So, you’ve had the surgery, followed the staged diet (through fluids, pureed and soft foods and onto what I call food for life) and then you question some of the ‘rules or advice’. Do you really have to give up the fizz for good? Will a fizzy drink, cola or soda really jeopardise things? It’s a question I am repeatedly asked and so here is the low-down and current advice I have from chatting to several very experienced surgeons.
Sadly the answer is YES. Although it is tough to quit the fizz, there are some very good reasons why weight-loss surgery and soft fizzy drinks just don’t mix.
The 1st is related to your new very small pouch or stomach size. Inflation of this can be very uncomfortable and can cause stretching. With gastric band patients this can happen with just a sip and with bypass and sleeve 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 2nd reason for kicking them into touch is that these fizzy drinks also have been shown to increase hunger (even the zero and low-sugar ones) which means you run the risk of regain.
So the general advice is any drink that lists carbonated water as an ingredient…with or without added flavouring…is on the forbidden list.
Well it’s obvious that water, tea and coffee are all ok but you needn’t restrict yourself to them and them alone. You can also consider zero-calorie and zero-fizz fruit-flavoured waters and squashes/cordials. You can also try fruit based ‘ades’ like orangeade and lemonade. I like the powdered ones like Crystal Light. Herbal, spiced and fruit teas may also hit the spot served both hot and chilled.
Don’t be tempted to guzzle fruit juice instead….it’s high sugar content may prove problematic to gastric bypass patients and prove too calorific for others. The same can be said for some fruit smoothies (look for a bariatric recipe that is home-made rather than commercial offerings) or you run the risk of ‘dumping’ and that’s no fun!
Whatever you choose to supplement your water and fluid intake do also remember another rule….avoid drinking fluids for 30 minutes before and after a meal so that you don’t flush food through your stomach pouch.