The 5-Day Pouch Test: Fact and Fiction

By Jessica Basso, RN, BSN

In 2007, Kaye Bailey developed what is called the 5-day Pouch Test. Kaye had gastric bypass surgery, but seven years after her surgery, she started to regain s weight. Her doctor suggested she get back to the basics. Following, her doctors order, the 5-day pouch test was born.

The 5-day pouch test returns the patient to the post-op liquid phase, required in the first few days after surgery. She recommends you progress slowly from liquids to pureed protein, to soft protein, to firm protein, then to solid protein in a period of 5 days. Following this, you are supposed to feel a renewed sense of self. With this pouch test, Kaye believes that over the course of five days, our bodies are gently able to transition from simple carbs and snacks, to the WLS high protein diet supported with complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruit, and grains.

For patients that had bariatric surgery and dealing with some weight regain, perhaps doing the 5-day pouch reset, it will be helpful to separate the facts from fiction.

The pouch test will not:

  1. Shrink your stomach
  2. Reduce hunger or increase satiety (feeling of fullness)
  3. Reset your body
  4. Cut cravings for carbs or salty/sweet foods

The technique that worked for Kaye is as follows:

  1. You should not eat and drink at the same time. You should always delay your fluids from solid foods. Its recommended to stop drinking 15 minutes before eating meals or snacks and wait at least 30 minutes after to drink again. The reasoning behind this is because drinking and eating at the same time ‘flushes’ the food out of your stomach too quickly which causes you to feel hungry soon after eating.
  2. Take your time eating. (no less than 30 minutes) This allows your brain time to process that you are eating and allows you to feel satiety.
  3. Include high protein options for meals. High protein meals allow you to feel fuller longer.

There are many mixed emotions regarding this test. Many may argue that it will reset your body, curb your appetite, or shrink the stomach, but there is no scientific evidence of it being able to do so. If you are thinking about doing the 5-day pouch test it is a good way to get your bariatric diet back on track and back to the basics. Without a proper nutritional diet bariatric surgery has a high likely hood of being unsuccessful for a patient. Your surgery is only a tool, and this test can help allow you to relearn how to use that tool.


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