Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN
Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, and owner of Level Up Bariatrics, LLC, a bariatric lifestyle coaching program that provides pre and post-op support for weight loss surgery patients.
Going through weight loss surgery is a life-changing decision. No matter the procedure, you know that your journey post-surgery requires discipline and a lot of lifestyle changes, including a liquid diet. Transitioning from liquids to solids within the first month post-op can be challenging, and boredom can easily set in. While this phase in your journey may have its ups and downs, it also presents an opportunity to get creative and find ways to spice up your liquid diet. In this blog post, we’ve got some fantastic tips for making your liquid diet delicious, exciting, and nutrient-dense.
1) Make smoothies fun and flavorful. Smoothies are great options for the liquid diet phase as they are packed with nutrients and are easy to digest. The possibilities of flavor combinations are endless when it comes to smoothies. You can add vegetables, fruits, and even chia seeds or nut butter to enhance the nutritional value. One of my favorite nutrient-dense smoothies is a mix of kale leaves, frozen bananas, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, almond butter, cocoa powder, and some oat milk — smooth, creamy, decadent, and flavorful! You can opt for fruity flavor profiles or rich flavors like chocolate and peanut butter.
2) Make hydration fancy. Hydration doesn't have to be limited to just water. Let's be honest: water can get pretty dull. Why not try refreshing fruit-infused water, flavorful herbal teas, or even mocktail spritzers? Get creative and mix it up with electrolyte-rich fluids like coconut water and other tasty options. Elevate the experience by serving your drinks in fancy stemmed wine glasses, complete with fun ice cube shapes and cute little umbrellas. Cheers to staying hydrated in style! But remember, skip the alcohol for now!
3) Experiment with soups. Adding soups to your liquid diet is a great way to get variety and essential nutrients. Creating your own soup is easy — start with a flavorful broth and toss in cooked veggies, puréed meat or beans, and seasonings of your choice. Get creative with enticing flavors like tomato basil, chicken noodle, vegetable, or cream of mushroom. For an extra nutritional boost, experiment with different types of broths such as bone broth or miso soup. And here's a fun twist — sip your soup from a fun mug to make it even more enjoyable than the traditional bowl-and-spoon approach!
4) Keep it nutrient-dense. Just because you’re on a liquid diet doesn’t mean you should skimp on the nutrients. Make sure you’re incorporating plenty of protein into your diet through sources like bone broth, whey or collagen protein powders, plant-based protein powders, and low-fat dairy. You also want to make sure you’re getting enough fiber, so consider adding chia seeds or blending up some high-fiber fruits and veggies like spinach or kale.
5) Frozen treats for the win. Upgrade your liquid diet with tasty treats! Whip up homemade popsicles using unsweetened coconut yogurt or sugar-free Jello. Discover countless post-op-friendly frozen treat recipes online that are quick and easy to make. These low-calorie treats will add some excitement to your liquid diet, and you can even boost their nutritional value and taste by adding a scoop of protein powder.
Transitioning to a liquid diet after weight loss surgery may not be the most exciting or flavorful experience. Still, with some creativity, you can make it delicious and satisfying. And most importantly, don’t forget that this phase is temporary. Before you know it, you’ll be back to enjoying your favorite solid foods again — but in moderation. Until then, enjoy the journey and have fun in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes and flavors!
BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.