LAWLS Bookstore

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Liquids Restrictions & Liquid Meals: Making sense of it

Recently I have observed some confusion in our online communities about the weight loss surgery liquid restrictions. Reason for the confusion are many including different instructions from different doctors and different interpretation of the liquid restrictions by patients.  Sometimes I get confused about the rules when it comes to consuming liquid with meals.

The Four Rules of WLS

For clarification let's note that the professional consensus is people who have undergone any of the currently approved bariatric procedures for weight loss should not drink liquids while eating meals. A meal is considered any food (liquid, soft protein, firm protein, complex carbs., etc) that contains nutrients and is meant to fuel and satiate the body. More often than not patients are advised to avoid liquids for a specified time period before and after eating a meal. This window of time is called by many the "Liquid Restrictions" and some people note it this way: 30/15/30  or 15/15/15. In the first example there would be no liquids 30 minutes before a meal, no liquids during a timed meal of 15 minutes, and no liquids for 30 minutes following the last bite of a meal. If you are unsure of your specific liquid restrictions check with your bariatric center nutritionist, in your dietary guidelines, or with your support group leader.

Now, I do not personally sit on a stop watch while fasting from liquids, but I do stay mindful of the rule. It is important for two reasons: first the pouch or sleeve will stay full longer if the food is allowed to digest before being washed through with liquid. Secondly, the longer the food is allowed to travel through the digestive system without being pushed by liquids, the more nutrients will be observed. When we are eating so few calories, because of the surgery, it is highly important that we give our body ample time to make the most of what we feed it.

Liquid restrictions should be followed when eating a liquid meal such as a protein fortified smoothie or one of our favorite 5 Day Pouch Test Soups.  We want to feel full and satisfied longer which will prevent snacking after meals, and we want to enjoy the benefits of the nutrition we provided our body in the meal.

We addressed the topic of Rule #2 - Lots of Water, and the Liquid Restrictions in a detailed newsletter in 2011. It is available for you online in our archive:

LivingAfterWLS Weekly Digest
February 2, 2011
The Four Rules: #2 Drink Lots of Water
Understanding & Accomplishing Water Intake
Without Floating Away!

Check it out here in our Archive:
Weekly Digest 02022011

To learn more about the liquid restrictions
take a look at this featured article from the 5 Day Pouch Test:

Restrict Liquids, Drink Lots of Water - HUH?
Making Sense of WLS 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, 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.

Link to Continue Reading: Restrict Liquids, Drink Lots of Water - HUH? Making Sense of WLS Guidelines

No comments: