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Monday, January 02, 2017

5 Day Pouch Test: Are you prepared?

There is no doubt about it: the 5 Day Pouch Test is an enthusiasm generating phenomena. More people have done the 5DPT after hearing by word of mouth how someone else took back their WLS tool and lost some weight too, in 5 easy days. If we are struggling and don't know how to "get back to basics", if we have lost all hope, and suddenly we learn about someone just like us who got back on track in five days, it is easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm.  Just like the young child eager to ride a two-wheel bicycle without training wheels we are prone to crashes when we take off too quickly without learning the rules.

I don't consider this over-eagerness a failure: it is simply misdirected energy leading to an  unsuccessful execution of the plan.  There are four errors of over-eagerness that I see frequently, but can easily be avoided:
  • Not understanding the plan
  • Restricting caloric intake
  • Poorly scheduling the 5DPT
  • Lack of Planning
  • Pursuit of Perfection
Let's take a look at each point of over-eagerness and consider ways to harness the energy and excitement while taking intelligent and reasonable steps to work the plan.

I'm starting the 5DPT tomorrow, what do I need to know?
Official 5 Day Pouch Test Website
I am surprised at how often I'm asked this. Usually the question comes in an email time stamped 11 p.m. the night before! I know there is a perception that the 5DPT is just about a 5-day eating plan and I've read, "easy-peezy, just do liquids, then soft food, then protein and that's all there is to it." When people take this approach they may lose a few pounds (and quickly regain them), but more damaging, they do not return to the early post-op behaviors, diet, and lifestyle that contributed to weight loss in the beginning thus putting obesity in remission. A successful 5DPT needs to be scheduled, planned, and done with mindfulness and intent. Grocery shopping and meals should be prepared in advance when possible. There is as much mental work as kitchen work in preparing for the 5DPT and transitioning back to your post-WLS program. Use the free downloads (5DPT Free Download Tools) and make sure you fully understand the plan. I understand when enthusiasm and hope strikes we need to take quick action to harness that energy. The key to sustaining that energy is knowledge. Read all you can about the plan, don't just dismiss it as "easy-peezy," -- doing so leads to disappointment. Use the official website. Get the books if you like, or download the 5 Day Pouch Test Express Study Guide: Find your weight loss surgery tool in five focused days. (LivingAfterWLS eBook Shorts 1) the quickest way to get a grasp of the plan as it is intended to be done to enable your success.

The Complete 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual on Kindle

Restricting caloric intake. Do not restrict food or caloric intake on the 5DPT. You can have as many liquid meals as needed in response to hunger or cravings. Some people are inclined to restrict food intake during the 5 Day Pouch Test: this is not encouraged because it leads to increased hunger cravings and frustration. Do not restrict food intake: less is not better. Pay close attention to the signals your body gives and when you are hungry eat something from the approved menu for the day. Soups are measured in 1-cup servings and protein drinks are measured as the recipe or package directs. Stick with these portion sizes and eat what you can in 15 minutes. After 15 minutes discard what is uneaten and take pause to experience your pouch noting feelings of fullness and satiation. Wait at least one full hour before your next serving of liquid meal. Use this time to be mindful of your body; to get in touch with your pouch. Learning to feel the pouch and listening for authentic biological hunger signals is essential to your successful weight management. If you are truly hungry after waiting one hour then have another serving of one of the approved meals. Again, take only 15 minutes to eat and continue to be alert to the signals your body sends.

Recipes: Days 1 and 2

Poorly scheduling the 5DPT.  Mark the date. Set a date and mark your calendar. Make sure you can follow the plan without the disruption of travel, social events or hormonal cycles. Enlist the support of family and friends. It is fairly common for people to schedule the 5DPT to begin on Monday and end on Friday. But many have found that scheduling Day 1 for a Saturday works more favorably for them. On Days 1 and 2 one generally needs frequent bathroom breaks, which may be uncomfortable in a workplace. Consider that as you schedule your plan. Additionally, many of us have made the mistake of completing the 5DPT on Friday only to celebrate with weekend binge eating come Saturday. If our plan starts on Saturday and concludes on Wednesday we can more easily transition to a Day 6 lifestyle on Thursday, thus avoiding the weekend binge phenomena. Consider all of this before scheduling your 5 Day Pouch Test.  Scheduling it for the right time significantly improves our chance for success.
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Lack of planning. You must plan ahead to have the prescribed foods available once the plan begins. You must also take the necessary steps to remove trigger foods from your environment as much as possible. Before the plan begins, please make preparations: this will ensure your success. Plan your meals for all five days and do the grocery shopping before starting the 5DPT. We all know that the supermarket is temptation alley, do your best to avoid going there for these five days. Many people are surprised at the relief and empowerment they feel upon making their food plan for five days. With the menu choices made there is little to dwell upon and we have spare energy to focus on getting back on track.

5 Day Pouch Test: Download Free Tools

Pursuit of Perfection.  At least once a day I receive this question, "I messed up on Day 1: Should I start over to get it perfect?" I have never done the 5DPT perfectly and I do not know anyone who has. Rather than make the five days about perfection make this time about learning. Little mistakes will not stop the world from turning. So forge ahead doing your very best and forgive little mistakes. Learn from each day, review the key learning points and make notes on your 5 Day Pouch Test Journal. Emerge on Day 6 knowing more about yourself and how to work your tool. You can do this! One of the biggest dietary mistakes we make is thinking we must be totally perfect or totally imperfect. We do not have to manage our plate with an all or nothing strategy: this has never worked for keeping our obesity under control. Start thinking about doing your best in the moment and on the day and celebrate the little moments. Our LivingAfterWLS motto embraces this: "Stop for a moment. Look where you are: You Have Arrived." Now is everything.  Never forget that perfection is not the goal in anything: doing our best on the day and in the moment is always the goal.

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