Weight loss surgery and fizzy drinks

Weight loss surgery and fizzy drinks

Countless bariatric patients follow the somewhat strict staged diet (through fluids, to pureed and soft foods, and then onto what I call food for life) without a raised eyebrow or quizzical refrain and then … often much further down the line, question some of the ‘bariatric rules’.

One of the most popular is ‘Do I really have to give up fizz for good?’ Will a fizzy drink, cola or soda really jeopardise things?

Well it’s natural to test or push the boundaries but sadly the answer to this question is YES. Although it can be tough for some to quit the fizz, there are some pretty good and compelling reasons why weight-loss surgery and soft fizzy drinks just don’t mix.

The first is related to your new very small pouch or stomach size. Inflation of this can be uncomfortable and can cause stretching. With gastric band patients this can happen with just a sip and with bypass and sleeve patients with just a mouthful.

Why does this happen? Well it’s quite simple really … as the gas comes out of the drink it expands in your new small stomach just like a balloon … and if you keep repeatedly taking in the fizz your stomach will stretch to a bigger size over time.

The second very good reason for kicking such drinks into touch is because these fizzy beverages also have been shown to increase hunger (even the zero and low-sugar ones) which means that you run the risk of regain if you surrender to the hunger pangs.

So the general advice is any drink that lists carbonated water as an ingredient … with or without added flavouring … is on the forbidden list.

So what to have instead? Well it’s obvious that water, tea and coffee are all ok but you needn’t restrict yourself to them and them alone. Why not consider zero-calorie and zero-fizz fruit-flavoured waters and squashes/cordials. Try fruit-based ‘ades’ like orangeade and lemonade without the fizz attached. Spiced, herbal and fruit teas may also hit the spot and can be served both hot and chilled.

On a cautionary note don’t be tempted to guzzle fruit juice instead. Its high sugar content may prove problematic to gastric bypass patients and prove too calorific for others. The same can be said for some commercial fruit smoothies – look out for a bariatric smoothie recipe that can be made at home where you are in control of the ingredients and the portion size.

Whatever you choose to supplement your water and fluid intake do also remember another general rule for band, bypass and sleeve patients … avoid drinking fluids for 30 minutes after a meal so that you don’t over-distend your pouch or flush food too quickly through your new stomach pouch. If you really want a drink around mealtimes, it’s better to have it BEFORE you eat.

If you would like further information on what you can eat and drink after weight loss surgery, contact our team today!

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