Alcohol intake after bariatric surgery is often discussed. And no doubt the ‘right’ choice would be avoid drinking alcohol at all. In real life it seems to be different. Alcohol is mostly associated with relaxation, celebration, family and friends gatherings and you need to learn to use it consciously and mindfully. 

Alcohol is often a contributing factor to obesity. If it was the problem for you before your bariatric surgery, avoid regular use of alcohol after bariatric surgery! 

Doctors recommend avoiding alcohol at least 6 months after bariatric surgery. 

🍦 Extra calories

  • Alcohol is calorie rich and provides no useful nutrients. This can stop your weight loss or even cause weight gain.  
  • Drinking alcohol leads to relaxation and loss of control over snacking and eating, it may lead to overeating and may badly affect your weight loss as well. 

😏 Intoxication

  • Drinking alcohol after bariatric surgery you get dizzy sooner. After bariatric surgery stomach capacity is reduced and people do not eat and drink at the same time. If you drink alcohol on empty stomach, alcohol is absorbed faster and you need much less to get affected. 
  • After bariatric surgery the consumed alcohol reaches the small intestine rapidly where it is absorbed at a rapid rate as well. This results in high blood alcohol concentrations and it occurs with much lesser amounts of alcohol than would have prior to bariatric surgery.
  • Due to reduced gastric size after weight loss surgery, the amounts of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase that metabolises alcohol is also reduced. It results in higher levels of alcohol in the blood for a much longer period of time. No driving after any amount of alcohol!
  • After bariatric surgery, alcohol is not cleared by the liver as quickly and effective as before bariatric surgery. This causes blood glucose levels to drop which can lead to symptoms like light headedness, confusion, loss of balance, slurred speech, vision disorder.
  • At lower levels alcohol is a vasodilator (blood vessels relax and widen), but at higher levels it becomes a vasoconstrictor, (shrinks the blood vessels and increases blood pressure), reinforcing such condition as migraine. Let your stomach and body heal after bariatric surgery! 

🥂 Avoid fizzy and sugary drinks

If you decide to have alcohol after bariatric surgery, avoid sparkling and sugary drinks such as beer, cider, champagne. These may promote reflux and cause pain following bariatric surgery. 

☝🏻Be responsible and mindful with your alcohol intake after bariatric surgery and be aware of the higher absorption rate of alcohol into your blood when you are having a night out!

Calorie chart of alcoholic beverages*

1g of alcohol = 4kcal

1g of sugar = 7kcal

Rum 100ml (3.4oz) = 207kcal

Whiskey 100ml = 221kcal

Brandy 100 ml = 199kcal

Gin 100 ml = 207kcal

Vodka 100 ml = 207kcal

Beer (lager) 100ml = 43kcal (1pint / 480ml = 206kcal)

Champagne 100ml = 67kcal

Dry wine 100 ml = 85kcal

Sweet wine 100ml = 92kcal

Liquor 100ml = 123kcal

Many alcoholic cocktails with added syrups are very high in calories, so a drink with a lower alcohol content and ice will be a better choice. It will stay cool longer and the alcohol will dilute as the ice melts.

*Source –