14 Apr 5 Day Pouch Test
This may be helpful to some to help you get back on track and get back in touch with your band. Please refer to the “How to eat appropriately for weight loss after Lap-Band surgery” for long-term guidelines on properly using your band. After having a gastric lap band surgery, it’s important to take it easy on your stomach and not to stretch it.
How many of you lap-band patients have asked any of these questions:
- Does my pouch still work?
- Have I broken my pouch?
- Am I doomed to be a failure at this too?
- Can I lose the weight I’ve regained?
- Is the honeymoon with pouch over?
If you have asked yourself any of these questions, just know that you are not alone. There is a way to get back on track with your band and to feel the tightness again. It is called the 5 Day Pouch Test. This is the 5-day plan that has been developed and used to determine if your pouch is working and return to that tight newbie feeling. And a bonus to this plan, it helps one get back to the basics of the weight loss surgery diet and it triggers weight loss. Also, it is not difficult to follow and if you are in a stage of carbohydrate-cycling it will break this pattern.
The 5 Day Pouch Test should never leave you feeling hungry. You can eat as much of the prescribed menu as you want during the day to satiate hungry and prevent snacking on slider foods and/or white carbohydrates. You must drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. A reduction of caffeinated beverages is suggested, but do not stop caffeine cold turkey.
Weight loss is not the intent of the test however, many who have tried this plan report a significant drop in weight. More importantly, they celebrate a renewed sense of control over their pouch and eating habits and easily transition back to a healthy post-surgical weight loss way of eating.
Contact our Denver Office with any additional questions regarding the 5-day pouch test.
Day 1 and 2: Liquid Protein
The first two days are all liquids. You can have as many low-carb protein shakes as you like to satisfy hunger or cravings. In addition drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of water each day. The purpose of all liquids is to break any snacking, grazing or processed carbohydrate habits. In addition, the liquids will work to cleanse your system and prepare you for the following three days.
Low-carb protein shakes, broth, clear or cream soups, sugar-free gelatin and pudding.
Day 3: Soft Protein
The next three days of the 5 day pouch test you get to eat as much as you want as often as you want! Ahhh, but there’s a catch: it has to be solid protein (not liquid like what was mentioned before) and you only get 15 minutes each time you sit down to eat. No drinking 30 minutes after meals and no drinking with your food. A dry pouch will hold your soft protein longer helping you to feel full and fed longer.
Protein Recommendations: canned fish (tuna or salmon) mixed with lemon and seasoned with salt and pepper, canned turkey or chicken, eggs cooked as desired seasoned with salt pepper and/or salsa, fresh soft fish (tilapia, sole, orange roughy), baked or grilled, and lightly seasoned.
This starts your program with “soft” protein. Measure your portion (1 cup volume or 4-6 ounces weight) and eat only until you feel full, not overfull. Remember, no water for 30 minutes after you meal, and no fluids with your meal. We are going back to the beginning and fluids will prevent you from feeling the pouch. If you need to add a moist condiment (Miracle Whip or mayonnaise) to the canned fish I understand, but keep it to a minimum so the meat is not too moist. One reason we lose the sense of tightness in our pouch is that we eat “slider foods” – foods that are too moist and do not stay in the pouch very long, they slide right through the stoma
Day 4: Firm Protein
By now you should be experiencing that familiar tightness that will reassure you that your pouch is working. Remember to drink plenty of water between meals. Take some time to meditate and rediscover the wonder of your pouch. Often we don’t like that uncomfortable tightness of the pouch, which is why we gradually move toward slider foods that don’t make us uncomfortable. It is always my preference to eat moist protein so I don’t get uncomfortable, but doing so allows me to consume more than I should.
Lots of times I hear, “But I don’t like that uncomfortable tight feeling of solid protein in my pouch.” But the very purpose of the pouch is to signal fullness, which often comes by way of slight discomfort when we are eating in compliance with our bariatric owner’s manual. The slider foods will never ever signal fullness. They are dangerous and in most cases non-nutritional. Rediscovering the pouch with the 5 day pouch test reminds me of how the tool really works. I hope by now you are rediscovering your tool and enjoying the hope and excitement because your pouch still works
ground lean meat (beef, turkey, lamb) cooked dry and lightly seasoned, shellfish, scallops, lobster steamed and seasoned only with lemon, salmon or halibut steaks, grilled and lightly seasoned.
Day 5: Solid Protein
Remember to chew, chew, chew. Measure your portion (4-6 ounces) and eat only until you feel your pouch tighten. Remember, only 15 minutes per meal, so you’ll have to work fast to chew your food completely. By now you should be out of any carbohydrate cycle you were in. Perhaps you have even lost a pound or two. You should have new confidence in your pouch. Hopefully restoring the ability to work the tool for your health and emotional well being.
Protein Recommendations: white meat poultry cooked dry and lightly seasoned, beef steak (if tolerated) grilled or broiled.
Day 6 and On: Low Fat, Low-Sugar, Heart-Healthy Diet
Now is the time to get back to your healthy lifestyle. You are more conscious of when you feel full and you have retrained your pouch and brain. Remember to choose low-fat foods, low-sugar items and whole grains.
The 5 Day Band Pouch Test was created by a band patient, Kaye Bailey. Ms. Bailey is the voice behind the popular website, LivingAfterWLS.com which has become the premier online destination for weight loss surgery information and support. The website boasts an extensive article and video library, recipe collection, eZine newsletters and active support forum called The Neighborhood. Ms. Bailey’s interaction with the community and dedication to quality on-going education and support for those who chose surgical weight loss for the treatment of obesity is unsurpassed.
Bailey, K. The 5 Day Pouch Test. LivingAfterWLS, Liability, Co. 2007-2012