I’m Doing the 5 Day Pouch Test

If you’ve followed Mother of Pearl It Is for a while, you are probably aware that I made a life-changing decision to have Gastric Sleeve surgery for weight loss in August 2011. I was a thin chickadee most of my younger life, and ate what I wanted with no problem. Being a gymnast, dance team member, and active overall helped to keep me lean and trim – that is, until I graduated high school and the activities stopped. Then I met my chef hubby, who fattened me up even more with all his delicious cooking. Having 5 large babies did nothing to help my figure either, but honestly…  I can’t place blame on anyone but myself. Nobody forced me to eat like I did.

A couple years ago, at my top weight of 286 lbs., I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Not to mention that I already had rheumatoid arthritis, and that extra weight was torture on my joints. After years of trying every diet in the book and failing, I decided my life was too important to play with. I still had 4 of my 5 children living at home and a disabled hubby that needed me, and 2 beautiful granddaughters to watch grow up. So, after doing my research for almost a year, I made the extremely tough decision to go ahead with bariatric surgery. Let me tell ya… it was honestly the BEST decision of my life!

Now almost 2 years later, I have lost a total of 80 lbs. At my current weight of 206, I have another 41 lbs. to reach my goal. The problem is I have been at an absolute standstill for the past 7-8 months. I am now able to eat much more than I could after my surgery. Although the majority of my stomach was removed, and will never go back to it’s original size, it can stretch by about 15%. And that’s what I’m worried about… that I may have “broken my pouch.” Even though I eat rather healthy for the most part, I have become complacent in much of my post-surgery routine. I don’t drink my water like I should, I skip breakfast many days, don’t remember to take my vitamins, and have pretty much cut out exercise altogether.

I was searching online when I started to feel crappy again and began having tummy issues .. bloating, tightness, gas, belly pains, etc., and I happened upon the 5 Day Pouch Test for bariatric patients that fear they may have stretched their pouch. So, beginning today, I will be following this diet to see if I can regain some of the training I learned during all of my pre-surgery counseling sessions, support group meetings, dietary classes, etc. I am hoping this test will help me to “jump start” my weight loss once again – not just to finally reach my goal, but to begin feeling good again.

5 day pouch test

These are the foods I will be dining on for the next 5 days. I can have as much of the prescribed menu as I’d like to satiate my hunger, without overeating, of course. I will also need to drink at least 64 oz. of water throughout the day. The program consists of the following:

Days One & Two: Liquid Protein
low-carb protein shakes, broth, clear or cream soups, sugar-free gelatin and pudding.

Day 3: Soft Protein
canned fish (tuna or salmon) eggs, fresh soft fish (tilapia, sole, orange roughy.

Day 4: Firm Protein 
ground meat (turkey, beef, chicken, lamb), shellfish, scallops, lobster, fresh salmon or halibut.

Day 5: Solid Protein
white meat poultry, beef steak, pork, lamb, wild game

That’s it! There are no fruits, vegetables, starches, etc. for the 5 days, just proteins. I will truly miss my salads, but I will add those back in once the test is done.

OH.. and did I mention that I signed up with a bunch of gals at work for our very own Biggest Loser challenge? We are doing it from May 1st through July 1st. I am quite the competitive person, so this will really help me to get back on the ball. I’ve come up with my Top 10 Goals to help me reach my weight loss goal and to start feeling better again.

1. drink at least 64oz. of water daily

2. walk 1 mile at work during my lunch break

3. do a brief 10 minute workout each morning before work

4. eat my protein first

5. take my vitamins faithfully each day

6. make and KEEP my doctor visits

7. weigh in every week

8. chew slowly, eat clean, and allow yourself a “cheat” every now and then

9. don’t get upset when someone says I took the “easy” way out by having surgery – this is NOT easy.

10. stay motivated, enjoy the challenge, and help others along the way



  1. You go, girl! Keep up and you will make your goal! It’s hard and I know from my own experience with weightloss. Look how far you have come and you are doing it for the right reasons. Stay healthy!

  2. I’m going to pass this on to my friend. She had the bypass surgery a couple of years ago, and she lost a lot of weight. Now she’s putting it back on and is really upset.

    • Yes, definitely pass it on! I can feel my old self coming back.. it retrains your mind and body to eat the way you did when you first had the surgery. I’m very glad I did it.

  3. Good luck to you with this! It sounds like a pretty tough plan to follow.

    • Thanks Kari! Not as bad as I thought.. the time between the first day and the second morning was the worst. But, I’m doing pretty well with it.

  4. Wow! Good luck to you with this. It’s a big undertaking, but I’m sure you can do it!

  5. Good luck to you! It is always difficult to change things like diet.
    I struggle with this a lot as well. Recently I decided I was no longer going to eat or drink anything with calories after 8pm. I struggle because the hubs is right there next to me on the couch snacking away on CHOCOLATE of all things!! But I’ve made it almost a full week and I feel so much better! Just that one small change has helped me to not be bloated in the mornings, sleep better, and I have lost 2 lbs this week! I’ll continue to keep this up and then begin adding in exercise and changing our diets a step at a time. I want the changes to last long term so we are going slow.

    • Yes, I have one of “those” too.. sits and eats everything in front of me. lol Little changes make a huge difference, and so far so good.. I can feel my energy and motivation kickstarting again. Good luck to you too!

  6. Wishing you lots of luck!

  7. Good luck on this! I am sure you will be successful. It’s all about the diet too and what you pictured here are a really clean food choice.

  8. Pam Heuer says:

    Good luck! I’m on day 3 of the 5 day pouch test. This morning, I really didn’t care if I solid food or not so that’s good. I had one egg and some cottage cheese foe breakfast. For lunch I had tune with a boiled egg cut up in it and I mixed the FF cottage cheese in with it. I lost 3 pounds on the first 2 days. Keep us posted.

    • Hi Pam.. that’s awesome! I wish you the best on your pouch test too. I forgot all about posting an update.. I did lose 6 lbs during my 5-day, so I guess the old pouch is still working. :)

  9. Hi,
    Could you share specifics of the 5 day pouch test?

  10. Hi, has anyone woked out while doing the 5dpt? I usually work out around 3-4 times a week for 30 mins. Does anyone think this will freak my body out?

    • I don’t see why it would… I haven’t heard anything about not exercising during the 5 day pouch test. Let me know if you find anything on it.

      • Today is day 5 for me. After the first day I was up a pound, but was worried about exercising since I thought my calories might be too low! I worked out days 2, 3, and 4. After day 3 I was down 3.4, and after day 4 I was down 1.4 (4.8 total over the 4 days), we shall see if I drop anymore after today!

        • That is so awesome! I never did update my progress on my blog, but I lost 6 lbs during the 5 day pouch test, and finally broke my plateau and reached my next goal! Keep up the good work!

        • Just an update on my 5dpt, I lost a another 2.2, so a total of 7 pounds exactly! This was great for restarting my weight loss!!

  11. I too had WLS, 8 years ago. Lost 150lbs but toy with 20lbs over the past few years. I am so excited about this pouch test, I am on day 2, and so far surprised. I feel hope again for the first time I’m awhile with weightloss. Please share your results or any suggestions for day 3 and forward!!! :)

    • Hi Blair.. that is awesome!! The pouch test did help me drop 6 of the 40 stubborn lbs. I still have left to lose and I’m down 2 more. I lost 81 lbs after my gastric sleeve surgery and then hit a plateau about a year ago… have gone back and forth between gaining and losing 3 to 5 lbs until recently. Hope you had great success with the pouch test on your final day too!

  12. johanna mercado says:

    thank you so much for show examples of foods at the top also I started at 372 on may 13,2013 was my gastric sleeve I’m at 276 but, haven’t lost any pounds in three weeks , I crave things sometimes my biggest problem is no to crave rice but I will use this 5 day test to get back on track also I recently went back to work and started taking decafe coffee which is not the best with skim milk and two splendas I still need to keep on my journey I exercise four times a week . Im opened and determnined for any suggestions Also when I workout I get very light headed and dizzy

    • Hi Johanna, That is a terrific accomplishment… almost 100 lbs!! Wow. How did you make out with the 5 day pouch test? I also hit my plateau about a year into my surgery. I sometimes have to go back to the way I was eating after my surgery for a few days to get my weight loss started again. Just remember that you do need to eat to lose weight.. and lots of protein works for me, as it fills you up. Good luck to you!

  13. Wondering if this worked for you? I also have been sleeved. and after 2 years, starting to gain, and still have a lot I want to lose. So wondering if worked. I thought for R-Y patience’s so never tried.

    • Hi Mary.. yes, it did work for me. I lost 6 lbs in the 5 days. However, it’s pretty much going back to the beginning of how you eat after you have the sleeve procedure, and you have to follow it exactly. Good luck to you!

  14. I had the gastric sleeve performed on January 10, 2013 and as of today am down 130lbs. I found your blog by searching for info on the 5 day test. I have noticed lately that I am eating a lot more and do NOT want to stretch my stomach or gain any weight back I still have 50 more lbs to go to get to my goal so I am starting this test tomorrow and hopefully it will help me over this hurdle I have hit and put me back on track! Thank you for this post and good luck on the rest of your journey!

    • Wow!! That is an amazing accomplishment! The 5 day did work for me.. allowed me to lose 6 lbs. However, I’m back in the same rut of not losing any more. It’s been several months, so I think I’ll try it again along with boosting my exercise. Good luck to you!

  15. I had my sleeve on January 15th 2013, i have lost 100 lbs but have been at a stand still for a couple of months … Because of that i noticed i started with the old habits eating slider foods snacking late night, then i gained 4 lbs..boy its so easy to gain even after the surgery so i did the 5 day pouch test today was my fifth day and i lost the 4 lbs and hoping when i get on scale tomorrow morning i might loose another… I am happy to say my pouch works just fine felt full just as i did at the beginning of my journey…its like i got a jump start and ready to continue towards my goal of 10 more pounds. Good luck to everyone :)

    • Congratulations!! That’s an awesome accomplishment. I’m glad the pouch test reassured you that it’s still working.. mine too! Now I can concentrate on doing what I can to get the last bit of weight off.

  16. I’ve had my surgery for almost 6 years now after 6 years I get pregnant with my now 1 year old and I’ve gained a lot of weight and feeling really bad about my self for gaining that much weight since then I was trying many diet and nothing has worked I’m going to try this out and see if this will help thank you for sharing your story

  17. Navarre2022 says:

    I had WLS-RNY in 2001 and have done pretty well until lately. I originally went from 265lbs down to 135lbs. I gained back to about 165 and stayed more or less there for many years. Lately I have been gaining and decided to try to reset my pouch.
    I went on the 5day pouch test and am currently on day three. I am excited to say that even though it is a diet to reset your pouch, not to lose weight; I have lost 7 lbs. I have consumed only protein shakes, and water. I did cheat a bit by drinking 1 can of V-8 each day which is “carbs” but I was about to cheat and thought the 35 calories from a can of V-8 was probably better than a handful of tortilla chips! I had as many protein drinks as desired, 64 oz. of water and the can of V-8 each day.
    Today, day -3, I plan on eating canned tuna, eggs, and cottage cheese today. Which after the last two days, sounds delicious! I will try to keep you posted on how the rest of the pouch test goes. And if in fact my pouch feels “re-set”.

  18. on what day did you add the cottage cheese, the chick peas and the black beans?

  19. I have a question, Say you’re on Day 4 Can you have any of the options of food from Day 1 & 2 on Day 4? Thanks

  20. Mary… sure you could. Although by Day 4, you may want something with more substance. —– Sylvia … I added the cottage cheese on Day 3. The chick peas (made into hummus) and black beans (made into pureed soup), I had on Day 4 for the “firm proteins.” ——- Navarre2022…. that is awesome! The 5-day pouch test really isn’t as bad as it sounds. I enjoyed many of the recipes on the website, and they were filling (the low-carb Pumpkin and Sausage soup is delish!!) I’m now down 101 lbs total after 3 years… I have set my goal a bit lower, so I now have about 20 – 25 lbs. to go. I’m thinking of doing the 5-day pouch test again to get my system jump started.
    Tree Lindsay recently posted..Fitness Trend for Summer – ZUMBAMy Profile

  21. Thanks so much for this post. I first had lapband in September 2012. I had a complication and now had to have band removed and sleeve done February 2013. I have lost 123 pounds. I still want to lose about 15. I just can’t get my head around loosing more weight. The holidays have been really bad on my diet and I have gained a few pounds. I have been reading about the pouch test and can’t wait to get get started.

  22. Update?

  23. I just stumbled upon this, I am thinking of starting the 5 day challenge…Did you notice a difference? Would you recommend it? Thank you !

  24. I just started the 5 day pouch test today! It’s 4:25pm and all I can think about are Thomas’ Everything Bagels!
    christine recently posted..Bariatric Surgery – Another Way to Lose WeightMy Profile

  25. HI,

    How did the pouch test work. I have stalled for 8 months with about 50 pounds to go. SO discouraged

  26. How did the pouch test work. I have stalled for 8 months with about 50 pounds to go. SO discouraged
    Debra recently posted..Carrying your cross….. The Mountain of GodMy Profile

  27. Tomorrow morning , I will be starting 5 day pouch test.. Thanks for all the info and positive notes . I’m so ready ….. Here I go!!!

  28. I am starting tomorrow. Nervous and worried. Hope this gives me the boost I need to lose these last 15 lbs. Linda, how did your 5 days go?

  29. Everyone has said that they lost weight during the 5 day pouch test but no one has said if they continued losing after that or have ever reached their goal weight

  30. What if you don’t like fish? :( I can tolerate tuna bit that’s about it as far as seafood goes.

  31. Also, can the foods from days 3 & 4 be added to day 5 or is it strictly soft protein day 3, firm protein day 4, & solid protein day 5. For example, could I have eggs on day 4 or maybe turkey on day 5?

  32. I had the gastric bypass May 2014, I lost 150 lbs, I have been doing really bad on my eating habits and have been at a stalemate for several months, all I want to eat is peanut butter, crackers, cheese, I don’t drink my water, I have got to get my head back in the game, I need to lose at least another 25/30 lbs,

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