For post-weight loss surgery clients, it is recommend to avoid drinking liquids which are high in calories such as smoothies, juices, milkshakes, soft drinks (soda’s), cordials, shakes, and big milky coffees. This advice can be quite a surprise to some people, especially since the rise of juice bars, Nutribullet, and ‘drink on the go’ trends are being marketed as healthy and fashionable.
Here’s why this recommendation is important:
- Liquids are often quicker and easier to drink than whole foods (so they can be consumed quite quickly in a short amount of time)
- The liquids listed above are very calorie dense, thus provide a lot of energy in a smaller volume of fluid
- Often they are high in carbohydrate (sugar), leading to a sharp rise in blood sugar levels (which ultimately drop just as quickly, leaving you feeling hungry again sooner)
- Last but not least they can cause dumping syndrome, which is when food (particularly refined sugars and fats) move too quickly into your small intestines and results in range of symptoms which are not pleasant
Following Weight Loss Surgery, it’s important to be vigilant about surplus energy not creeping back into your diet, which happens when you are drinking high calorie fluids. Your diet should consist of lower carbohydrate and higher protein foods, which will keep you feeling fuller for longer (and provide less energy overall).
Are we saying you can’t have your latte in the morning? Well, no, you can have a latte but you need to consider it a snack that is a part of your overall food intake. Keep in mind some ‘healthy’ juices/smoothies can have up to 600cal per serve as they are packed with fruit, yoghurt and ice cream, which means they can be full of hidden calories.
To support weight loss and weight maintenance it’s best to eat more WHOLE foods. This is because:
- Whole foods take longer to eat, thus require more chewing, so you end up eating less as your stomach has time to tell the brain you are satisfied
- They are less energy dense, thus you can eat more food and consume less energy
- They are higher in fibre (and generally protein) which helps keep you fuller for longer
We like to ‘old’ example of the orange and orange juice. Next time you are squeezing your oranges to make orange juice count how many oranges you squeeze to get one glass of juice. Often it can be up to 3 whole oranges to make a glass of orange juice, which you can drink in 5 mins. With this in mind, it is best to sit down and eat one orange and you will be getting less calories, more fibre, and will feel fuller for longer. Winning!
Note: Wondering about the high protein smoothies that are necessary in your diet in the early days after surgery? These are fine to have as part of your overall intake to meet your protein requirements, especially when they are made using a protein powder which is high in protein and low in carbohydrate.
Written by Jane Stoltze, Accredited Practicing Dietitian