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How to avoid overeating after bariatric surgery

After you undergo bariatric surgery, the size of your stomach will be significantly smaller than it was before, regardless of the type of surgery you have.

Updated: December 6, 2020
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By MBL Featured Blogger: Karen Eisenbraun
Originally Posted: October 6, 2020

Although your stomach may be smaller, you might still be used to eating large portion sizes or overeating in general during the days and weeks that follow surgery.

However, overeating after having undergone weight-loss surgery can result in adverse complications, such as stretching of the stomach pouch and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). To stay on track with your weight-loss progress, it’s important to reduce your portion sizes and avoid overeating at all costs.

Causes of overeating

For many patients, overeating is based more on emotions than on actual hunger and may cause some to experience a strong desire to overeat when they feel either happy or sad. In other cases, patients may have been brought up to think that they must eat all contents on the plate to prevent waste, which can lead some to feel guilty if they fail to finish their entire meal. Regardless of the relationship, a person has with overeating, becoming aware of the problem is the first step a person can take to consciously start eating smaller portion sizes.

Preventing overeating

Some weight-loss surgery patients may find it difficult to eat smaller portion sizes in certain social settings, such as at parties and at restaurants. In these cases, developing an eating plan prior to going out can often help prevent overeating. For example, weight-loss patients can prepare for dining out in advance by planning to split meals with friends or family or by reviewing an online menu to browse meals and courses considered “bariatric-friendly.” Before attending a party, patients can eat a healthy meal ahead of time at home, then limit themselves to small bites of food at the party. In most cases, people will be understanding in regards to a person’s commitment to losing weight and becoming healthier.

Recognizing feelings of fullness

Over time, you’ll be able to recognize feelings of fullness as you adjust to your new weight-loss surgery and smaller food portions. Be sure to eat and chew slowly, and take time between each bite to assess your fullness level. Since the brain usually takes about 20 minutes to signal to the stomach that it’s full, eating slowly can help prevent you from overeating.

If you are interested in weight loss surgery, check out MBL’s Ultimate Guide To Weight Loss Surgery.

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Karen Eisenbraun is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and writer with a background in digital marketing. She has written extensively on the topics of nutrition and holistic health for many leading websites.

Karen received her nutrition certification from the American College of Healthcare Sciences in 2012. She follows a ketogenic diet and practices intermittent fasting. Karen advocates a whole foods approach to nutrition and believes in empowering yourself with information that allows you to make smarter decisions about your health.

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