Weight loss surgery can drastically change our bodies, and these changes continue as the weight drops off. Regardless of the amount of weight lost, those who have undergone weight loss surgery should be aware of more sensitivity in regards to alcohol consumed.

The effects of alcohol can be stronger and faster after weight loss surgery, more specifically gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery. This can result in increased physical dangers, as well as health dangers. Alcohol is a toxin and can harm the liver especially.

So should you still enjoy alcohol after weight loss surgery? That depends. You certainly shouldn’t be drinking any alcohol immediately after weight loss surgery, or in the first few months. Most alcoholic drinks carry a great number of calories, and the common ingredients mixed into alcoholic drinks are also loaded with sugar. This can result in one small, alcoholic drink adding a few hundred calories to your daily intake!

Alcohol is also a diuretic. This means that it flushes water from and dehydrates the body. A key component to weight loss, even after bariatric surgery, is consuming enough water, and this can also help speed up the aftercare process. Those who do not consume enough water or who drink alcohol often are likely to experience dehydration. However, it is unlikely for dehydration to occur solely from alcohol consumption, it doesn’t help.

It’s not unusual for alcohol to irritate the stomach pouch, especially when it is drank alongside little food or in high quantities. It’s likely for those who have undergone weight loss surgery to have some gastric discomfort if they are prone to alcohol sensitivity.

There are a number of steps you can take when drinking alcohol to ensure you’re making safe and healthy choices.

  • Consider non-alcoholic alternatives. These will allow you to feel part of the social setting without then unwanted effects of alcohol, and are usually less calorific options.
  • Choose wisely. Try to opt for alcohol options with lower calories, for example vodka with a soda water and lime is ideal!
  • Don’t replace meals. Alcohol should be a small addition to your meal if anything. Keep fluids and food separate but don’t skip meals!

Weight loss surgery is all about making the right decisions. It’s fine to have a glass every now and again to ensure you still enjoy life as you did prior to the surgery. We’d always advise consulting your doctor if you’re in need of further information.

If you’re interested in undergoing weight loss surgery or would like some more information, we can help. Get in touch with a member of The Bariatric Group admin team by visiting our contact page or giving us a call on 01823 215714.