The VSG Diet is a little more complex than just a 1200 calorie diet. There are actually different phases and steps and I’d like to let you see what it’s really like from a bariatric patient.
What is VSG
- VSG or vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a weight loss surgery for obese patients. They usually have a BMI of 40 or over; or with a BMI of 35-39 with obesity-related problems.
- There is a rigorous schedule that all patients must follow and pass to qualify for surgery.
- There is usually a 3-6 month wait for surgery where you will be given new diet (I have an ebook of dump and go recipes to help you get started here) instructions, and meet with a psychologist to prepare for your journey as well as qualify
- Many “work-ups” will be done on your current state of health to assess your readiness for surgery
What are the VSG Diet phases?
The VSG diet is basically a pre-op and post-op sort of thing. The liquid diet (liver shrinking diet) is usually for two weeks before surgery and then there’s 3 Phases post-op. Post-op diets go as follows: liquid, pureed, then solid foods.
While this is not the main focus of this post it is important to plan for, so let’s visit this first.
VSG Diet: Pre-op Liquid Diet
The first time (pre-op) you go through the liquid diet it can be quite hard. I mean, if you could do it easily you wouldn’t need surgery, right? It’s a big adjustment to go from eating the food you enjoy, which also helped you become unhealthy enough for surgery, to nothing but liquids!
It was a complete rollercoaster for me. If you want to witness some real-time experience through the liquid diet, you can see my documentation of it here. It is a super important piece of the process however to completing to be ready for surgery because it shrinks the liver in preparation for surgery.
The key to getting through it is total preparation.
Each surgeon is different, so always follow your doctor’s orders. A liquid diet typically consists of
- soups strained/ broth
- sugar-free popsicles
- sugar-free jello
- skim milk
- decaf coffee and tea
- Gatorade zero
- Proetein Shakes
Quick Tip Items To Help you Stick to the Liquid Diet
- My fav soup was the Bear Creek Powdered soups. I still eat them 1-year post-op because they are so tasty!
- Since you can have sugar free jello, this jello is specifically for bariatric patients and has protein in it. That’s crucial to staying full longer.
- If I had one MUST HAVE item it would be these Sports Salts! MUST HAVE, in case you didn’t read it thoroughly the first time. These will keep you from feeling like the flu with total withdrawal from the unhealthy foods.
Heck Yeah, You Made It To Surgery
- You made it to surgery, spent a couple of days in the hospital then head home
- Post-op VSG diet phases begin.
Post-Op Phases and VSG Diet Tips for Success
OK, so now is the fun part. Even though these phases can be a bit difficult, this is the part you’ve been waiting for! You are about to get so much healthier and lose weight.
Stage 1 Liquid diet
- The post-op liquid diet is exactly like the pre-op liquid diet. It usually lasts 2 weeks as well. Ahh, you get it now right? Not only was the pre-op liquid diet prep for surgery it was to get you ready for your immediate post-op phase.
- Refer to the liquid diet above and the tips to make the most of your success on this phase.
- Don’t drink caffeine
- Don’t drink anything with sugar, you will have dumping syndrome (a complication of too much sugar entering the small intestine too fast)
- Avoid carbonated beverages
- Most of all take it easy and take care of yourself.
Stage 2 Soft/Pureed diet
- Stage 2 graduates to soft and pureed foods. I was so freaking excited to get to this phase. I finally had scrambled eggs!
- This phase should last for the next 2 weeks.
- If you have solids, they must be pureed: cooked white fish, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, canned fruits, hummus, mashed avocado, and many other pureed recipes you can see here.
- Protein is super important. You need at least 60grams per day.
- Be sure to chew your food 30 times each bite.
- Don’t drink for 30 minutes prior to or after eating.
- My favorite pureed recipes came from this book
Stage 3 Solid diet
- About 1-month post-op you get to introduce solid foods and start the rest of your life
- This can be a bit of a trial and error phase. You will be trying different textures and types of food
- Try one food at a time to ensure tolerance.
- Continue to make good food choices and watch your macros.
- Continue to chew food 30 times each bite
- Be sure to take your vitamins!
- Take small sips instead of chugging drinks
- Stop drinking 30 minutes before meals and don’t drink until 30 minutes after.
- Continue to follow a 1200 calorie diet while in weight loss mode.
- Choose lean meats
- Avoid fried foods
- Be open to new recipes
- Keep starches to whole grains
- Include fruits and vegetables
If you want some sample menu ideas, I have drafted a few right here from my own success. These are a sure way to get off to the right start.
Let me take the guesswork out of it for you with my Dump & Go Recipes for Bariatric Moms Ebook. Have you heard of dump and go or sheet pan recipes? If you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing! Check out my ebook here.
The Last Thing You Need To Know About the VSG Diet
Weight loss surgery is not the easy way out.
Weight loss surgery is a tool. If you go into it thinking it is the easy way out, you will probably either not qualify for it or end up regaining your weight eventually.
What type of surgery are thinking of having? ( I had VSG).