May 6th is National Beverage Day. So, while many Americans may be celebrating with free flowing drinks, Dr. Shillingford’s practice would like to take this day to remind our lap band patients about how liquids are affected by their lap band. Essentially, drinks are not affected by the gastric band at all. Liquids easily slip through the dime sized opening to the stomach and are able to pass through without restriction. While this is what you want in the first few weeks of your post surgical gastric band diet, it is not ideal after your have progressed your diet to tolerating regular foods (around the six week post op mark, depending on each patient). Liquids can even wash some food down with them, eliminating the prolonged feeling of fullness and satiety which help you eat less.
Liquids are things that are liquid at room temperature. In addition to traditional liquids (water, juices, soda, milk, coffee, tea) items like jello, popsicles, ice cream, and soups are also considered liquids. After you have healed from your lap band surgery, have had your lap band filled by Dr. Shillingford, and have successfully advanced your diet to tolerating regular foods, you must always be mindful of liquids. Many liquids are high in calories, such as ice cream, whole milk, juices, specialty coffees, and milk shakes, but may not provide you with the protein and nutrition your body needs to stay healthy.
Many patients report sipping liquids between meals is the best way to stay hydrated and avoid nausea. Water is the best choice of liquids as it is essential for your body and calorie free. You can add a squeeze of lemon or lime to add some taste and very minimal calories. Straws and sports bottles may allow for too much liquid at one time, so consider using regular cups and water bottles that you sip.
Lap band patients will often find what works best for them. Remember to stay hydrated, but avoid drinking at meal time. Find your rhythm and stick with what works well for you. If you are unable to stay adequately hydrated or experience nausea when drinking liquids, please contact Dr. Shillingford’s office at (561) 483-8840.