Cutting Off the Soda Tap*

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We need to talk about free refills. There is a huge misconception when it comes to eating out that liquids don’t count, and that when you order a soda you don’t need to worry about how many times the glass is refilled—it’s just one glass of soda. If you really stop and think about this you’ll have to admit right away that it doesn’t make sense. But the reality is that many people try not to think about it. Cutting out sweets is hard enough. Cutting out soda, and the caffeine boost that comes with it? That sounds just downright impossible.

Portion control is a major area of concern for a lot of people who are trying to lose weight. When it comes to cutting down on calorie intake, there are essentially two ways that it can be done. One, you can start by making adjustments to the foods that you eat, being careful in selecting foods that are lower in calories and not eating snacks that you are not hungry for. Secondly, you can adjust your portion sizes so that you are taking in a more limited quantity of calories at every meal.

Reducing portion size is a great way to get started with your weight loss efforts because you don’t actually have to remove foods from your diet—yet. Instead, portion control requires that you manage how much of a certain food that you eat.

Drinking soda isn’t good from any health perspective, as the overload of sugar and the mixture of carbs and chemicals is just not ideal for anyone’s health. However, most people will cave and have a soda from time to time, and prior to having weight loss surgery, this is okay. The trick is to stick to having it in moderation, and having soda at a restaurant where you have free refills makes that very difficult. One glass of soda is one serving size. If your waiter or waitress comes around and re-loads your glass four times, then you’ve had close to five servings of soda! That is five times the caloric intake of a glass of soda! And all of those calories didn’t contribute to filling you up in the least.

Keep in mind, however, that once you have weight loss surgery, soda needs to completely come off of the menu. The carbonation of soda can cause your stomach to grow upset, and the sugar from the soda will interfere with your weight loss progress.

When it comes to drinking soda, be careful with refills. Having a bottomless glass may be great in the moment, but it really is damaging to your ability to control your daily portions.

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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.