Life after surgery


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Food Troubleshooting After Bariatric Surgery by Catherine V.

Food Troubleshooting After Bariatric Surgery by Catherine V.

“I feel like food is getting stuck in my throat.”

It may help to try:

  • Smaller bites at meal time. Smaller bites will help you thoroughly chew your food, which prevents swallowing large pieces that may make you feel uncomfortable.

  • Chewing more before swallowing. As mentioned above, increased chewing will help break down your morsel size and prevent that “stuck” feeling.

  • Softer, moist food textures. Dry food textures, such as crackers or over-cooked meat, are much more difficult to chew into a smooth texture, resulting in feeling like your food is getting stuck. Try pairing hummus with those dry crackers and prepare meat in a way that retains moisture, such as in a crockpot.

“I feel like I’m going to throw up!”

    It may help to try:

  • Smaller portion sizes. Overeating at a meal is the most common cause of feeling too full after bariatric surgery. Use a measuring cup to portion out your meal to prevent serving too large a portion. A typical serving size per meal will range from ¼ cup to 1 cup volume depending on how far out from surgery you are.

  • Slowing down your eating pace. Eating too quickly may cause you to overeat. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes or put down your utensil between bites to slow your pace.

  • More appropriate food choices. Foods that are greasy and heavy or are high in added sugar (think french fries or ice cream) often produce nausea after bariatric surgery. Stick mainly to lean protein and produce in your diet to prevent this.

“I feel hungry very soon after eating.”

It may help to try:

  • Avoiding eating and drinking at the same time. Save your beverage until at least 30 minutes after your meal. When you drink and eat at the same time, food is essentially pushed through the stomach pouch at a faster rate. Waiting a half hour or more after a meal before drinking will help keep your food in your stomach pouch for longer and thus help you feel satisfied and full.

  • More appropriate food choices. Foods that are high in protein and high in fiber are best to satiate your appetite. Some bariatric-friendly examples include plain yogurt with fresh fruit or pinto beans with salsa. Avoid foods that have a liquid texture, such as thin soups or milkshakes. Liquids do not satiate hunger as well as solid food choices.

  • Band adjustment. If you have an adjustable band, your band may not be providing enough restriction to decrease your appetite. Try the above-mentioned solutions first before jumping to this conclusion. If you suspect this is causing your hunger problem, discuss this with your doctor.

Turn to these tips the next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable eating situation. Have you experienced any of these? What worked well for you?

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