What is a Liver Shrinking Diet, and who should follow it?

A liver shrinking diet has less calories, carbs, and lipids. If you are having weight loss surgery, your doctor may recommend this diet.

Your liver accounts for around 2% of your total weight and is your largest solid internal organ, yet unless you have a liver issue, you may not give much thought to its size.

Various disorders can produce an enlarged liver. If the illness is linked to nutrition, a doctor may advise dietary adjustments prior to specific surgeries.

This article delves deeper into a diet that shrinks the liver. Its objective, who should join, and example diet menus.

Liver Shrinking

What is a liver-shrinking diet?

As the name implies, a liver shrinking diet is intended to help reduce the size of your liver. The diet is low in carbohydrates and lipids and rich in protein. The actual number of calories that doctors recommend varies.

A liver shrinking diet causes the body to deplete glycogen and lipid stores in the liver. As glycogen supplies in the liver deplete, some water exits the organ, causing it to soften and shrink.

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Who needs to follow a liver shrinking diet?

Prior to weight loss surgery, your doctor may propose a liver shrinking diet. An enlarged liver can raise the risk of bleeding. Furthermore, if the liver is too large, the surgeon may struggle to access the stomach to perform the surgery.

Doctors may also propose a liver shrinking dietTrusted Source to assist patients prepare for the dietary guidelines that come with weight reduction surgery. Individuals with fatty liver disease may already consume a similar diet.

When determining the best time to start a liver shrinking diet before weight reduction surgery, your doctor may take your body mass index (BMI) into consideration. Individuals in one study began such a diet for an average of 6 weeks before to surgery, with time frames varying from 2 to 12 weeks.

What foods should you eat and avoid?

Some foods you can eat on a liver shrinking diet include:

  • Ingredients include chicken, lean beef, and eggs.
  • Greek yogurt
  • Non-starchy vegetables (such broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts)

Experts do not advocate the following foods and beverages for a liver shrinking diet:

  • Alcohol, sweet beverages, and desserts
  • Jelly, high-fat dressings and sauces
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What are some sample liver shrinking diet menus you may follow?

A few sample liver shrinking diet menu ideas are provided below, although your doctor’s suggestions may differ. It is critical that you follow your doctor’s particular recommendations. If you have any questions or concerns about following your prescribed liver shrinking diet, talk to your doctor or a dietician.

One potential liver shrinking diet consists of four 325 milliliters (mL) (about 11 ounces) prepackaged Slimfast protein meal replacement drinks and two portions of non-starchy veggies every day.

Another method that involves more solid foods is:

Breakfast consists of one carbohydrate and one dairy portion.
Lunch consists of two protein and two veggie pieces.
Snack on 2 fruits during the day. Eat an evening meal with 1 protein, 1 vegetable, 1 dairy, and 2 carbohydrate servings.
A sample daily menu for this diet could include:

Breakfast1 slice of bread with 30g of light cream cheese
LunchA cereal dish of salad greens and 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, no dressing; 3–4 ounces of grilled chicken.
Snack (morning or afternoon).½ banana and 1 cup berries (equivalent to 2 servings of fruit per day, can be consumed anytime).
Dinner1 cup boiled broccoli with 1 teaspoon olive oil, a filet of salmon, a glass of skim milk, and 4 tablespoons brown rice.
In addition to the items indicated above, doctors may recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water or other acceptable fluids each day. You should consult your doctor to confirm this quantity and determine whether you should take a multivitamin or other supplements.

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Frequently asked questions regarding liver shrinking diets

A liver shrinking diet includes foods such as eggs, chicken, Greek yogurt, and non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli. (If you’re not sure which vegetables are non-starchy, you can learn more here.)

How long does it take your liver to shrink on a diet?
You can witness the results of a liver shrinking diet within the first few weeks.Trusted source.

How do I quickly shrink the size of my liver?
Restricting calories, carbohydrates, and fats in your diet will reduce liver size in a few weeks, but your doctor may also recommend Trusted Source nutritional supplements or an intragastric balloon before gastric bypass surgery.

How can I know if my liver is shrinking?
Medical imaging, such as an ultrasound, can assist identify whether your liver’s size has altered.


A liver-shrinking diet restricts carbs and lipids.

Before having weight loss surgery, your doctor may recommend this type of diet. It is critical to follow any preoperative instructions supplied by your doctor and to consult with your doctor or dietician if you have any concerns.


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