Pre-op liver reduction plan

Just because you are awaiting a surgical treatment for your morbid obesity, this is not an excuse to sit back and gorge out on as much food as you can! Any weight you can lose through dieting before your surgery is an advantage - it will make the surgery easier and will reduce the risks associated with it.

Some surgeons mandate a very restricted diet - one that is low in fat, sugar and carbohydrates - for one week prior to surgery and even if your surgeon doesn't ask you to follow this diet, doing so will increase your chances of your operation being completed laparoscopically because it will shrink your liver down in size. By following a strict diet, your body reduces its glycogen stores (glycogen is a form of sugar stored in the liver and muscles for energy). With each ounce of glycogen, the body stores 3–4 ounces of water, so when you follow a very strict diet, especially one that is low in starch and sugar, your body loses its glycogen stores and some water. The liver shrinks as it has less glycogen and water in it. This diet is only recommended for one week before surgery and is not to be followed post–operatively. It is quite possible you lose a lot of weight that week, but it will be mainly be water loss. Please ensure you continue to drink throughout the day.

Here are some menu suggestions:

Breakfast Small bowl of cereal, or
1 slice of toast with a scraping of low fat spread
Lunch 1 slice bread or 2 crispbreads
Small portion lean meat or fish, or
Small portion cheese, or 2 eggs (not fried)
Green salad (no dressing) or tomatoes
Dinner Small portion lean meat or fish, or
Small portion low fat cheese, or 2 eggs, or
Tofu or Quorn based dish
1 small potato or 2 tablespoonfuls pasta or rice
Vegetables (as many as you like except for root vegetables)
Daily 1/3 pint milk for use in drinks and on cereal
2 portions of fruit (e.g. apple, orange, banana, pear)
Free water, tea, coffee, low calorie squash or fizzy drinks
1 low fat, low sugar yogurt or fromage frais