Travelling Wilbands

(Sorry to those of you who are too young to know ‘The Travelling Wilbury’s’…an outstanding 2 Album -Wonder composed of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne…once again I date myself).

Travelling with a lapband is a non-issue for most but for others it can be a means with which to be reckoned.

Your band is a closed system however during an adjustment, if you’ve ever watched, you have probably seen bubbles coming up into the syringe if the level of fluid is being checked (we don’t check the amount with every adjustment as it can irritate and cause swelling around the stoma).  When flying the increase in altitude may cause your band to tighten due to these bubbles in your band.  It is also believed that some peoples tissue around the band may swell which can also cause tightness.  For some this tightness may even continue for a day or two after landing.  Again this is not altogether common but for some it is something they must prepare for and deal with every time they fly.

At our clinic we never add fluid to a band if the person will be flying in two weeks or less.  (What could be worse than going on your all-inclusive, long-awaited holiday only to be pb’ing and barfing the entire time?).   We also advise people to take it easy on the flight.   Make sure you are well hydrated before you fly and have a light meal before you leave such as soup if you will be flying over a meal time.   When on the plane stick to liquids (oiy…I can hear it now…”but air warden…the nurth thaid thtik to liquidths!”), and be cautious once you have landed.  Take small bites, chew well and make sure the food is going down nicely and without discomfort.

Be Prepared:

Once you have reached your destination and all is well there are other things to consider. Being prepared really helps you stay well and stick to a healthy plan.  I advise my patients to pack in their luggage protein powder, protein bars, nuts and other non-perishable high protein snacks.  This way you always have a ‘fallback’ if there is food you can’t tolerate or if you are tired of the same-ol’ at the buffet.

Stick to your plan:

Stick to you plan.   If you are at a business function ask ahead about what will be served at meals.  If you are relaxing on a long-awaited holiday…have fun!  enjoy!  indulge!…but don’t go nuts.

Watch your Choices:

Try not to skip breakfast and opt for a high protein choice such as an egg white omelette with lean meat to fuel yourself for the day.  Entrees in the evening need not be boring.  Go for grilled chicken, fish, shellfish, and lighter sauces.  No matter what the occasion the main rules don’t change:  small bites, chewed well and eaten slowly.  Watch the liquid calories.  (I’m sorry…this may hurt…).  Take heed: a four ounce glass of wine has 100 -125 calories, one ounce of vodka, bourbon, scotch or rum has about sixty calories so that two ounces with sparkling water is about 120 calories, a mojito has about 200 calories (a six to eight ounce glass), a frozen daiquiri or a margarita can have well over 500 calories for the ten to twelve ounce glass that they are usually served in.  Again, a vacation doesn’t need to be seen as a time for weight loss but nor does it need to be seen as a time to indulge recklessly.

Stay Active:

Exercise.  Don’t skip the exercise and try to do it daily.  Most hotels have a gym…yes they may suck, but a treadmill will do the job.  Throw a resistance band into your luggage so you can add resistance training in the comfort of your own room!  Aim for 30 minutes of exercise daily.  If you are on a vacation there will likely be lots of opportunity for movement (swimming, hiking, biking, snorkelling, golf, walks on the beach….Calgon take me awayyyyyy!!!!!) and usually in a lovely locale so there is no excuse not to get moving!


Travelling need not be a big issue so long as you are sensible and prepared.  And remember, you only live once.  If you are going on a much anticipated holiday relax, unwind and enjoy.  If you maintain your weight or even gain a pound or two, it’s not the end of the world.  You have this wonderful tool for the rest of your life.  Enjoy life and have fun but stay well.

Yours in Health and Fitness (and wishing I was writing this from Hawaii),


About BodyWell Fitness

I am a Registered Nurse, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, and Lapband Education Coach. I have worked since 2005 with the obese population and over 5000 lapband/gastric banded patients helping them to understand life with a gastric band, eat well, lose weight, get physically and mentally fit, become healthy and stay motivated. It is my goal to provide information, share knowledge and motivate people to help them reach their hopes and dreams.
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One Response to Travelling Wilbands

  1. Nutritionnut says:

    Phenomenal post. It is such a concern and fear; very well explained and the management tricks are realistic and easily applicable!

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