Can I Drink Alcohol after Weight Loss Surgery?
This is a very common question we are asked. And it is understandable because of course you want to enjoy social occasions, and for many this includes some alcohol. The answer in short is yes, you can have alcohol, however always discuss individually with your surgeon about when this is appropriate to reintroduce post surgery for you.
There are a few things to consider when thinking about alcohol after weight loss surgery, and read below for our top tips.
Alcohol is high in calories, low in nutrition
Alcohol provides a significant amount of energy, for absolutely no nutrition. No protein, vitamins or minerals that your body actually needs. Therefore, alcohol can contribute to stalled weight loss, but does not help provide your body with the nutrition it needs.
Alcohol is an irritant to the gut
Many patients find that they do not tolerate alcohol very well after surgery, and this is because alcohol is very irritating to the gut.
Weight loss surgery speeds up stomach emptying, therefore alcohol effects are often more pronounced.
Weight loss surgery speeds up gastric emptying, or the rate at which food and drinks leave your stomach and are absorbed. We therefore cannot be sure on the affect of this on blood alcohol levels. Due to this we strongly encourage all our patients to refrain from driving after ANY alcohol, even 1 small glass, just to be safe! .
- Like eating in general after weight loss surgery, any alcohol intake should be done mindfully. Think to yourself, do I really want this drink, or am I just in a habit of pouring a glass of wine each night. You may find you can decrease you alcohol intake there without even missing it.
- Consider non-alcoholic wines etc. These allow you to feel a part of the social setting, without the unwanted effects of the alcohol.
- Choose wisely. Try to go for lower calorie options such as vodka with soda water and lime.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids in between. This is important to prevent dehydration and intoxication.
- Do not allow alcohol to replace a meal. Always ensure alcohol is a small addition to your meal, and not your actual meal! While trying to keep food and fluids separate, it can be easy to skip a meal here, but is important that this does not occur!