Restrict Liquids, Drink Lots of Water – HUH? Making Sense of Weight Loss Surgery Guidelines

In a country where food and drink go hand in hand weight loss surgery patients are challenged to follow the liquid restrictions as instructed by their bariatric center. But understanding and following the liquid restrictions plays a key role in long-term weight maintenance following gastric bypass, eliquidsoutlet gastric sleeve, or adjustable gastric banding (lap-band) surgeries.

In general, bariatric centers instruct weight loss surgery patients to avoid drinking liquids for thirty minutes before a meal, during the meal, and for thirty minutes following the meal. This easily adds up to 90 minutes of no liquids three times a day: four-and-one-half waking hours. It is easy for patients to become frustrated with these restrictions because another rule of weight loss surgery is to drink lots of water, at least 64 ounces a day. Understanding why the liquid restrictions are necessary and how water intake affects weight management will increase the likelihood a patient will follow the guidelines.

When a person undergoes any of the currently practiced bariatric and metabolic surgeries for weight loss the size of the stomach is reduced significantly to restrict the amount of food which may be eaten at a given time. The size of the restricted pouch varies by procedure, surgeon and patient. What is consistent, however, singsanam is that the smaller stomach pouch fills quickly and the patient experiences a feeling of fullness and satiation, which must be sustained following the meal to avoid hunger and cravings later. This is to keep the patient from over eating. In addition, the longer food is kept in the digestive system the more opportunity the body has to absorb and metabolize nutrients. The best way to sustain this fullness is to eat lean protein and low-glycemic complex carbohydrates in a ratio of two bites protein to one bite carbohydrate.

For many weight loss surgery patients the feeling of tightness or restriction that results following eating is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. In weight loss surgery street talk these patients learn to “eat around the pouch”. In many cases that means drinking liquid with solid food which relieves the tightness as the chewed food (chyme: semi-liquid mass of partly digested food) mixes with liquids to form a more fluid liquid slurry which passes through the new stomach outlet more rapidly. The result is increased food intake because patients can eat more food during a planned meal and they are likely to eat again later because they are hungry and the slurry meal failed to satiate hunger for a reasonable amount of time.

As important as it is to follow the liquid restrictions it is equally important to drink adequate water. The body is made up of about 60 percent water. Water assists with the transport of nutrients and waste products throughout the body. Water is present in every process of human biology. Most centers recommend a minimum intake of 64 ounces a day. Others suggest morbidly obese patients drink one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight.

Organized planning is helpful when following liquid restrictions and drinking lots of water. Begin the day with water and enjoy water between meals, thebusinessdays which will also help keep cravings away. Keeping a glass or bottle of water at arms reach is a steady reminder to sip often and stay hydrated. Newly post-operative patients report drinking tepid or room temperature water is easier on the pouch thus making it possible to drink more.


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