Before going in for gastric bypass, I will have to go on a very low calorie diet for a couple of weeks to shrink my liver and make sure that the surgeons can access all the parts they need to. Today I thought I’d give it a try for a day to see how it feels. This is not a diet that can be ‘cheated’. Its maximum allowance is 1000 calories a day and it needs to be low in fat, starch and sugar.

I’ll be going to an information session soon to find out more about the operation and the pre-operative diet, but for now I’m following the guidance supplied by Musgrove Park Hospital.


They suggest – Small bowl of plain cereal (25g or the size of a small multi pack box) OR 1 medium slice toast with scraping of margarine

I had – Small bowl of Honey Shreddies with skimmed milk and an apple. According to myfitnesspal that came to 251 calories. I see why the suggestion there was for plain cereal.


They suggest – 1 slice bread or 2 crisp breads AND Salad (no dressings, unless just vinegar based without oil) AND Small portion of meat or fish (size of pack of playing cards or 100g) or cheese (size of a small matchbox or 30g), or 2 eggs, or 2 tablespoons of baked beans.

I had – 6 melba toasts (equal in calories to 2 crisp breads), salad (cucumber, tomato, pepper, no dressing), 28g cheese. According to myfitnesspal, that’s a total of 231 calories.

Snacks, etc

They suggest – Two portions of fruit (a portion is one apple, one pear, one small banana, an orange, or a handful of berries) AND One low fat, low sugar yoghurt or fromage frais per day

It might look daunting but there is some good news:

“Water, tea, coffee, low calorie squash, low calorie fizzy drinks allowed freely.”


It’s now 2.20pm. I’m waiting for my Tesco order to arrive so I can have a yogurt. Starting to feel a bit giddy. Normally by now I would have had at least 1,000 calories.

I’ve had 507 calories so far. I’m going to throw caution to the wind while I’m in a position to and indulge 92 calories and 16 grams of carbohydrates on a delicious Nakd Banana Bread bar. Nakd bars are delicious slabs of mushed up nuts, seeds, fruit and oats. That’s taken me up to 599, and I feel better for it. Slightly. Concentration’s stilllaabitontheiffyside. And I think the walls are melting.

The Tesco order arrived and I hoovered down a toffee mullerlight as soon as I could afterwards. That takes me to a total of 688 calories used.

Right now it’s very tempting to abandon this experiment and dive head-first into a big pile of food, but I shall plod on regardless.


They suggest – 1 egg-sized potato or 2 tablespoons (30g) of pasta or rice AND Vegetables – any vegetables but try to have mostly the green varieties. Stick to no more than 1 tbsp of: sweetcorn, carrots, peas, beetroot as these contain more starch. Fill up on leafy green vegetables. Small portion of meat or fish or cheese or eggs or quorn or tofu dish (portions as lunch).

I had 1 – ****ing piffling egg-sized potato (I like my spuds, this is a hard one to do), a small portion of white fish cooked in foil with mixed peppers, roast tomatoes, steamed green beans, cauliflower and broccoli.

The Morning After

DAMN I’m hungry. Yesterday’s experiment came in at just over 940 calories. Bang on target for the Liver Reduction Diet but a good thousand at least under what I would normally have. It was hard, but I think if I get myself prepared and have lots of different options available, I should be able to stick to this for a fortnight.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s the small matter of breakfast to attend to.