Is the “Pouch Test” for real??

Steph Wagner MS, RDN

March 4, 2014

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If you are a postop patient and have fallen off your groove…you have likely heard of the pouch test.

The 5 Day Pouch Test is a 5 day diet a bariatric patient created to see if her pouch was still working. I often get asked if this will work for someone.

I always start by reminding everyone your pouch is still a pouch. It hasn’t stretched back out to it’s original size.

One thing to remember- the stomach is an incredible organ and is muscle, layered with muscle, layered with muscle. It’s incredibly difficult to stretch the surgical pouch.

But I can eat a lot more now! 

This could be several things. I’ll list just a handful of the reasons my patients are able to eat more than when they first had surgery:

1. The further out in the healing process, the more you can eat.

2. Drinking with meals or too soon after (sooner than 60 minutes) empties the contents of your pouch so you can keep eating.

3. Soft foods or “slider foods” go down easy and don’t fill you up. Of course you can eat a lot of cereal, popcorn or potatoes! Eat a steak and you’ll feel your restriction again.

But I’m hungry all the time!

This too can be a slew of different things. The biggest of all being carbs. Carbs make us hungry! If I eat rice on Monday I’m hungry until Thursday! Surgery can’t change that. Here are the common reasons patients feel hungry even after their surgery:

1. Not getting enough water.

2. Eating too fast/too big of bites. This causes “premature fullness” which means you stop eating too early and get hungry sooner. You didn’t really fill up at your meal so you get hungry faster!

3. Drinking with meals or too soon after. Empties the stomach so you are looking for more food soon after eating.

4. Soft or “slider foods” mean empty stomach sooner.

5. Starches & Sweets. It takes a good 3-5 days of avoiding these foods for the hunger to become controlled again! Which leads me to the pouch test…

The pouch test recommends the following:

Days 1-2: Liquid Protein

Day 3: Soft Protein

Day 4: Firm Protein

Day 5: Solid Protein

My thoughts? It’s a great plan. But it’s not the only one! Why does this work? Because what happens day 4 and 5??? The carb cravings are gone. If starches and sweets are eliminated from the diet you will start feeling great, less hungry and satisfied with a smaller portion of food. It’s the harsh truth! The pouch doesn’t truly need to be “tested”….it’s still a pouch. What it does need is to be starch/sweet free!

Although this same result can be accomplished in various ways. The key is to avoid the starches and sweets and get back to the basics of the postop diet. Need more guidance on what the postop diet is? That’s where I love to help. Email me at to get in touch!!

5 thoughts on “Is the “Pouch Test” for real??”

  1. @Karen I don’t because every program differs so greatly. If you have questions you’re welcome to email me and I can tell you how I’ve practiced but it varies so greatly from program to program!

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