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Sample Pre – op Diet

Before your gastric band surgery, you will be advised by your bariatric provider to complete a pre-operative diet.  Pre-op diets can vary from one provider to the next and you should always follow the plan that you have given.  If your provider has asked you to follow the BandBoozled pre-op diet, then you will find the different options and plans below. 


Why do you need to do this diet?  The pre-op diet is designed to shrink your liver so your surgeon can perform your procedure safely.   The liver lies across the stomach so if it is enlarged it can make the procedure more difficult and in some cases the surgery is even cancelled. So, the pre – op diet is a very important step towards your surgery and your overall gastric band journey.


There is a choice of Plans to follow and they are all calculated to provide around 800 - 1000 calories and 100g of carbohydrate daily.  This will ensure the glycogen levels in your liver reduce causing it to shrink liver adequately ready for your surgery. You must follow this diet for TWO WEEKS prior to your operation and you must follow it 100% for this time. If you do fancy a bit of a blow out with your diet before your band is placed this should happen before you start the pre – op diet and not the night before surgery! It would undo the effects of the diet.


 Try to view starting the pre – op diet as the first stage in your gastric band journey. You need to follow this diet in order for your surgery to go ahead and whilst it can be strict and difficult to follow it is only for a short time. If you can see this as a positive measure and start to use it as a way of getting ready for your Band journey. Over these 2 weeks research the band thoroughly – the info here on BandBoozled can help you do this. Have a practice at the 20+ rule (You can download a free App called “Eat Slower” to help with this), clear out your cupboards of any less healthy food and snacks you may have and buy in some small plates and cutlery to make eating with the Band easier (BandBoozled recommend a 6inch plate and a small desert fork – you can purchase these in our online SHOP if you wish)


If you have diabetes or any other medical problem which a strict diet may interfere with please discuss this with your Bariatric provider or surgeon. Usually with diabetes adjustments to your medication or insulin may be needed so discussing this with your diabetic nurse or GP is advised


Once you start the Pre – Op diet we would recommend the following:

  • Have at least 2 litres of water daily to prevent dehydration
  • Do not consume any alcohol at all
  • Start taking a daily Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement (MVM) – if you buy a chewable version then you can continue with this until you start back on a normal diet. We recommend you continue with a daily MVM for life. Suitable examples include Centrum Fruity Chewables, Superdrug A-Z chewable and Bassett’s soft and Active Chewy Health
  • Keep busy – it is likely you will feel hungry so try to distract yourself from this – even if it means a few early nights
  • You must follow the pre – op diet 100% in order to shrink your liver properly
  • Top – Tip – if you have chosen a plan containing yoghurt you could always pop it in the freezer – it takes far longer to eat making your snack last longer – ideal for relaxing whilst watching TV in the evening


Whilst following the pre – op diet it is common to have the symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, bowel changes, dizziness, nausea… This is normal but if you really do feel unwell or are struggling with this then please contact your Bariatric provider.

The pre – Op diet plans:

The plans below are all calculated to fit the values that will shrink your liver so there is no one option that is better for you – it is more about finding the plan that suits you best. You don’t have to follow the same plan for the full 2 weeks, you can mix and match the plans over the fortnight provided you do each full day on the same plan.

If your operation isn’t too soon and you get a chance it might be an idea to practice the plan you like best for a few days before you start it for real. This will give you a chance to see if you can manage it ok and have chosen the best option for you.


 Plan 1: Shake Plan


This plan is based on using meal replacement shakes that are easily accessible and not too expensive. Meal replacements are easy, full of vitamins and minerals and since they are liquid they will start to prepare you for the liquid stage of the diet after your band has been placed. It is quick and easy option involving minimal preparation and measuring.

You are welcome to use meal replacement shakes of your own choice provided the number of shakes you have each day doesn’t exceed 700 kcals and 80g carbohydrate. Or you can choose from the options below that have already been calculated for you:


 Asda Great Shakes – Powdered (made with skimmed milk) or ready to drink bottles – 3 full shakes daily plus an additional ½ shake as a between meal snack

 Celebrity Slim – 3 shakes daily

      If you use the celebrity slim active range – 3 shakes daily however you can only have the milk or the yoghurt portion below not both

 Slimfast –    Ready to drink bottles – 3 bottles daily

     Powder made with skimmed milk - 2 ½ shakes daily (the carbohydrate content is higher so one meal would only be ½ a shake)


In addition to these shakes whether it be the ones we have calculated or your own choice ones you can also have:

 200mls semi skimmed milk


 1 yoghurt provided it has less than 100 kcals and 10g Carbohydrate

Please check the labels carefully and ensure you add up the values in the total yoghurt and not just 100g of the product.


 Plan 2: Milk Plan


If you find meal replacements too sweet, too expensive or you just don’t like them then our very simple milk plan could be a better option for you. Simply choose the milk you prefer, add in your yoghurt allowance and stick to the serving size listed


  Milk – skimmed or semi - skimmed – 3 pints daily (1700mls)


 1 yoghurt that contains less than 100 kcals and 10g carbohydrate


 2 small plums, 1 satsuma, 1 kiwi fruit

If you are unable to use skimmed or semi skimmed milk and need a lactose free or soya milk then please use the values below:

 Soya Milk or Lactofree milk – sweetened – 3 pints daily (1700mls)


 1 yoghurt that contains less than 100 kcals and 10g carbohydrate

 2 small fruits –plum, kiwi, satsuma  OR  1 large fruit – apple, orange, pear, nectarine, peach


 Plan 3: Food Plan


This plan is based on normal, healthy foods. You will need to be organised and plan your meals then ensure you have everything bought in ready to prepare or cook each day. This plan will involve a lot of weighing and measuring so you will need a set of scales. Sometimes you may weigh out your meal and since the portions are small you may be tempted to eat more (especially if you have more cooked and ready) You must not do this or it will put you over the recommended calorie and carbohydrate levels. If you do think this will be the case then consider choosing one of our other plans.


  • 1 slice of toast with a scrape of low fat spread plus an apple or orange



  • 30g of high fibre breakfast cereal (not sugar coated) with skimmed  or semi – skimmed milk from your allowance. Suitable types would be branflakes, All Bran, Shreddies, Cheerios


  • 2 small crackers or crispbreads, one slice of bread or toast or one Thin – fresh or toasted


  • 25g of low fat cheese or 2 eggs (no added oil) or 4 tbsp of baked beans or 75g (cooked weight) of fish or poultry (chicken or turkey) Remove skin, cut off fat and no added oil in cooking
  • Small, fresh salad made up with mixed salad leaves, spring onions, celery, cucumber and 1 medium tomato

 Evening meal:

  • 75g (cooked weight) of poultry, lean meat, fish or 2 eggs or 100g Quorn or Tofu


  • 2 tablespoons of pasta or rice (cooked weight) or 50g of new potatoes(boiled)


  • Small portion of vegetables – choose from broccoli, spring greens, peppers, cabbage, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts and leeks. Alternatively, you can choose a salad the same as you lunch time meal


 You can also have the following each day:


  • 300 mls of milk – skimmed or semi skimmed - this is total amount so use this allowance if you have cereal
  • 1 yoghurt which must have less than100 kcal and 100gcarbohydrates
  • One additional portion of fruit listed – 1 large fruit - pear, nectarine, apple, orange or 2 small fruits –plums, kiwi, satsuma



If you are struggling to follow any of the above plans then you can devise your own plan however we would only recommend this as a very last resort. Provided you stick to less than 800 - 1000 calories and 100g carbohydrate daily then you will shrink your liver ready for surgery. However, you would need to track every single item you have eaten and drunk and calculate the calories and carbohydrate contents -  this can be tricky and time consuming. It would also have to be done very accurately to ensure the values are correct so everything would need to be weighed and measured. A lot of planning would be involved with this so we would recommend you try your absolute best to follow one of our options above

BandBoozled LTD is registered in England and Wales under number 10769332 with its registered office: 10 Eden avenue, ST HELENS, MERSEYSIDE, WA11 8HT.

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