Water, Drink Up (Without Guzzling!)
While you may have heard for years that drinking water can help you lose weight, there are some special considerations after bariatric surgery.
- Drink 1 oz of fluids every 5 minutes. A slower rate of fluid consumption can prevent stretching of the esophagus and stomach.
- Avoid carbonated beverages, and don’t drink with a straw. (This also prevents stretching and discomfort).
- Stop drinking 30 minutes before meals if you have the sleeve or bypass. (Drink up to the start of meals to help prevent sticking with the lap band. )
- Don’t drink with meals, or for one hour after meals.
Aim for 64 oz of fluids daily. Choose mainly pure water, or low-calorie (<5 calories/serving) beverages. If you need a change, add a packet of sugarless flavoring, or put a slice of lemon or lime in plain water. Try filling a large pitcher with ice and water chilled with apple slices, cucumber slices or mint leaves. Decaf and herbal teas also count toward your fluid intake, but avoid caffeinated beverages.
Why is it important to drink enough water?
- Water keeps your body functioning properly. For example, water helps your kidneys get rid of toxins, maintains normal bowel function, and nourishes your skin.
- Water helps energize muscles preventing fatigue, and helps you feel better.
- Water helps with weight management. It has no calories and fills up the stomach making you less hungry. Drinking water in between meals can prevent overeating. Sometimes people confuse thirst for hunger. Try drinking some the next time you have a craving, and see if it curbs your appetite.
- As the weather gets hotter, water consumption is even more important. You may need more water if you exercise or sweat heavily. If you become dehydrated, you may get a headache, feel light-headed, or have trouble concentrating. Try to drink water before you get thirsty.
Tips for getting your daily water:
- Keep water by your bed if you should wake up thirsty.
- Drink some water when you get up in the morning. Start your day with a routine.
- Keep a water bottle on your desk to sip throughout the day.
- Take sips when you pass a water fountain.
- Keep a bottle of water with you in your car or in your bag.
- Drink water at regular intervals while exercising.
- Buy a filter to get pure water for less money than bottled water.
- Get your own eco-friendly sports bottle to carry around.
- You can also check out apps on your smart phone for daily water trackers that remind you to drink.
So, enjoy the warmer weather staying well hydrated with calorie-free, refreshing water. Just remember to follow the speed limit (and don’t guzzle).