Bariatric surgery is great. It gives patients back their life. They get their health back. They are able to stop all sorts of medications. They can get on airplanes with no seat extender. They go to the amusement parks with their kids. It is life-changing. There are some things that bariatric surgery cannot change. Habits such as compulsive eating cannot be resolved through surgery.
One of the many reasons patients decide to proceed with surgery is to assist them with their compulsive overeating. When a patient arrives to the operating table, he or she has been overeating for many years. The result is a stretched out stomach which requires a lot of food to feel satisfied. On top of this, patients many have used overeating and food to deal with stressful situations. Post surgery, this coping mechanism is no longer available. What’s a post op patients to do ?
Now is the time to switch our focus on improving those bad habits that helped get us into trouble in the first place.
Let’s pick just one goal to deal with at a time. Sure, there are plenty of ways to help with compulsive eating but let’s not get overwhelmed and try to do everything at the same time. Remember that change is a process and it will happen but you can only take one step at a time.
Drink a lot of water. I know you are tired of hearing this. Drinking water does not cure everything but many times when we think we are hungry we are really dehydrated. If you feel like you are hungry all the time and want to bite off your arm, have a glass of water first. Reach for a glass of water before you reach for a snack.
Don’t multitask when eating. Don’t eat when you are standing up. Don’t eat in front of the television. Don’t eat while on the telephone. The idea here is that digestion starts from the sight and smell of food so your focus needs to be on what you are eating and not what you are doing besides eating. By not paying attention to your food you are more likely to overeat so even if it’s only a snack, sit down and eat with zero distractions.
We always have to remember that the bariatric surgery that you had is only a tool and it’s the beginning of your journey. If we want to be successful post surgery, there are habits that must change also. Let’s try to think of life post surgery and new found habits and lifestyle changes as “the new normal”. What we are aiming for is to not return to old bad habits and to make permanent long lasting changes for many years of super health.
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I would love to connect with you.
Much success in your journey.
International Patient Facilitators – Cancun and Tijuana, Mexico
Dr. Sergio Verboonen and Sheri Burke – Bariatric Coordinator and Nutritionist.
1 800 210 5124
Reach out to us if you have questions !