Calories To Watch After WLS

Re-Think What You Drink: Sneaky Calories To Watch After WLS

November 13, 2017

When it comes to life and diet after weight loss surgery, every calorie counts. Calorie intake is reduced after surgery and it is important to make sure you are getting your nutrition from food and not empty calories from what you are drinking. Always read the nutrition label, even on drinks, to see how many calories and how much sugar you are consuming as part of your daily intake.

Calories To Watch After WLS

After surgery, you want to make sure you are choosing drinks that are no calorie or very low-calorie to drink. Regular and diet sodas should be avoided for the high amount of sugar in them as well as the carbonation. A 20-ounce soda can contain around 18 teaspoons of sugar and about 240 calories.

Be careful when having a specialty coffee drink from your favorite coffee shop or a popular fruit smoothie. Make sure you are always checking the website for nutrition information for these drinks because their calories and macros can surprise you. If you track your daily intake, you'll see how they impact your calories.

For example, a tall Vanilla Frappuccino from Starbucks packs a punch with 300 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 48 grams of sugar. That is about 12 teaspoons of sugar!  Drinking one of these per day after surgery will be about 25% of your total calorie intake for the entire day.

Fruit smoothies seem to be very popular and are seemingly harmless. They are often thought of as being healthy because they contain fruit. When you look up the nutrition information at your favorite smoothie shop you may be shocked at what you find.

Look at the chart below to see some examples of the different drinks and how many calories you are drinking.

Type of Drink Calories Sugar (grams)
Smoothie King’s Lean Strawberry-banana fruit smoothie (20 oz.) 270 25
100% organic juice (8 oz.) 110 27
Gold Peaks Sweet Tea 18.5 oz. bottle 190 48
Simply Lemonade 11.5 oz. bottle 160 40
Simply Fruit Punch 11.5 oz. bottle 140 35
Regular Soda (Coca-Cola 12 oz. can) 140 39
Acceptable Drink Options
Crystal light
Decaf unsweetened tea and
unsweetened herbal teas
Sugar-free Kool-Aid
Mio Liquid Water Enhancer

Powerade Zero

Propel Zero


Juice is also a common drink that is thought of as being healthy because it is advertised as 100% juice with no added sugar. Patients who have had weight loss surgery are advised not to drink any juices due to the high calories and sugar they contain. As you can see in the above examples, an 8-oz. glass of 100% juice contains 27 grams of sugar.

Milk is another drink that weight loss surgery patients should be careful drinking with what type you choose. Milk contains vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to a healthy diet, however, can be high calories and fat. It is important to skim or 1% milk to help reduce your caloric intake.

After weight loss surgery, it is important to make sure that you are drinking enough water and other sugar-free liquids. Essentially anything 5 calories or less is an acceptable drink choice to help with weight loss and to maintain weight loss. The examples listed in the Acceptable Drink Options are some good ones to drink.


Diana Weathers, RDN, CSOWM, LD is a registered and licensed Dietitian for Premier Weight Loss Solutions in Dayton, Ohio. Diana earned her Bachelor of Science in Medical Dietetics from The Ohio State University in 2008. She is a Board-Certified Specialist as an Interdisciplinary Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management (CSOWM).

Read more articles by Diana!