How can I learn to not eat too much?
By: Jessica Basso, RN
There are many lifestyle changes that need to occur before and after weight loss surgery, diet being one of the most important. It will take a great deal of effort, but research has shown that our brains can cement new habits within a period of 21-90 days, so consistency and persistence will be important keys to success when making changes. One major dietary change you can expect after weight loss surgery is portion sizes, they will greatly decrease.
Tips to Help you with portion size and not eating too much
- Use a smaller plate. The same amount of food will look more on a smaller plate. This technique is a proven way to eat less without noticing.
- Don’t eat in front of the TV or while distracted. Distracted eating can lead to overeating. When you watch TV, play video games, or surf the internet, you are less conscious of how much you are eating.
- Slow down and chew food thoroughly. It takes 20-30 minutes for the body to identify fullness, so slowing down your eating gives your stomach the chance to let you know that it’s full before you eat too much. When you chew your food more, you will automatically slow down your eating.
- Use a food scale to measure your food. By measuring your food, will allow you to track your portions accurately.
- Don’t buy foods that will cause or tempt you to overeat. This is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself from overeating. Your diet after weight loss surgery should only consist of healthy alternatives.
- Listen to your body. Only decide to eat when you are hungry. Don’t force your body to eat if it isn’t asking for fuel or in need of any.
- Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast!! Breakfast meals that are high in protein have been proven to suppress appetite and reduce subsequent eating throughout the day.
Over eating especially after bariatric surgery can cause negative effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain/discomfort, and potentially dilatation of the stomach muscle. To prevent these side effects, you will need to learn how to not eat too much. By following the suggestions above, you will maintain a healthy diet after weight loss surgery, resist the temptation to overeat and therefore lose weight faster and safer.