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why we can't have solids+liquids together



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Hi everyone,

I'm about 7 weeks post-sleeve. Dietician told me to avoid drinking any liquids within 30 mins of eating solids (on soft diet). I thought that was temporary while the stomach is healing (currently, I can't keep anything down if I have a single sip of liquid around time of soft food).

But she recently clarified that this applies for life, as in I will never be able to have a sip of Water or anything in the middle of or before/ after a meal, no matter how thirsty I am and no matter how far from my surgery. She said it's because "there is not enough space in the stomach for both".

BUT I don't understand the reason why the stomach won't tolerate this if one eats a bit less during that meal. If the total volume of liquids+solids combined is kept at a low amount consistently, then why would having a sip of liquid suddenly overfill the stomach?

Is this rule common? Do others (further along in their recovery) still find it impossible to take in any liquids close to solids?

Thanks!

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It is the rule, and yep, it's for life. And yes, pretty much everyone is given this song and dance.

I wish they wouldn't lie/explain poorly. It's irritating and it makes me lose faith in professionals when they're doing this.

The reality of the drinking with meals rule...from what I understand, digging a little deeper and reasearching....is that they don't want the Fluid to push the food right through. They want you to feel full with the small amount your new stomach can hold, feel satisfied, and learn to eat less. Also...when food is poorly digested in the stomach, it can make you gassy, cause stomach upset, etc.

Also, like you've already discovered....early in the game, mixing food with fluids can up your chances of vomiting...which you want to avoid.

Some real talk? I followed the rule pretty well the first six months or so.

Then, I said to hell with it....and started drinking very small amounts with meals when I felt I needed to. (Maybe two ounces total, just enough to have a sip here and there)

I am not advising anyone else to do this...it's always best to follow orders, particularly while you're healing.

But yep, three years out, I don't worry about the drinking rule and so far the sky hasn't fallen.

Not advise...just sharing my experience.

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One of the reasons is that liquids help push foods through the much smaller stomach quicker, therefore possibly not allowing the 'fullness/restriction' to kick in. A weight loss surgeon demonstrated this on youtube, I can't remember which surgeon though,

I can't imagine a small sip here and there would have too much impact, but full on drinking fluids when eating would.

My body produces very little saliva due to autoimmune issues, I suffer with dry mouth, occasionally I need to take a sip to help swallow dry meats. But its only the smallest of sips. Mostly though I manage fine without drinking while eating and typically wait at least 20 to 30 minues before drinking anything.

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Was told the same info. I'm actually meet with the dietician for the first time next week and I plan on asking about that in more detail.

I'm hoping once I'm done with the surgery that that part will be easy for me as I currently don't typically drink while eating. I think it's because of the way I grew up. We HAD to eat our food FIRST before we were allowed to drink, but for the occasional sip, because my dad didn't want us kids to "fill up on liquid and not eat our dinner".

Anywho, that seemed to have stuck with me throughout my life. Hey, maybe that's why I'm fat? All that eating and no Water in-between to fill me up faster? LOL But seriously, I think that part will be easy for me. Now what I may have an issue with is eating too fast. I am horrible with that. I usually rush through my meal in order to get done and get moving on to the next thing that needs to be done. I think THAT is where my problem will be.

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I'll be honest, that I don't fully grasp this rule with the sleeve.

I had the RNY and as such we have the small pouch and no pyloric valve. Whatever we eat or drink is going to go straight through. By not drinking, food will take a little longer to make this trip and we'll feel full a bit longer and/or won't be able to easily over eat.

But the Sleeve still has a pyloric valve at the bottom of the pouch. The pyloric valve opens and closes to allow food through to the intestines just like it did pre-op. So, unlike with the RNY, drinking isn't going to push anything anywhere. Logically, though, it seems obvious that drinking will make one feel full on less food filling the limited space. When we're eating extremely small quantities we don't really want to eat still less by accident. OK, so I talked myself through it and it makes sense for different reasons. So, never mind ;)

If I got something horribly wrong I'm sure someone will correct me. 18 years ago the VSG was not really widely known so it's not something I studied. I studied all the common surgeries of the time to make my choice.

I think I was mindful of not drinking with meals when I was still working to consistently eat the amount of food I was supposed to, probably through 6 months. Once I could do that consistently I had no reservations taking sips with meals. I never really feel hungry so taking measures to feel sated longer was never a need.

I would never suggest anyone not follow their rules but if we understand why the rules are the rules then we can make informed choices.

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yes - universal and for life. Once I got a few months out, they told me I could drink right up to the point of eating, but then wait an hour afterward. Yes - an hour. So I usually do that, but sometimes (rarely) I can't do it because of timing, so I figure if it's been at least 30 minutes, I'm probably OK since most surgeons recommend just 30 minutes.

I thought I would have a horrible time following that rule, but it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I've been doing it for almost six years now.

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Like Catwoman7, I haven’t found it difficult to follow this rule either. Though, I have found I can sometimes, not always, have a sip closer to when I eat now - up to about 10minutes before & after. But if I drink while I’m eating, my restriction kicks in & I can’t eat anything else. When I eat Soup, I try to eat the solids first then the broth to avoid or at least limit the restriction discomfort. (I make very thick Soups heavy on the meat & vegetables & thin on the broth to help.) If dining out, I order my drink as soon as I arrive then sip until my meal order is taken. I don’t drink again until after my plate is removed &/or when the others are eating dessert/having coffee. It’s pretty easy to manage.

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So...lets really think about this. If we can eat Soup, broth, Jello and protien drinks, why in the hell can't we drink? I have yet to hear anyone (on boards, at my bariatric group, or in bariatric literature and studies) offer a satisfying justification.

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11 hours ago, Arabesque said:

If dining out, I order my drink as soon as I arrive then sip until my meal order is taken. I don’t drink again until after my plate is removed &/or when the others are eating dessert/having coffee. It’s pretty easy to manage.

I like the timing of this. This way I can still have 2 drinks while dining out. :)

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I have noticed a lot of people who gained weight back broke this rule. I think the rules are there to give us the optimal weight loss/ maintenance.

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11 minutes ago, Jaye W said:

I have noticed a lot of people who gained weight back broke this rule. I think the rules are there to give us the optimal weight loss/ maintenance.

Totally agree that the rules are important. But to me, understanding the mechanisms and rationale for the rules is also crucial to make sure I stick to it.

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Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and suggestions.

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7 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

So...lets really think about this. If we can eat Soup, broth, Jello and protien drinks, why in the hell can't we drink? I have yet to hear anyone (on boards, at my bariatric group, or in bariatric literature and studies) offer a satisfying justification.

actually, I treat all those as fluids and follow the rule (with Soups with chunks of stuff in it, I eat as much of the broth as I can first, then eat the chunks)

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I think this rule is important right after surgery. Probably for about a year to a year and a half. You don't want to fill your stomach with Water or other liquids and not be able to eat enough food. This is very easy to do. I personally eat food and drink liquid together all the time now (I am over 4 years post op). I would definitely wait at least a year and play it by ear. Some people might not be able to eat and drink at the same time ever again.

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7 hours ago, JMJames92 said:

I think this rule is important right after surgery. Probably for about a year to a year and a half. You don't want to fill your stomach with Water or other liquids and not be able to eat enough food. This is very easy to do. I personally eat food and drink liquid together all the time now (I am over 4 years post op). I would definitely wait at least a year and play it by ear. Some people might not be able to eat and drink at the same time ever again.

It’s interesting that most responses say that this rule should increase food intake. It has the exact opposite effect on me.

I find myself stopping a meal entirely because I feel like taking a sip of something and since I can’t, I don’t feel I can take another bite even though I’m still hungry.

It’s hard to explain. I just know I’m still hungry but my mouth just can’t tolerate another bite without liquids. So I end up just putting the food away, usually after 3-5 bites total. I feel I could eat more if I could take a sip of Water but I don’t because then it all feels stuck for too long.

I’m hoping as some of you suggested that I can tolerate a few sips during meals down the line. At this rate, I’m eating 3-5 bites of actual food at a time, which means during work days when I can’t take a break every hour I eat very little.

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