LivingAfterWLS Weekly Digest
Diet Soda is Making Us Sick
New studies implicate diet soda in weight gain and deadly disease
July  2014
In This Issue
July Theme
How Diet Soda Contributes to Obesity
Caffeine, Carbonation, Alcohol.
7 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda.
Recipe: Summer Fresh Smoothies
Petals of Light by Kaye Bailey

July Theme: 

I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. 
~ Ray Bradbury

Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. 
~ Anton Chekhov

"Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired." 
~ Martha Graham

Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.  Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.  If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves. 
~ Dale Carnegie

Check out our July 5 Day Pouch Test Bulletin - it addresses the value and necessity of practice when it comes to managing our health and weight with surgery. Link Here 

"Obesity is a chronic, debilitating and potentially fatal disease."
American College of Gastroenterology - 2008

Check out our special edition Digest: Obesity is a Medical Condition, Not a Moral Failure
Link Here

Refresher: Definitions
OBESITY: noun.
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health. It is defined by body mass index (BMI) and further evaluated in terms of fat distribution via the waist-hip ratio and total cardiovascular risk factors. BMI is closely related to both percentage body fat and total body fat.

Obesity - The specifics

~Any BMI ≥ 35 or 40 is severe obesity

~A BMI of ≥ 35 and experiencing obesity-related health conditions or ≥40-44.9 is morbid obesity

~A BMI of ≥ 45 or 50 is super obesity

Learn your BMI at the Centers for Disease Control website: Link Below.  
"A successful surgery does not make a successful patient." Your surgeon can only do his part in your success;
the rest is up to you."

Dr. Guillermo Alvarez
Successful Weight Loss with
The Gastric Sleeve (page 59)

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How Diet Soda Contributes to Obesity

Soda on Tap

How Diet Soda Makes You Fat

by Mark Hyman, MD
Practicing physician

Excerpted from the Huffipost Healthy Living Blog
Read Dr. Hyman's post Here

(March 7, 2013) A new 14-year study of 66,118 women (supported by many other previous studies) found that the opposite seems to be true. Diet drinks may be worse than sugar-sweetened drinks, which are worse than fruit juices (but only fresh-squeezed fruit juices).

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.

Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, activating our genetically-programmed preference for sweet taste more than any other substance.

They trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. This causes your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat.
It also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so you burn fewer calories every day.

It makes you hungrier and crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta.

In animal studies, the rats that consumed artificial sweeteners ate more, their metabolism slowed, and they put on 14 percent more body fat in just two weeks -- even eating fewer calories.

In population studies, there was a 200 percent increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers..

Link to Article.



LivingAfterWLS General Store

Warm Wishes!


LivingAfterWLS Newsletter Archive

5 Day Pouch Test July Bulletin
Secret to successful WLS

Special Edition Digest
Must Read:
Obesity Reclassified.
"Obesity is a medical condition, not a moral failure."

5 Day Pouch Test June Bulletin

Don't Blame the Equipment

Cooking with Kaye
June 18, 2013

The Tricky Salad Plate

Weekly Digest: June 10, 2103
Summer Living After WLS:
The Heat is ON!

Weekly Digest: June 1, 2013
Summer LivingAfterWLS:
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Here we are in the heart of summer and I do hope  this message finds you well and thank you so much for selecting this correspondence from the many that fill your Inbox, I appreciate the time you sIce Waterhare with me. While summer for me offers abundant opportunity to be more active than any other season, it also poses a problem for me. High temperatures and bright sunshine spur cravings for a refreshing iced Diet Coke with a squeeze of lemon. This was my mainstay beverage before weight loss surgery and now and again I find myself indulging in that old refreshing thirst quencher.

But I know this is not a sensible choice following weight loss surgery and a recently published study confirms that partaking of diet soda is detrimental to health and weight loss efforts. I know I'm not alone in the WLS Neighborhood when I reach for an ice cold Diet Coke, so this week's bulletin is all about the "don'ts" of diet soda and carbonated beverages after WLS. It is as much a reminder for me as it may be for you. Bottom line - carbonated soda does not support our weight management with WLS.

While we can stack the evidence against carbonated beverages (diet or regular) a mile high the single most basic reason to eliminate carbonated soda from our diet is it simply has no nutritional value. It is empty. 

This truth, above all else, should be used to inspire us to make better beverage choices. Will you pledge with me to make healthy beverage choices most of time? I'll toast our good health with a refreshing glass of iced green tea with a squeeze of lemon. Join me!

Diet Soda Health Risks: Study Says Artificial Sweeteners May Cause Weight Gain, Deadly Diseases
Excerpted from Huffpost Healthy Living. Link to full article

"In fact, according to a group of researchers at Purdue University, drinking diet soda may not only be as bad for your health as the regular stuff, but it may be causing you to pack on the pounds.

"It is not uncommon for people to be given messages that artificially-sweetened products are healthy, will help them lose weight or will help prevent weight gain," report author Susan Swithers said, according to a media release. "The data to support those claims are not very strong, and although it seems like common sense that diet sodas would not be as problematic as regular sodas, common sense is not always right."

Swithers and her team reviewed a dozen studies on diet soda and its impacts on health published in the past five years to prepare for their report. They say they were shocked by what they found.

The researchers found that just like with regular soda, the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages like diet soda is also associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Drinking just one can of diet soda per day is "enough to significantly increase the risk for health problems," according to the media release.

After WLS carbonation complicates weight loss efforts
From Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test page 100-102

- Carbon dioxide is added to a liquid to produce bubbles making an effervescent beverage such as soda pop or soft drinks, sparkling wine, beer and seltzer water. After the carbon dioxide is added the beverage is packaged and sealed, and the carbon dioxide remains inert until opened and atmospheric pressure acts upon it causing bubbles to be released. The bubbles are called carbonation. 

When we drink active carbonation atmospheric pressure will continue to force bubbles to be released from the liquid even as it makes its way from our mouth through the esophagus and into the stomach pouch. This release of carbon dioxide will put pressure on the pouch causing it to expand temporarily. If we are eating while drinking carbonation our pouch will hold more volume than normal because of the stretching that results from the temporary stretching. More damaging, however, is that the release of carbon dioxide bubbles may force the food through the stoma and over time the stoma will enlarge. Eventually the stoma will not recover from repeated enlargements due to protracted consumption of carbonation. Weight gain will occur because food will flow too quickly through the pouch and satiation will not be achieved."

I hope you find this digest useful in your ongoing efforts for improved health with weight loss surgery. Today marks the start of summer and I wish you the  very best of health  and wellness.  You have the power to make this your healthiest year ever - Let's do it together!


"I believe in you.
You deserve to be healthy.
 You deserve to be kind to yourself.
You deserve to achieve your greatest level of success with weight loss surgery when you harness your inner resources."
--Kaye Bailey
5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual

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Caffeine, Carbonation, Alcohol
The universal advice WLS patients receive from surgeons    

Not the Queen's Tea Dieters are often told - drink water. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces a day - eight glasses a day. Gastric-bypass patients don't have a choice: they must drink lots water. Other beverages including coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks and alcohol are forbidden. Water is the essential fluid for living. Water is one of the most important nutrients the body needs to stay healthy, vibrant and energetic. A tell-tell sign of a gastric bypass patient is the ever-present water bottle.

Caffeine: The restrictive and malabsorptive nature of the gastric bypass causes several things to go wrong if a patient partakes of caffeinated black coffee or black tea**, high-caloric carbonated beverages or alcoholic beverages. The caffeine assimilates into the blood stream very quickly causing jitters and nervousness more-so than a normal digestive system. The high-caloric beverages are easily absorbed through the shortened intestine causing a weight plateau or weight gain. And alcohol is absorbed with break-neck speed causing intoxication, vomiting or dumping.

Knowing this bariatric centers advise patients to drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. However, patients are told to avoid drinking water with meals as it will facilitate food movement through the small stomach pouch allowing a person to consume more food.

Nutritionists say a precise measure of the body's need for water is to divide body weight (pounds) in half and drink that many ounces every day. That number could well exceed 200 ounces a day for morbidly obese people actively engaged in weight loss. Most doctors advise gastric bypass patients to consume 64 to 72 ounces of water daily.

**Please note that more and more bariatric centers are encouraging the consumption of quality herbal tea for weight loss surgery patients. A variety of formulas are available that effectively treat some of the unpleasant side-effects of gastric surgery such as constipation or water retention.

We are so impressed by the health benefits and effectiveness of herbal tea formulas that we carry a healthful selection in the LivingAfterWLS General Store: Herbal Teas for WLS

Herbal tea 
Herbal Tea Sampler for Weight Loss
While not a fussy tea drinker Kaye Bailey is now a strong believer in the health promoting benefits of traditional herbal tea. She uses these traditional formulas regularly to support health, promote weight loss and sustain weight maintenance.

Our Carefully selected herbal teas made in the USA by Triple Leaf Tea are produced to the highest manufacturing standards following authentic traditional Chinese medicine. Many weight loss surgery patients report feeling improved health and increased weight loss when including tea in the diet prescribed by bariatric nutritionists. Purchase our popular sample bundles of 12 servings or purchase each blend in a cello-wrapped box of 20 servings.

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Evaluate your weight management with surgery. Use our LivingAfterWLS Quarterly Self-Assessment to see where you are today and plan for where you are going.

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Is Diet Soda Bad For You?:
 7 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda

By Mandy Oaklander
Shared with permission from Prevention
Link to Full Article

Pop quiz! What's the single biggest source of calories for Americans? White bread? Big Macs? Actually, try soda. The average American drinks about two cans of the stuff every day. "But I drink diet soda," you say. "With no calories or sugar, it's the perfect alternative for weight watchers.... Right?"

Not so fast. Before you pop the top off the caramel-colored bubbly, know this: guzzling diet soda comes with its own set of side effects that may harm your health-from kickstarting kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline.

Unfortunately, diet soda is more in vogue than ever. Kids consume the stuff at more than double the rate of last decade, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Among adults, consumption has grown almost 25%.

But knowing these 7 side effects of drinking diet soda may help you kick the can for good.

Kidney Problems
Here's something you didn't know about your diet soda: It might be bad for your kidneys. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.

Messed-Up Metabolism
According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease. Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers' eating habits is unclear. But is that one can really worth it?

You read that right: Diet soda doesn't help you lose weight after all. A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body's natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it's eating sugar, and you crave more.

A Terrible Hangover
Your first bad decision was ordering that Vodka Diet-and you may make the next one sooner than you thought. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. That's because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.

Cell Damage
Diet sodas contain something many regular sodas don't: mold inhibitors. They go by the names sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate, and they're in nearly all diet sodas. But many regular sodas, such as Coke and Pepsi, don't contain this preservative.

That's bad news for diet drinkers. "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it - they knock it out altogether," Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., told a British newspaper in 1999. The preservative has also been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Since then, some companies have phased out sodium benzoate. Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have replaced it with another preservative, potassium benzoate. Both sodium and potassium benzoate were classified by the Food Commission in the UK as mild irritants to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

Rotting Teeth
With a pH of 3.2, diet soda is very acidic. (As a point of reference, the pH of battery acid is 1. Water is 7.) The acid is what readily dissolves enamel, and just because a soda is diet doesn't make it acid-light. Adults who drink three or more sodas a day have worse dental health, says a University of Michigan analysis of dental checkup data. Soda drinkers had far greater decay, more missing teeth, and more fillings.

Reproductive Issues
Sometimes, the vessel for your beverage is just as harmful. Diet or not, soft drink cans are coated with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems. That's a lot of risktaking for one can of pop.

Published August 2012, Prevention | Updated June 2013


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Summer Fresh Smoothies

Day 6 by Kaye Bailey
Over 65 Recipes supporting your health with WLS
Learn More
Shared with permission from Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test
by Kaye Bailey
Copyright (C) LivingAfterWLS ~ All Rights Reserved

Papaya Dreamsicle
3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
1 small papaya, peeled, seeded, cut into chunks and frozen
1 1/2  teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 scoop protein powder, optional
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately.
Serves 1. Per Serving: 132 Calories; 6g Protein; 4g Fat; 19g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber.

Coconut Banana Smoothie
Coconut oil has been shown to promote healthy thyroid function and reduce sugar cravings.
3/4 cup soy milk
1 medium banana, peeled and chunked
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Tablespoon flax seeds, ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ice cubes
1 scoop UNJURY® Protein Powder, unflavored

Pour the milk into a blender and add the banana, coconut oil, flaxseed, and vanilla extract. Blend the mixture until smooth. Then add the ice and blend again until smooth. Serve well chilled.
Serves 2. Per serving: 223 Calories; 10g Fat; 14g Protein;18g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber.

Strawberry Coconut Crème
This smoothie is rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber and is an outstanding pre-workout energy booster. If you just cannot stand tofu replace it with plain low-fat yogurt.
1/2 cup soy milk
5 ounces tofu, soft, silken
1/3 cup coconut, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 medium strawberries, fresh or frozen, no sugar added
3 medium dates
6 ice cubes
1 scoop UNJURY® Protein Powder, unflavored

Pour the milk into a blender and add the tofu, coconut, vanilla, strawberries, dates, ice cubes, and protein powder. Blend on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately. Serves 2. Per serving: 226 Calories; 9g Fat; 18g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber.

Page 136-137  Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test

5 Day Pouch Test Recipes    |    LivingAfterWLS Recipes

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The health content in the LivingAfterWLS website is intended to inform, not prescribe, and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice and care of a qualified health-care professional.


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Kaye Bailey, Founder
Evanston, Wyoming 82931