Tag: <span>Water</span>

I had my gastric bypass 5 weeks ago, and I struggle every day to drink enough water. I’m meant to be drinking 2 litres of fluid every day, but that’s a lot of water to get through when I can only drink very very slowly.

It sometimes feels like the water drinking is a full-time job, because it needs to be a fairly constant activity through the day. If I forget to drink for an hour or two, then I often won’t get enough liquids in me, and I’ll end up dehydrated.

I can only take one or two sips at a time, and then I have to wait for a few minutes for it to pass through my system before I can have some more. And so the drinking has to spaced out over a long period of time. It used to be that I could finish my 800ml water bottle in a couple of minutes, but it now takes a couple of hours!

No drinking before or after meals

Then there’s the restrictions about not drinking for at least 30 minutes before or after meals, which further extends the amount of time taken to get the full 2 litres in me.

I’m not meant to drink for 30 minutes before a meal, because otherwise my stomach will still be full of liquid, and I’ll not be able to eat enough food. And likewise after a meal, I have to wait for the food to pass through my stomach and make room for the liquid. There’s also the danger that drinking straight after a meal might flush the food out of the stomach and straight into the intestines. And if that happens then the nutrients from the food may not be absorbed properly, and it could increase the chances of dumping syndrome.

Taking my water bottle with me everywhere

I’ve found that the only way to drink enough is to take my water bottle with me everywhere. So if I go for a walk with the dogs, or go shopping in the supermarket, then the water bottle goes with me. I also have it with my when I’m on my bicycle, and I use every red traffic light as a cue to take a couple of sips.

I have my water bottle on my desk with me all day as I work, and will frequently stop what I’m doing to take drinks from it, even when I’m in the middle of a video-conference call.

It gets to the point where I’m now getting a bit obsessive about having water with me all the time. If I leave the house without any water, I feel the need to stop in a shop and buy a drink. Otherwise it might mean a couple of hours without drinking, and then I’ll struggle to drink the full 2 litres.

I’m hoping that over time I will become easier to drink a little quicker, so I won’t need to think about it so much during the day!

Diet Surgery

It’s five days since my gastric bypass surgery, and over the last few days I’ve faced quite a few challenges – some expected and some unexpected – which I thought I’d share:

My new full time job is drinking water

I cannot physically get enough water into myself. They say that I should be aiming to drink at least 2 litres of water a day, but I can only take small sips. Pre-surgery I could always drink half a litre of water in one go. But my tiny new stomach means that it now takes a whole 4 hours to drink one litre – or 8 hours to drink two. That means I have to constantly drink throughout the day – and that actually takes a high degree of concentration and effort.

I have sooooo much wind

I seem to need to burp after every single sip of water. I don’t know if there’s something wrong about the way that I drink, but I always seem to swallow some air along with the water, and that air has to come back out. My stomach isn’t big enough to store a lot of air, so the burping (along with the drinking) is near constant. And not to put too fine a point on it, but the farting is pretty bad too.

I struggle with really low energy

At the moment I’m only managing to consume around 500 calories a day through my liquid diet, and about 40g of protein. With tiny portions for each meal – which at the moment is mostly porridge, scrambled egg, or soup – I’m only getting around 150 calories in a meal. And so when it comes to doing any activity, such as walking the dog, I get really tired quite quickly. I was out earlier in the park and had to stop for a rest on the bench after about 20 minutes. I’m hoping that if I can get a bit more protein in my diet that might help, but I’m finding that difficult to do with a liquid diet, and when (like me) you don’t have much imagination about what to cook.

The pain got better quicker than expected.

For the first 24 hours after surgery every slightest movement was agony. I was constantly asking my nurses for more and more pain medication. But only five days later and the pain around my laproscopic wounds today is actually not too bad. In fact, I haven’t needed to take any pain medication today, because I don’t feel I need it. There’s still some discomfort when I bend over or if I try to lie on my side in bed, but not enough to need pain relief.

My Story Surgery

When you first change your diet to be more healthy, it can be a shock to the body.

For the last few weeks I’ve been completely off-plan, and making all the wrong choices. I was on holiday in America – and then travelling with work – and eating out all the time. It was just easier to forget about food optimising for a while, and eat what I wanted.

There were also plenty of opportunities for sugary treats and snacks between meals, and I got used to grazing on sweets, chocolate and crisps throughout the day. So it’s no wonder I managed to put on over a stone in weight in just 6 weeks!

But now that I’m back on-plan I’m finding that the change of diet is a shock to the system. Meals themselves are fine. I make sure that I have a good breakfast with lots of protein (eggs are my favourite) to keep me feeling full throughout the day, and dinners are good too, as we have a good repertoire of Slimming World free (or nearly-free) meals.

The shock comes from cutting out the bad snacks. I was used to eating rubbish, even when I wasn’t hungry. I would have a sugar crash, and crave something sweet, and I would have it – even if I was due to have a meal in the next hour or two. And I suppose it’s this sugar roller-coaster of highs and lows that I need to get away from.

I know that if I can get past this first few weeks, then my body will get used to a “new normal” of less sugar intake, and be better off for it. But until then I need to deal with the cravings.

My plan of action is to drink as much water as possible – this helps in making me feel full – and it’s useful to remind myself that thirst can sometimes be disguised as hunger pangs. So if I get a craving to eat between meals, then I reach for the water first of all, and only if it persists about 20 minutes after I’ve drunk some water will I actually eat something. My second line of attack is fruit. It’s not ideal to eat a lot of fruit, as it has natural sugars in it that could perpetuate my sugar cravings – but an apple contains a lot less sugar than a bag of wine gums!

So for now I’m managing my sugar cravings, and trying to keep an eye on my goal of weight loss. And I’m also avoid having any sugary treats in the house at all, to help me avoid temptation!

My Story Slimming World