage.
More ways to prepare for a Bariatric Surgery
There are plenty of things you will need to do to prepare for bariatric surgery. Here is a list of things you can do to help yourself prepare.
- Have 3 Meals a day before bariatric surgery
- Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement to strengthen the body. Trust me, you need as much vitamins and minerals stored as you can get as bariatric surgery can really drain and deplete you.
- Get into a habit of choosing foods low in fat and sugar
- Practice eating slowly and chewing food carefully.
- Practice separating fluids and meals by not drinking 10 minutes before or 30 minutes after eating.
- Avoid alcohol
- Do not smoke.
I was told at the hospital Pre-op that all gastric bypass patients are required to stop smoking before and after the operation.
So this is the Liver shrinking plan that I followed. It was not easy and I felt hungry, grumpy and unwell as I prepared for my surgery. My surgery was cancelled 3 times in a row meaning I ended up on the diet for 8 weeks and it was very difficult for me mentally and emotionally. In fact the cancellations affected how well I was prepared and made my liver reduction food plan more difficult to follow.
I’m also tried hard to eat 20 pence size pieces of food, to chew slowly and drink water regular to be as hydrated as possible for my surgery. I hope you found this useful and it helps you on your weight loss journey.
Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Healthy Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods After Weight-Loss SurgeryWeight Loss Surgery Tips: Learn How To Survive and Thrive Before & After Gastric Bypass Surgery (Life It Not Diet Book 1)
My Gastric Bypass Journey
My Gastric Bypass operation was undertaken in March 2016. It went well without a hitch. The surgeon said my liver was nice and small and I I was out of hospital within 4 days. I did have a very painful time and ended up back in hospital.
I lost a lot of weight at the start of my journey, however within a year the weight came back on. I have been told my stomach pouch was not made small enough and have always been able to eat a lot more than expected for a gastric bypass patient.
I still struggle with my weight loss and am currently trying to follow the Weight Watchers Flex Plan known as the Freestyle plan in the USA, while I save up for a barium swallow to find out exactly what went wrong.
Read about my Weight Loss Journey and visit my posts here.