The Liver Shrinking Diet For Gastric Bypass Patients

When it comes to having bariatric surgery, there are some things you must do pre-operation. Those who are about to have weight loss surgery will be asked to undertake a liver reduction diet often referred to as THE LIVER SHRINKING DIET. This diet is essentially a low sugar, reduced calorie diet that helps reduce the size of your liver before surgery.

Will following this pre-op diet be the most fun meal plan you’ve ever been on? Probably not. However, it’s an essential part of your surgery preparation to ensure that your Gastric Bypass or bariatric surgery goes as planned. 

But why? 

The simple fact is the liver needs to shrink to give your surgeon more space to work during the weight loss surgery, therefore the smaller the liver at the time of bariatric surgery the better. 

What Is A Liver Shrinking Diet?

Are you about to do the liver shrinking diet soon? If so you will probably be wondering how does the liver shrinking diet work and what you will need to eat during each meal. You may also want to know what you can and cannot drink. 

Depending on where you live and the advice of your bariatric team and dietician, the Liver Shrinking diet you are given to follow may be very different. No matter which plan you’re given one thing is essential, it’s super important to get the right amount of protein on this diet. 

Protein will help your body to heal following surgery and having good stores of protein before your operation is super important. You’ll be on this diet for at least two weeks so having a good meal plan to follow is crucial.

So here is one example of the Liver Shrinking Diet which bariatric patients may follow. 

liver shrinking diet

What to Eat on the Liver Shrinking Diet

We will begin with breakfast. 

Breakfast is always the most important meal of the day. When it comes to breakfast on a liver shrinking diet, you will be asked to consume a high protein meal replacement drink. This drink should have less than 200 calories, but will have at least 15 grams of protein. You also want to make sure this protein shake has less than 5 grams of sugar. There are a lot of high protein meal replacement drinks on the market. 

Alternatively you may be given a list of foods to eat, which include foods like eggs, fruit or a low calorie slice of toast. I’d avoid the carbs but depending on the plan you’re given it’s either a low calorie meal or drink. 

Lunch Menu Pre Gastric Bypass

Let’s talk about lunch for a minute. When it comes to lunch, you will need something nutritious in you. You will be consuming another high protein replacement drink. However, you will also be consuming other types of food. For this meal, you get to choose a piece of fruit. This small piece of fruit will taste like a tiny slice of heaven for you.

Again, if you’re not on replacement drinks, you’ll be given a list of items to choose from that will make up a small low calorie meal, for example half a boiled potato, cottage cheese and a piece of fruit. 

what is the liver shrinking diet for gastric sleeve surgery

High Protein Snacks Pre Bariatric Surgery

On any diet, it’s important to get your food in to keep your metabolism moving. A snack on the liver shrinking diet might be ow fat jerky, tuna, deli meat, string cheese, collage cheese or a light yogurt. Carrots or an apple is also welcomed! 

Liver Shrinking Diet Menu For Dinner

Dinner is a special time on the liver shrinking diet. This is where you get to eat a full meal. You can eat up to four ounces of lean meat. Also, you get to eat a full cup of raw uncooked veggies. You can also indulge in a little extra here with a slice of bread. If you choose not to do the bread, you can have 2 tablespoons of pasta, rice, or potatoes. 

What to Drink

When it comes down to a liver shrinking diet, water is always the best thing to consume. You should be drinking at least 64 ounces of liquids a day. It’s recommended that you drink between 8-12 ounces of liquid in between each meal. Liquids can also be sugar free or calorie free liquids. You will want to stay away from sugary sodas and juices. 


Keep in mind that you should talk to your bariatric team about the liver shrinking diet because you start the diet. This is just a basic guideline to follow, however, your healthcare provider will recommend the plan for you to follow.  

Have you ever done this diet? What did you think?

If you’re about to start good luck. 

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