A liver-shrinking diet, also known as a per-operative diet, can be incredibly intimidating. Many patients preparing for weight loss surgery often ask: what happens if I cheat on a liver-shrinking diet?
Many patients decide to undergo weight loss surgery, and these patients must understand that making this significant decision will require commitment and effort for success.
To have weight loss surgery, patients must psychologically, emotionally, and physically prepare in many ways. These include learning about the procedure, creating a support network, and sticking to a special diet known as the “liver shrinking diet.”
The liver-shrinking diet is a low-calorie, high-protein diet designed to shrink the liver and aid in fat loss. Weight loss surgeons generally recommend it at least 2 weeks before surgery to enhance the safety and health effects of the surgery.
If you are preparing for weight loss surgery and curious to know the answer to the question: what happens if I cheat on a liver-shrinking diet? Do not worry because, in today’s article, we will provide the answer you seek.
Read on to learn more about the topic: what happens if I cheat on a liver-shrinking diet?
The liver shrinking diet is a diet that patients must follow before they can undergo bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery). Many people struggling with obesity have enlarged livers because their diets contain lots of fat, salt, and sugar.
If your liver is too big, your bariatric surgeon will find it difficult to safely move it aside during surgery, which could cause complications and slow recovery.
Therefore, to safely undergo bariatric surgery, patients must first reduce the size of their livers. The liver shrinking diet is a low-fat, low-calorie, and low-carbohydrate restrictive diet that helps reduce the amount of fat, glycogen, and water in the liver, causing it to shrink.
The diet also compels your body to use up its fat reserves, which aids in weight loss before the surgery and ensures it goes smoothly. You must follow the diet for seven to fourteen days before surgery.
Now that we know what a liver-shrinking diet is let’s answer the question: what happens if I cheat on a liver-shrinking diet?
Bariatric patients’ most frequently asked questions about a liver-shrinking diet is: “What happens if I cheat on a liver-shrinking diet”?
If you cheat on a liver-shrinking diet, your surgeon may find getting to your stomach difficult, and it will prolong the surgery and increase time under anesthesia. Your liver may also bleed or crack when lifted, which could harm other organs.
In the worst-case scenario, bariatric surgery would need to be canceled to fix your liver or other damaged organs, which could result in higher hospital bills, longer hospital stays, bigger scars, and a longer recovery period.
To avoid all of these complications, try your best not to cheat.
How long you’ll be on a liver-shrinking diet and what you’ll eat depends on your unique situation and dietary needs. Your bariatric surgeon and dietitian will work together to create a liver-shrinking diet plan that is suitable for you and keeps you strong and healthy till the day of the surgery.
Below are some general tips for sticking to the liver-shrinkage diet:
Planning and preparing your meals in advance can make it easier if you want to stick to the liver-shrinking diet. Additionally, try different diets to determine which one you like the most and base your meal plan on them.
Drink at least 64 ounces of calorie-free and sugar-free beverages every day. Water is the best option, but if you want a little flavor, you can take plain tea or Crystal Light.
Adding a multivitamin to your preoperative diet will prevent any nutritional deficiencies brought on by a restrictive diet.
Shakes are a good source of protein and will help you stay energized while on your pre-op diet. Go for a protein shake that contains at least 20 to 25 grams of protein, less than 5 grams of sugar, less than 200 calories, and 15 grams of carbohydrates.
The liver-shrinking diet is restrictive, so you are advised to eat all your daily servings. Also, you should eat it all if you don’t want to risk malnourishment or feeling dizzy.
The 4 main types of weight loss surgery are as follows:
In this type of weight loss surgery, the surgeon creates a tiny pouch by placing a ring with an inner expandable band around the top of your stomach.
In this surgery, a tiny pouch is created from the stomach and is connected directly to the small intestine.
The majority of the stomach is removed during this surgery.
It is a rare and more complex surgery that combines the components of gastric bypass and gastric sleeve.
A liver-shrinking diet includes foods that are low in carbs, low in calories, and high in protein.
Below is the list of foods that are generally approved:
- Fruits such as bananas, berries, oranges, grapes, apples, etc.
- Low-fat dairy like low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, and skim of 1% milk.
- Meats such as lean cuts of pork and beef that contain the words “loin” or “round.”
- Poultry such as eggs, turkey sausage, and boneless chicken breast.
- Seafood like crab, shrimp, tilapia, salmon, pollock, and haddock.
- Beverages such as tea, black coffee, and approved protein shakes
- Grains such as oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and brown rice.
- Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, beans, squash, and jicama peas.
- Non-starchy vegetables like carrots, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, arugula, lettuce, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, kale, etc.
- Oils such as canola and extra-virgin olive oil
Below is the list of foods that should be avoided:
- Highly-processed foods like fried foods, fast food, pizza, boxed pasta meals, chips ( potato chips), and frozen dinners.
- Dairies like ice cream, flavored milk, 2% or whole-fat milk, flavored yogurt, or other desserts.
- Beverages such as alcohol, fruit juice, and sugar-sweetened beverages like regular energy drinks, teas, coffee, soda, and sports drinks.
- Refined grains such as pastries, cereals, pasta, desserts, biscuits, crackers, white rice, and tortillas.
- Sweets such as chocolate and candies.
Although there are dangers associated with many surgeries, bariatric surgery is among the safest surgeries you can have. There are more benefits than side effects. Gastric banding is the safest way to lose weight.
The liver-shrinking diet works well for weight loss. It is possible to lose 5 to 10 pounds of weight before surgery. The diet typically allows you to get 800 to 1000 calories daily. If you stick to the liver-shrinking diet, you are likely to lose a lot of weight, but it will come mostly from water loss.
The fastest and safest way to shrink your liver without experiencing adverse effects is by combining a liver-shrinking diet with exercise. Studies have also shown that strenuous exercise several times a week can significantly reduce the amount of fat accumulated in the liver.
Unfortunately, there are no outward signs that your liver is shrinking. Placing your hand on your tummy won’t give you any feel for it. But a CT scan can be helpful. However, it is not recommended before bariatric surgery.
You can also know if your liver is shrinking if you are consistent in your diet before bariatric surgery without cheating and if you have lost weight. Since losing body fat significantly burns fat around the organs, the same holds for the liver.
Yes. After having Bariatric surgery, your liver may regain fat if you eat more calories and carbohydrates. However, it will have no effect.
Now that you have gotten the answer to the question: “What happens if I cheat on a liver-shrinking diet” a liver-shrinking diet should be taken seriously and not cheated on because there are a lot of negative outcomes that could occur if you go into surgery with a large liver.
A Liver Shrinking Diet aims to have low calories and carbs. Successfully shrinking the liver raises the chances of keyhole surgery.
Since the liver is located over the stomach, If you cheat on a liver-shrinking diet and your liver gets enlarged, It may be difficult for the surgeon to see and access your stomach during your surgery and may result in serious postoperative issues like bleeding and leakage.