It’s a controversial question and, in all seriousness, you should always follow the advice of your own bariatric team. Some surgeons say No and others say Yes with a cautionary note. Almost without exception most will advise never within the first 6-12 months post-op. The reason? Well your liver is working flat out to try and deal with all the weightloss products your body is producing while losing weight quickly so doesn’t need the additional workload of alcohol breakdown.
After this time, some alcohol may be tolerated but with care. Your new bariatric set up will probably mean that you can’t tolerate alcohol in the way that you might have been able to prior surgery. For most you become the ‘ultimate cheap date’ – one glass short-circuited into your system may make you feel intoxicated in no time at all. I would strongly advise that you never drink alone (keep safe with family or friends) unless you know your toleration levels very well; never, ever drink and drive; avoid sugary and high fat/creamy alcholic drinks; go easy on any fizz (if it is slightly sparkling then twizzle with a stick or spoon to get rid of as much gas as possible). Better still look at non-alcholic drinks like a Virgin Bloody Mary or Virgin Mojito.
I can tolerate a little wine and some vodka. Sometimes I water down the wine and I usually dilute the vodka with a little well stirred tonic water or orange juice. This Christmas I am also going to try a little festive punch. The recipe below can be made with ordinary red wine or non-alcoholic red wine and may have the rum in it or not – your call.
FESTIVE CHRISTMAS PUNCH
3 bottles ordinary or non-alcoholic red wine
4 tbsp Splenda granulated sweetener
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
300 ml dark rum (optional)
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
grated zest and juice of 3 oranges
1. Put the red wine, sweetener, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, rum (if used), lemon zest and orange zest in a large pan. Warm gently until just at simmering point.
2. Remove from the heat and add the lemon and orange juice, mixing well. Allow to cool slightly before serving in tall tumblers.
CALORIES/USING ORDINARY WINE/USING NON-ALCOHOLIC WINE/USING ORDINARY WINE AND RUM: 123/72/164
PROTEIN: (as above) 0.5g/0.3g/0.5g
CARBOHYDRATE: (as above) 8.8g/13.6g/8.8g
FAT: (as above) 0.1g/0.1g/0.1g
Image courtesy of Splenda