Is Sugar or even Honey the New Splenda for Sleeves and should it touch our lips after bariatric surgery? 

The Royal Eggs
We know folks who go insane over Cadbury Creme Eggs. The very thought of eating one makes me feel sick. I do believe I would nearly die if I ate one since I have not had any ‘real’ candy since 2001. I like keeping the threat of dumping syndrome intact as it definitely helps me. The truth is that I don’t know if I would actually get sick but I assume I would get deathly ill and that is a strong enough deterrent for me and many of the RNY post ops that I know.

If I didn’t have potential for getting whacked hard by physical illness, why wouldn’t I go back to eating in the manner that got me here in the first place? If sugar didn’t make me sick, what would stop me?


Is Honey the New Splenda for Sleevers?


What we know to be true
If you go to Dunkin and order the largest size Dunkaccino,  guess what will happen? I. Promise. That. You. Will. DRINK. It.

Do you know that a Dunkaccino or a Coolatta is made with a special powder that when blended contains 540 calories and 58 grams of SUGAR (yes, that is FIFTY EIGHT). When we question the thought process for this food decision… people get made at us and say ‘I HAVE A SLEEVE!’

What the heck does that mean? That the sugar and calories don’t count? That it’s okay to drink it? It really doesn’t matter which bariatric surgery you’ve had, if you were morbidly obese and had little control over things like Dunkaccino’s you might want to rethink that genius strategy as a post op. The premise of 2 year sleeve post ops who are using sugar because it’s natural is CRAZY.

Honey is all natural! So. Is. Arsenic.
I am a little baffled by people who think they are lucky that they don’t get sick when they use sugar. I have no idea how people with a VSG – Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – manage to lose weight with only volume restriction. Not judging, only talking out loud. I learned the hard way a couple of years ago that if one goes back to eating even some of the same foods that allowed me to qualify for surgery in the first place, I would likely qualify again in a year.
We have very large Bariatric Eating Support Group on Facebook and have noticed a disturbing trend of folks with gastric sleeves using honey, maple syrup, raw sugar, coconut sugar and even plain ole sugar in their coffee ‘because they don’t want to use artificial sweetener’. They are on a soapbox proudly touting it… Oh, I don’t use ANY artificial sweeteners!

Okay, so you drink your coffee black?  “Oh Nooooo, I use Sugar in the Raw, it’s natural!” Hmmm… ALL sugar is natural… white sugar, raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, palm sugar… they are all natural forms of sugar. White Sugar comes from a plant. It also has a lot of calories. It’s one of the things that made us fat! Folks who use sugar are missing the point of WHY many choose to use Splenda – they are avoiding a high calorie food group by swapping it out for that which uses a zero calorie sweetener. By using honey, you are simply using a different high calorie food. We have seen many many many who thought they were doing something right by using *natural sugar* in place of Splenda. They were not.

You know you can drink unsweetened beverages
No one says that ice tea, coffee, hot tea, fruit waters or beverages must have any sweetener added to them… you can simply drink them unsweetened. Now THAT is how you can remain on your NOTHING ARTIFICIAL soapbox and not shoot yourself in the foot.

Don’t go where the danger lives.
I have avoided the Witch who lives in the Gingerbread House for many years now by staying out of The Woods. Of course it is a Choice as I always give myself Permission, but choose not to go there. We all know what is good and what is bad. Be true to yourself and keep the control in your hands rather than looking for reasons to eat foods you should not be eating. We all know the foods we should not be eating.

I got one less problem without you…
When in the grocery store, you’d have to handle the after Easter half priced bag of Foil Covered Chocolate Eggs at least five times from shelf to car. Rather than make excuses and feel guilty that you ate them, bargain with yourself to wander to the sugar free chocolate and talk yourself into a bag of Sugar Free Russell Stover Coconut Eggs. They are also on sale and you will be much happier with in the long run.

It. is. not. the. dog.
Ummm… and YES, I am completely aware that sugar alcohols in sugar free chocolate can be *explosive* in nature. I don’t give it a thought while eating my first or second wrapped Coconut Egg. It does move forward in priority when I am eating the third one as I know while looking at the time in which I have gobbled them up, that I need a reality check. I weigh the pro’s and con’s of eating yet another versus how badly I do not wish to explode six hours later and spend an hour in the bathroom. Sometimes I eat another and pay the price and sometimes memory serves me well, and I do not. Either way, at least I did not blow through my sugar line.

Yep, post op life is one grand negotiation but then again, that is life in general.

Just because you can, does not mean you should! Stay out of the sugar bowl. Sugar shouldn’t touch your lips!


11 thoughts on “Is Sugar the New Splenda for Sleeves?

  1. Joyce says:

    my daughter had the sleeve 9 months ago. She has lost 120 lbs and reached her goal weight. She likes sweets but as she can only manage one or 2 bites of anything, natural sugar or not, it’s a non-issue. When 3 oz is all you can manage before you vomit. She can manage 1 Reese’s cup, not a pair or a giant one….she can have sugar in coffee, but can only manage 1/2 a cup (& no solids for 30 min. before or after). She steers clear of carbonation. Certain foods that cause gas are minimalized for obvious reasons, but she can eat pretty much what she wants because she can’t have more than 3 oz and she keeps forgetting to eat. She does take her vitamins.
    With the sleeve, you lose the pouchy part of your stomach and what is left is muscular and disinclined to stretch much. With normal gastric by pass, your stomach is closed off and you lose the intestine (the absorbing part of the equation). Unfortunately, if you begin to eat more, your stomach pouch can stretch until you once again have an organ capable of taking in thousands of calories a day, and the weight can return quickly. For those with that surgery, I’d definitely steer clear of sweets, period. Jmo

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Actually, BOTH or ALL bariatric surgeries cannot survive at goal if people ‘eat what they want’. Your daughter will remain at goal for a while, but if she is like the thousands we have in different groups, she cannot continue to eat Reeses and have sugar in coffee and stay there. One Reeses is NOT better than two as how long until she begins eating BOTH of them… there are two in a package. Please encourage her to NOT eat ‘one Reeses’ and to drink her coffee with a drop of cream only. She must make different choices or in ten years (or less) will be back at her initial weight and not have a stomach. We cannot have this drastic and invasive procedure and NOT change habits. We are seeing higher percentages of very early regains in those with Sleeve than Gastric Bypass, as for some reason Sleeves think they don’t have to change their food choices. The party doesnt last unless we change.

      • Tanya says:

        I agree a cheat will not kill you but if it a everyday thing it will caught up. I have been a WSL for 9 years started with the band sick all the time lost 110 lbs. I could not way over 400 calories. Had the band removed replaced with the sleeve lost another 110 lbs still working on the last 30 lbs. If I eat sugar my weight goes up. I eat high protein my weight comes down. I eat about 700 calories a day. My goal is 900. The honeymoon does not last forever.

  2. Carlene Stevenson says:

    Im 6 yrs post op Gbs and Splenda is my best friend I consume  things containing sugar and when i do i feel sick. 

  3. Judy Elmore says:

    I had RNY gastric bypass in 2005. Have not touched sugar since and do not miss it I do not want to reintroduce it to my system and risk creating those cravings and addictions I had prior to surgery. The cravings left following the surgery which was a miracle to me. I don’t want them back. Recently very recently I decided to try 1-2 teaspoons of honey as a health benefit since honey is touted to help with immune system energy etc. but I felt guilty each time I tried it and found that I felt kethargic and shaky afterwards. So I’ve decided it’s not wise to do it at all. Will stick to artificial sweeteners.  

  4. Suzanne Shaw says:

    I’m glad to see this. I’ve been stunned to see so many posts over on Facebook about regular yogurt with sugar and fruit in it, talking about cookies made with agave nectar over Splenda but the same people are also posting about needing to lose weight again and that their Dr told them to get back to basics but they don’t know how. I was starting to wonder if I was the only one who had a Dr who mentioned that no matter what surgery we have, sugar in any form other than artificial calorie free was totally unacceptable.

    I may also feel this way because while I didn’t have a Sleeve I had a Band and was so SURE that I could absolutely eat smaller portions of my favorites and be just fine.

    I didn’t feel just fine when I was 300+ pounds again 3 years after my surgery. Sure my band failed, but no one was forcing the Cadbury’s Creme Eggs down my throat.

  5. Kaye Oneal says:

    We all know those people who can eat anything and never gain weight. I have never been one of those people and having a VSG did not turn me into one. We have to decide to make better choices and there is no better time to learn to do that than when we are in the ‘not hungry’ phase after our surgery. This procedure is only a tool and your hunger will return. And you will learn to eat larger amounts of food. Having the opportunity to have WLS is a wonderful thing but it is useless if we don’t use that opportunity appropriately. What a shame it would be to be back where you started within a few years. I actually know two people who have started to regain significant amounts after just over a year – and it was because they though they could control eating small amounts of foods they just shouldn’t be eating at all.

  6. Vicci Lucas says:

    I find from lurking and reading the posts in the Bariatric groups that MANY people are under educated about changes that need to be made both before and after surgery.

    Some (okay, lots) of surgeons seem to only be interested in the cash flow and fail to educate. People are thinking the surgery is a magic bullet and the weight will magically fall off overnight and are depressed and ready to throw in the towel when they “only” lost 12 pounds in a month!

    My NUT and Surgeon stress the importance of staying under 10 calories of sugar in anything. Being allergic to artificial sweeteners I find that is great, It is not a death sentence if you have 1 Reeces Egg per season but I found that one nibble made me realize how terribly sweet it was and never want to touch another! There is also a serious amount of everything is okay support on the boards even when people are shooting themselves in the foot.

  7. Allison says:

    I love love love this article. I hear so many people say the only thing they would change about surgery is having it sooner. I disagree (myself personally) because it took me all these years to get to this exact mindset (NO SUGAR!!) and surgery a few years ago would have been a failure for me. I cannot have anything in moderation…period. Sugar is a VERY addictive substance for me. It is all or nothing and I have learned that. I don’t even want to tempt that line of just “having a few bites” of anything. This surgery was my last chance for a healthy life and I am making the most of it. This website has been an abundance of information and support. I love the straight forward articles. It keeps me in check. I recommend you all the time in my Facebook support group. Thank you for all you do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.