How to Eat Popcorn After Weight Loss Surgery
When it comes to foods that cause weight regain, for surgical weight loss patients popcorn is one of the worst offenders. By all accounts it is a high fiber "healthy" snack. However, for many gastric patients popcorn becomes the king of slider foods leading to digestive upset, dumping syndrome and ultimately weight gain.
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By Kaye Bailey

When it comes to foods that cause weight regain, for surgical weight loss patients popcorn is one of the worst offenders. By all accounts it is a high fiber "healthy" snack. However, for many gastric patients popcorn becomes the king of slider foods leading to digestive upset, dumping syndrome and ultimately weight gain. Many bariatric centers advise patients to eliminate popcorn from their diets first because it is a starchy carbohydrate snack food and secondly because eating it returns the patient to the habit of mindless snacking that contributed to morbid obesity prior to surgery.

Follow These Guidelines
When a gastric bypass, gastric banding or gastric sleeve weight loss surgery patient is compelled to eat popcorn they should follow these eating guidelines that are provided by most weight loss surgery centers. Applying these guidelines is not radical or gimmicky, it is following the rules we agreed to when we signed on for gastric surgery.

  • Measure a 1-cup serving for your meal or snack. Do not butter, salt or season the popcorn. Air popped is preferred.
  • Cease liquid consumption 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after enjoying your 1 cup serving of popcorn.
  • Do not consume liquid while having your 1-cup serving of popcorn.
  • Do not exceed the 1-cup serving of popcorn.
  • If you chose to eat anything else with your popcorn meal/snack you must decrease the volume of popcorn by the volume of other food you will be consuming so that total volume of food is 1 cup.

Nutritional per serving: 1 cup lightly buttered popcorn is 82 calories; 1g Protein; 6g Fat; 6g Carbohydrate. It is 1/2 starch/bread exchange and 1 fat exchange.

Many patients that eat popcorn following these guidelines report an unpleasant experience: Their pouch feels tight and stuck because the popcorn just sits there. Without liquids to wash it through (and make it a slider food) and with our limited gastric enzymes and digestive juices, it takes a very long time for "dry" popcorn to digest in the pouch. Additionally we experience a dry mouth, bad breath and thirst. This is your pouch doing its job: You are supposed to feel uncomfortable when you follow the guidelines and eat something that appears on most "avoid these foods" lists provided by bariatric centers. Thank your pouch for doing a fine job and accept the message it is telling you.

If we ignore the guidelines and eat popcorn while drinking a beverage often our portion size goes unmeasured and we cross over to grazing-style eating. This is a problem with popcorn because popcorn is a high glycemic food and it elevates our blood sugar. If the beverages consumed with it also raises our glycemic load we are in danger of dumping syndrome. More commonly we find people sustaining "low grade dumping" where their blood sugar is elevated to the point of dizziness or "offness" but not enough to manifest the signs of full-blown dumping. Soon this state of "offness" begins to feel normal and it can only be sustained by nibbling or grazing on similar simple carbohydrates such as pretzels and crackers.

I have had my hand in the popcorn tub several times since weight loss surgery. It is so delicious and so tempting and seemingly such a smart healthy choice. I understand. But, sadly, I have answered well into the hundreds of emails, phone calls, and consultations with patients who are struggling with a weight gain that started innocently enough with a hand in the healthy snacking bowl full of popcorn.

Kaye Bailey - 2010 - All Rights Reserved

Kaye Bailey is an internationally recognized writer, speaker and weight loss surgery advocate. She is the author of the highly successful weight loss surgery back to basics plan: 5 Day Pouch Test and the 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual. Her follow-up book, Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test, was published in December 2009. It provides guidance for long-term weight and health management with all bariatric surgical procedures. Ms. Bailey is known for her powerful "you can do this" manner and her belief in the power of personal responsibility. She is the founder of LivingAfterWLS, LLC parent company to the LivingAfterWLS.com and 5daypouchtest.com websites. Supporting both websites is the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood, an online compassion-driven community for weight loss surgery, gastric bypass and gastric banding patients.

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Articles by Kaye Bailey

Four Truths About Weight Gain after Weight Loss Surgery
Slider Foods Spell Weight Regain for Weight Loss Surgery Patients
High Protein Diet Promotes Fat Loss for Weight Loss Surgery Patients
Reduce Offensive Flatulence After Weight Loss Surgery
How to Eat Popcorn After Weight Loss Surgery
Soothe Stomach Discomfort with Ginger & Spinach Soup
Budget Tips for Eating Healthy After Weight Loss Surgery
Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome - Three Foods that Cause It
Headaches - Three Effective Herbal Remedies
Headaches with the Weight Loss Surgery High Protein Diet
Five High Protein Meals Portable Meals for Weight Loss Surgery Patients
Medical Tourism - What to Know Before Traveling for Weight Loss Surgery

Days 1 & 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

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Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch TestDay 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test
by Kaye Bailey
Kaye Bailey's follow-up to her powerful 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual, which has helped countelss thousands get back on track with their weight loss surgery. In Ms. Bailey's generous spirit of compassion and belief in others she shares her secrets for working with the surgical weight loss tool, not against it, to achieve optimum success and long-term weight maintenance. No gimmicks. No quick fixes. Just simple common sense delivered in the powerful "you can do this" style we have come to expect from Ms. Bailey.

In Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test Ms. Bailey invites readers to consider their relationship with the word diet as she introduces a revolutionary new concept for nurturing a strong and reasonable respect for food.

Day 6 is the way-of-life weight loss surgery patients will follow if they want to control their weight for the rest of their lives.


"This is the book I wish I had read before having surgery in the first place - it would have made all the difference in my success or failure."
-- Alyce Pittaway, Laparoscopic GastricBypass 2002

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