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Drinking water with meals and other post-op fears



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Hello, I have a consultation for VSG surgery but I am nervous about how serious this procedure is and some lifestyle changes that will come with this.

Weird things concern me more than the surgery itself like not being able to drink Water with my food. That sounds extremely hard to me. I love water, especially when I eat. Would I be able to just take a tiny sip of water with meals?

Taking Vitamins daily for life also bothers me but I am coming to terms with this.

My last fear is the fear of regain. I struggle with restrictions with food and fear I will over eat or turn back to my old ways that got me to the 280 lbs ( 5ft 8 in) that I am today. My husband loves to eat late and eat fast food. Eating food together is how we enjoy ourselves and I fear I won't have support when I change my eating habits.

I guess I need some encouragement from you guys.

Thanks.

Sent from my SM-N970U1 using BariatricPal mobile app

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Hello I had the same type of concerns pre-op.

I have ALWAYS drank tons while eating meals. Easily 20 oz or more every meal, so I had this same concern. During the pre-op process I decided to start this and see how it went. At first it was hard because naturally I would reach for the drink, even sometimes I felt like I needed the liquid to swallow. (It was weird) With some practice I was drink free at meals before surgery and just had to work on not drinking 30 min before and after the meals. Now 7 months post op, it is a non issue for me. I sometimes drink a little closer to meals than 30 minutes if I am not paying attention but after meals it is always 30 minutes or more. You would be surprised how easy it was to make the transition. Start now and right after surgery you are on all liquids so it makes it easier.

The Vitamins were never really a concern of mine because I took GERD and high BP meds every day anyway so in my mind I was expecting to get off of those meds after surgery and with weight loss so I was just swapping those for daily vitamins. In my mind nothing changed. I was off ALL meds by 2 months post-op and now just taking vitamins. 1 a day multi Vitamin with Iron, and 2 Calcium a day so its not too bad. Some people take a ton of vitamins though. We were instructed to start with this and it may need to be adjusted depending on blood work results. So far so good for me, I get blood work again next month.

Lastly, I put off my surgery for years. Two reasons, 1 was that I have lost over 100 lbs multiple times so I kept telling myself I could do it again. But, I could never keep it off so I decided that the surgery would (hopefully) be the key to keeping it off. 2 was that I was also afraid I would fail and just gain it back again. I still worry about this a little but then I take notice to how much my eating habits have changed (without effort most off the time) and that even on my WORST days I have never consumed more than 1600 calories. My daily calorie goal is to stay at about 1000 right now. Before surgery I could pack in 5000-6000 calories a day if I wanted. Still not saying it is impossible because it does happen but I believe if you make the changes and give them time to become habit you will be ok. I am sticking with this, I am still in the loosing phase so I really don't know what will happen but I have high hopes this time and have been thinking about it regularly. Whereas before surgery I was always just focused on loosing the weight and never thinking about keeping it off.

Sorry for my super long post but I hope it helps ease your mind!

Best of luck to you!

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I thought the Water thing would be really hard, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

Taking Vitamins hasn't been a big deal, either. It seems overwhelming at first, but after awhile I was on auto-pilot. I take a small handful with Breakfast and another small handful in the late afternoon, then my Iron before I go to bed. I'm a bypass patient, so you'll likely take fewer vitamins than I do since you're considering VSG.

so those two fears are really not anything to be concerned about. The regain one is, though. Losing the weight isn't all that difficult as long as you follow your clinic's plan. It's the continual work it takes to keep the weight off. You really do have to monitor yourself for life - otherwise, if bad habits start creeping back in, your weight will start to go up again. I struggle with it every day - but, it's worth it to me. I never, ever want to be morbidly obese again.

P.S. I should add that I was NEVER able to keep weight off for long before surgery. Now, it's a challenge, but do-able. I've managed to keep it off for six years. I have much better habits now, I exercise regularly, and my stomach can't hold as much. Eating over 2000 cal/day is painful for me now (and I rarely do it). Before surgery, 2000 kcal would have been a "diet" level for me.

Edited by catwoman7

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I think we all struggle with different aspects of the process at various times. that is completely normal. As others have said, it mostly becomes second nature over time.

That being said, I would HIGHLY recommend some counseling before and likely after surgery. Making sure that you are mentally and emotionally healthy is a huge part of this process. Having tools to help you cope with all the changes and learning new habits/coping mechanisms is really key. I would also add that it might be helpful to do a few couples sessions to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, that you have the support you need, etc.

Edited by Sleeve_Me_Alone

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While any reason or concern we have is completely valid, the pro's outway the con's. Yes, you have to change the way you eat forever but with the strict diet phases over the first 4-8 weeks, you learn everything you need to know. The first month is the hardest. I was worried I wouldn't be disciplined enough to follow it but after 80% of your stomach is removed you really don't have a choice but to follow it. By the time your body allows you to tolerate more, you're already set up with those healthy habits. You can do this!

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Not even sips but it's natural from the beginning. Meaning that physically in the beginning, you'll eat so little that any additional Water will make you feel uncomfortable anyway. Before you know it, it becomes habit. It still makes me so uncomfortable that even now I wait over an hour after I eat before drinking anything.

I understand your concerns about Vitamins too. If you hate swallowing pills, many of us have been using Patches successfully. You'll have to see what works best for you. In the end, the weightloss will be worth with it and you will see how very little you eat, and will want to keep your body healthy by taking supplements. For months, I ate less than 800 calories. Even years later, many of us still do not eat enough to be well nourished.

I totally get the fast food with our significant others as a bond but it is totally doable. My mister doesn't care what I order but I think he feels more comfortable as long as I order something. So let's say Taco bell ... I order a side of black Beans with onions (50 cal). I don't think it is what I eat but that I have a meal with him regardless what it is. IF he ever insisted on me eating what I used to eat, then there is something really wrong with the relationship in the first place.

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Lifestyle changes are a major part of any long term weight loss & maintenance plan regardless of whether you have surgery or not. To return to eating the same way as you did before is a guarantee of weight regain. How & what you eat in the long term is up to you & how to manage it so it works with your lifestyle. Many are more flexible in their food choices & eat foods which may be considered unhealthy at times. But they don’t do it everyday, watch portion sizes & they accept it will result in a some regain & maintenance at a higher weight. It’s all about balance & sustainability.

It’s important to keep to the no fluids 30 mins before & after eating while you’re losing to avoid filling up on them & flushing the food through your tummy more quickly. Plus you’ll be sipping & drinking all through the day so you won’t really feel thirsty at meal times. As time passes you’ll discover the amount of time you need to leave before & after eating. It may just be 5 minutes. And you eventually won’t miss drinking while eating. Just another of the new habits you’ll adopt.

Taking Vitamins long term isn’t always needed with a sleeve. The only reason you may need to continue to take additional vitamins is because you are lacking in something. I haven’t taken vitamins since 8 months post surgery. My blood work showed & continues to show I’m not lacking in anything & have no need to take supplements. Except, this year we realised my Vitamin D levels drop in winter so I take D only then. Nothing to do with the surgery - just me & my sun avoidance ( am very fair).

I weigh 2kgs more now than I did at my lowest weight. I put on the weight at the end of last year after a necessary dietary change (don’t absorb Protein well since my gall was removed) & a medication change. Don’t like it but accept it for what it is. Sometimes things are beyond your control. I’ve never been able to maintain like this after weight loss. I’d be regaining in a couple of weeks after a diet. I work at it every day. I watch what & how much I eat. Don’t exercise as such but have a series of stretches, sit ups & resistance bands exercises I do almost every day.

A lot of this is discovering what you need & what works for you.

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Hello I had the same type of concerns pre-op.
I have ALWAYS drank tons while eating meals. Easily 20 oz or more every meal, so I had this same concern. During the pre-op process I decided to start this and see how it went. At first it was hard because naturally I would reach for the drink, even sometimes I felt like I needed the liquid to swallow. (It was weird) With some practice I was drink free at meals before surgery and just had to work on not drinking 30 min before and after the meals. Now 7 months post op, it is a non issue for me. I sometimes drink a little closer to meals than 30 minutes if I am not paying attention but after meals it is always 30 minutes or more. You would be surprised how easy it was to make the transition. Start now and right after surgery you are on all liquids so it makes it easier.
The Vitamins were never really a concern of mine because I took GERD and high BP meds every day anyway so in my mind I was expecting to get off of those meds after surgery and with weight loss so I was just swapping those for daily vitamins. In my mind nothing changed. I was off ALL meds by 2 months post-op and now just taking vitamins. 1 a day multi Vitamin with Iron, and 2 Calcium a day so its not too bad. Some people take a ton of vitamins though. We were instructed to start with this and it may need to be adjusted depending on blood work results. So far so good for me, I get blood work again next month.
Lastly, I put off my surgery for years. Two reasons, 1 was that I have lost over 100 lbs multiple times so I kept telling myself I could do it again. But, I could never keep it off so I decided that the surgery would (hopefully) be the key to keeping it off. 2 was that I was also afraid I would fail and just gain it back again. I still worry about this a little but then I take notice to how much my eating habits have changed (without effort most off the time) and that even on my WORST days I have never consumed more than 1600 calories. My daily calorie goal is to stay at about 1000 right now. Before surgery I could pack in 5000-6000 calories a day if I wanted. Still not saying it is impossible because it does happen but I believe if you make the changes and give them time to become habit you will be ok. I am sticking with this, I am still in the loosing phase so I really don't know what will happen but I have high hopes this time and have been thinking about it regularly. Whereas before surgery I was always just focused on loosing the weight and never thinking about keeping it off.
Sorry for my super long post but I hope it helps ease your mind!
Best of luck to you!
Thank you! This is just what I needed to hear. [emoji4]

Sent from my SM-N970U1 using BariatricPal mobile app

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While any reason or concern we have is completely valid, the pro's outway the con's. Yes, you have to change the way you eat forever but with the strict diet phases over the first 4-8 weeks, you learn everything you need to know. The first month is the hardest. I was worried I wouldn't be disciplined enough to follow it but after 80% of your stomach is removed you really don't have a choice but to follow it. By the time your body allows you to tolerate more, you're already set up with those healthy habits. You can do this!
I truly needed to hear this. Thank you!

Sent from my SM-N970U1 using BariatricPal mobile app

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I still struggle with the need to drink Water during meals, at about 8 weeks post-op. I allow myself small sips, no more than if the food was well-sauced.

Question for everyone: what about when you eat hearty Soup? Does that count as liquid with the meal? I am in CA, so it is just now starting to get cold enough for a [small] warm cup of soup to soothe the soul! :385_stew:

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7 hours ago, kaylee50 said:

Question for everyone: what about when you eat hearty Soup? Does that count as liquid with the meal? I am in CA, so it is just now starting to get cold enough for a [small] warm cup of Soup to soothe the soul! :385_stew:

Soup is great. I love it. I didn’t count thick hearty meat & vegetable Soups as fluids. Added barley or lentils absorb the stock & vegetables add to it so just too difficult to work out the proportion of broth (& I couldn’t be bothered to strain it & remix it). Wouldn’t be a great deal of liquid anyway. I also could only approximate the Protein. Used 500g of meat & made 8 portions so about 60g of meat & tracked the protein of that.

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On 11/23/2022 at 5:40 AM, LMorales said:

Hello, I have a consultation for VSG surgery but I am nervous about how serious this procedure is and some lifestyle changes that will come with this.

Weird things concern me more than the surgery itself like not being able to drink Water with my food. That sounds extremely hard to me. I love Water, especially when I eat. Would I be able to just take a tiny sip of water with meals?

Taking Vitamins daily for life also bothers me but I am coming to terms with this.

My last fear is the fear of regain. I struggle with restrictions with food and fear I will over eat or turn back to my old ways that got me to the 280 lbs ( 5ft 8 in) that I am today. My husband loves to eat late and eat fast food. Eating food together is how we enjoy ourselves and I fear I won't have support when I change my eating habits.

I guess I need some encouragement from you guys.

Thanks.

Sent from my SM-N970U1 using BariatricPal mobile app

The best thing you can do now, as @kcuster83 said, is practice the habits that make you nervous and see if you can integrate them into your lifestyle, because they're non-negotiable post-op. My program doesn't have a restriction on drinking before meals but says no liquids until 30 minutes after meals, which annoyed me at first but now I hardly think about. I set a 30 minute timer on my watch when I'm done eating and I usually forget about it until it goes off.

Wait until you have your consult to find out what your program's guidelines are, particularly around Vitamins. They probably won't be as onerous as you're imagining -- I take a multi with Iron + nexium in the morning, then 3 calcium chews at intervals throughout the day, and by 6 PM I'm done and I don't have to think about it again until the next morning. Reminders on your phone or smart watch if you have one help a lot. I also recommend getting a pill divider that has a separate case for each day of the week -- mine has a morning/mid-day/afternoon/evening compartment for each case, Sunday-Saturday. In the morning I just take out that day's case, stick it in my purse, and then I have it with me all day for when my reminder goes off. I know some people will also keep spare vitamins and Calcium at work in case they forget.

ETA: This is the pill organizer I use, it's quite small. There are even smaller options if you don't care about having them divided up by time of day, like this one or this one.

Edited by kbsleeved

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