FLUID PHASE- weeks 1 & 2 post-op

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The definition of a fluid is that you can suck it through a straw. If it won’t go through a straw, then don’t try it. As weight loss is your aim stick with low calorie fluids. Only if you feel fatigue, brain fog, headache or weak then take some high calorie fluids to treat the symptoms.

Aim to have at least 1.5 Litres of fluid per day including 2 VLCD (very low-calorie diet) shakes as these are fortified with protein and micronutrients. VLCD shakes will feel thicker and having half a shake while leaving the other half in the fridge for later is a good strategy. Otherwise adding more water to thin it out can also work.

Low calorie fluids include:

  • Water
  • Diet Cordial
  • VLCD shakes
  • Soups
  • V8 juice
  • Tea and coffee
  • Cold infusion tea bags
  • Lemon or fruit water infusions
  • No sugar Gatorade
  • Sugar free ice blocks

High calorie fluids include:

  • Fruit juice- apple, blackcurrant, tropical
  • Cordial
  • Flavored milks
  • Up & Go
  • Milo
  • Sustagen
  • Ensure

Having 125 mls per hour means you’ll get in 1.5 Litres over 12 hours. The pace should be 2 teaspoon size sips then wait 30 seconds, any faster and you can start to feel uncomfortable. Make a plan and don’t give up! Having even 1 Litre per day will prevent dehydration and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • dark urine
  • dizziness
  • constipation
  • headache
  • dry mouth, lips, eyes or skin

Keep your urine clear, this means your kidneys (and therefore all or your vital organs) are being adequately perfused. If you are on blood pressure medications, have heart or kidney impairment make sure you know the plan from your doctor before you leave hospital and don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you have concerns.

Drinking fluid ice cold often helps it go down more easily. Fiji water also goes down more smoothly than tap water as it comes from an artesian aquifer and is more alkaline.

Some find using a straw or bottle with a spout means they take smaller sips. It can also reduce air swallowing and therefore burping. Keeping a water bottle next to the couch, on your desk, in each room of the house or in your bag when heading out are great ideas. If you find you are being forgetful there are apps that buzz to remind you to take a sip and even ‘smart’ drinking bottles that will buzz. Experiment and find out what works best for you!

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