WLS Pouch Rules

5 rules

Anyone who has had any type of weight loss surgery is usually given some type of information about eating after the surgery.  They are usually referred to as WLS pouch rules. Some doctors add in addtional “rules” but most use the following ones, or some version of them, to help with weight loss as well as create long term changes in behavior to help maintain the weight loss. These pouch rules are generally used once you are eating solid foods which, depending upon your doctor, could be as far as 10 to 12 weeks after surgery. These were the rules I was given:

1). Protein first but eat balanced meals

2). No drinking with meals or up to 30 minutes after meals

3). Take your vitamins daily

4). Eat slowly

5). No snacking between meals

The basic rules were expanded up with additional guidelines.

Protein: eat at least 65 to 75 grams of protein daily. Protein should come from sources such as meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy, tofu, etc. It was suggested that ground meats might be better tolerated than meat such as steak and pork. Of course the topic of what is and isn’t tolerated is a whole subject of its own. It is not unusual to actually become lactose intolerant after surgery (raising hand here) so dairy might be an issue. The ultimate goal is to eat meals that are balanced while getting in protein.

Drinking/Liquids: drinking with or immediately after meals will create a slurry in the stomach and food passes more quickly through. The rule about not drinking with or right after meals helps to keep the food in your stomach longer which keeps you feeling full longer. I’ve seen lots of people say that coffee or other caffinated drinks are not allowed. This seems to vary from one surgeon to the next. Needless to say getting in regular water (or no calorie flavored water) is always important and should be first. I won’t even get into the craziness I have read about the use of straws. There is one drink that I will touch upon: alcohol. If you’ve had an RNY, DS or the sleeve than please be aware of how quickly alcohol is absorbed. Do a google search on drinking alcohol after gastric bypass or weight loss surgery for more information.

Vitamins and Supplements: most people, even the ones with a band, have been told to at least take a multivitamin. Calcium with added vitamin D is also very common supplement taken. If you’ve had some type of malaborptive surgery than daily vitamins are a must! Your doctor has most likely told you which ones to take. Often times, as years go by, changes might have to be made if you develope some type of deficieny along the way.

Eat slowly: the pouch that was created during surgery is small and eating slowly allows you to get enough nutrition in before getting too full. It helps keep you from overeating by learning to recognize your body’s signals for being full. For many, the results of overeating even a bite or two is extremely uncomfortable. Even painful. For some it can lead to vomiting. As time goes on eating slowly helps to maintain that feeling of fullness which can help prevent regain.

No snacking between meals: for many of us this is the rule that leads to regain once it starts being broken since what we ultimately begin snacking on are slider foods. Slider foods are the ones that are easy to eat, do not make us feel full or make the pouch feel tight and easily slip through leading to weight gain. Slider foods include things like crackers, pretzels, cookies, mashed potatoes, ice cream, smoothies or any other type of food that you personally can eat without feeling full. Many of these foods are ones we snacked on or ate large amounts of before surgery. If we return to snacking it’s common to return to snacking on the same types of foods.

These are the five basic pouch rules I was presented with once graduating to solid foods about 8 weeks after surgery. I find when I begin to regain weight returning to the rules helps to get me on track.

Have you had WLS? If so, what rules were you given to follow to help with long term weight loss? Were they similar? Different? Leave a comment below and share with others what rules you follow.

Comments are closed.