surviving a liquid diet: 6 tips to keep you from cheating post surgery

Often after reflux or GERD surgery you will be put on a liquid diet. This is often done to heal reflux disease, repair a hiatal hernia, or the esophagus.  This diet helps control excessive gas, pain, difficulty swallowing, and problems with surgery after the operation is performed .The clear liquid diet has fruit juices, chicken broth, beef broth, flavored gelatin, coffee or tea, popsicles, and Italian ice. A clear liquid diet should only be for a few days.

When you hear that you are on a liquid diet it may be hard to stick to it. A full liquid diet has milk, soy, rice or almond milk. You can have cream of wheat or grits, strained crème soups, ice cream without anything added, sherbet, plain yogurt, custard, pudding and nutritional drinks.

Liquid diets last a few days to a few weeks. Below are some tips for surviving a liquid diet:

Tips for Surviving Clear Liquid Diet and Full Liquid Diet

Start With Small Amounts on a Clear Liquid Diet

It is recommended by most doctors that you drink only small amounts of liquids. You start with only 4 to 8 ounces so that your stomach does not feel too full.  Half a cup is recommended and drinking every few hours. Patients should aim for about six to eight cups a day.  Avoid carbonated beverages as they may give you gas and acidic juices like tomato, lemon or orange. Sip all beverages slowly to avoid painful symptoms. Don’t drink through a straw.

Drink Protein Drinks on a Full Liquid Diet

When you go on a full liquid diet drink protein drinks instead of too much fruit juice or coffee. This is because it provides your body with the necessary nutrients and vitamin.  It helps you gain weight if you’re underweight.  If you don’t like the taste ask the doctor for a recipe where you can make your own. Putting a protein drink in the freezer may make it taste better. Adding some ice cream or sherbet will improve the flavor.

When you don’t like sweet flavors try unflavored protein drinks and add your own flavors.  Adding chicken or vegetable broth will give it the flavors of soup.

Eat Soup That Is Strained

Buy soup from a restaurant or your favorite canned soup or frozen at the supermarket.  Put it in a blender and puree it well. You can make your own and strain out any chunks of meat or vegetables. The soup must be pureed well the consistency of baby food. You can puree Chinese soups, bean soups, and vegetable soup easily so you have a variety ofdifferent soups  to choose from.

When you don’t want to cook there are several creamed canned soups and frozen to choose from. Some supermarket deli make fresh soup daily for the salad bar too.  This is another way to get the soup on your diet.

> Tip: 3 Breakfast Rules You Should Follow

Eat Different Flavors of Italian Ice, Sherbet Puddings and Ice-cream On Full Liquid Diet

Try different flavors of  the sweet treats that you are allowed to eat. Try different flavors of Italian Ice and sherbet like blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and grape. Ice cream comes in different flavors Smooth puddings like chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry make tasty treats.  Check with your doctor to see what’s flavors are allowed before proceeding.

Keep Busy and Don’t Watch Cooking Shows

Keep busy read, watch TV,  a movie, do crossword puzzle, crafts or listen to music. Work on the computer play video games, or join a social media group. Don’t watch cooking shows for awhile that will only torment you and you will want to eat solid foods that you should not. Don’t even eat with your family if watching them eat upset you.  

Go Shopping and Stock Up On Items Allowed

When you arrive home go shopping with a list and stock up on items allowed. When you have enough of the food items and beverages at home. It is easier to follow this diet at home. On a clear liquid diet drink a variety of allowed beverages to keep from getting bored.  On the full liquid diet stock up on the items your doctor suggests and use a variety of flavors on protein shakes, soups, ice cream, ices, pudding, and sherbet.

If you cannot have dairy try Italian ices, sorbet, Coconut Bliss Ice Cream, and at the health food store many companies make dairy free products.

These tips will help you cope with a liquid diet after anti-reflux surgery.  Your doctor will give you a list of food that are allowed and it is often different for each patient. Follow instructions and don’t cheat because it may cause complications with the surgery that you don’t want. 

By Joan Russell

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