Overeating after sleeve gastrectomy is a sleever’s nightmare. If you’ve done it, you’ll know the feeling – pain, burping, bloating, foamies… To avoid overeating and getting yourself to this point of discomfort, there are a few key things you can try. The five techniques below will help you to avoid the three main causes of overeating after sleeve gastrectomy – eating mouthfuls too big, too fast or just too many.
If you’re not hungry, eating will very quickly put you over the edge. Instead, try to figure out why you want to eat and what else you can do to distract yourself. Not sure what the answer is? If it’s been less than three hours since you last ate, it’s probably unlikely that you’re physically hungry – you might be thirsty, bored or stressed instead. If it has been three hours, it’s probably reasonable to be hungry – but choose wisely!
Use small bowls and plate so you have less temptation to serve too much and then less temptation to eat more than you need. Ideally you want to think about serving yourself a smaller portion that you think you need (our eyes often deceive us). If you’re still hungry at the end of your portion, you can always go back for more, rather than feeling like you have to finish everything on your plate. PS – serving your own portion rather than having someone else serve it for you is really important too.
Getting your eating habits right is the key to long term success with a sleeve. If you don’t have them right, you’ll be at a higher risk of overeating more often and this can lead to you stretching your stomach. Instead, every time you eat, think about the following:
Savour your meal. Enjoy it! Take note of the flavours and textures and smell. You don’t get to eat too much, so at least pay attention and enjoy it while you eat it! And please…… DON’T EAT IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER, YOUR PHONE OR TV! You will be distracted and find it more difficult to determine when to stop eating.
During every meal, you’ll pause for a second, take a deep breath and sigh. STOP EATING NOW! This is a nervous system response from your stomach telling you it’s full. The problem is that most of us just pick up our fork and keep eating. Instead, stop now and you’ll feel satisfied, but not quite full. As soon as you notice this sigh moment, stop eating and put any leftovers away so you’re not tempted to go back for more. You’ll more than likely find that stopping now leaves you feeling satisfied, but not uncomfortable. Learn more about the sigh moment in this post.
Download a copy of my Top 10 Tips for living with a sleeve now.