What do I mean? Well essentially, I mean avoid drinking liquids which are high in calories such as smoothies, juices, milkshakes, soft drinks (sodas), cordials, shakes, big milky coffees.
I know these words can be quite a surprise to some people. Especially since the rise of the juice bars, Nutribullet, drink on the go trend which is being marketed as healthy and fashionable.
Let me explain why:
- Liquids are often quicker and easier to drink than whole foods (so you can consume quite a bit 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 fast so you feeling hungry again sooner)
- Last but not least they can cause dumping syndrome [which is when food (particular refined sugars and fats) moves too quickly into your small intestines and results in range of symptoms which are not pleasant]
Especially after weight loss surgery, we need to be vigilant about surplus energy not creeping back into your diet, as it so easily can when you are drinking high calorie fluids. We want your diet to consist of lower carbohydrate foods and higher protein foods, which will keep you fuller for longer (and provide less energy overall).
Related Read: Tips to Maintain your Weight Post Bariatric Surgery
Am I 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, so part of your overall food intake. Keep in mind some of the ‘healthy’ juice/ smoothies can have 600kcal per serve as they are packed with fruit, yoghurt and ice cream hence lots of hidden calories.
To support weight loss and weight maintenance it’s best to eat more WHOLE foods as:
- They 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
- Less energy dense, thus you can eat more food and consume less energy
- Higher in fibre (and generally protein) which helps keep you fuller for longer
I like to use the ‘old’ example of the orange and OJ. 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 OJ, which you can drink in 5 mins. So best to sit down and eat one orange and you will be getting less calories, more fibre, and will feel fuller for longer. Winning!
Related Read: Planning a Healthy Diet Post Weight Loss Surgery
Note: Just a note about the high protein smoothies which are often needed 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.
By Jane Stoltze, Accredited Practicing Dietitian