Weight cycling, yo-yo dieting and disordered eating are common. If not addressed, mindless habits, emotional eating, and maladaptive eating may contribute to challenges after Bariatric surgery.
Some bariatric patients will come to realization that they “miss their friend, food” and are not able to manage triggers emotions.
Some patients may believe that they will not have to think about their eating, anymore. In fact,
long-term success after bariatric surgery requires just the opposite. Patients need to become very mindful about eating in order to use their surgery optimally. If they are not mindful, they may suffer from uncomfortable or serious consequences and are less likely to achieve their weight loss goal. Mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. Simply put it is eating with a purpose or awareness. It teaches patients to focus attention to what is happening in the present and disengaging in habitual, unsatisfying behaviors. We must focus on: why do I eat? When do I eat? What do I eat? How do it eat? How much do I eat? Where do I eat? In response to internal cues such as hunger? Invest my energy?
Bariatric surgery outcomes will vary from patient to patient and are associated with eating triggers. While nearly all patients lose weight in their first year after surgery, for many the hard part is
starting begins when the honeymoon is over. Preoperatively we begin to target behaviors such as rapid
eating, crazily and emotionally eating. As the journey goes on we incorporate elements of mindful eating in order to guide patients through the decision –making process.
Mindful eating skills address many of the behavioral problems commonly seen after Bariatric surgery.
The issues are:
- Eating to quickly
- Frequently small amounts of food
- Consuming high amounts of high calorie soft foods satiety
- Not consuming enough protein
- Not savoring food and having difficulties feeling satisfied with small volumes of food
- Preoccupation with food
- Struggling to establish consistent physical activity
- Feeling deprived and weight regain and laps and down
The positive results from mindful eating will motivate individuals to become more mindful in other aspects of their lives.
The challenges posed by an environment of abundant food, social and emotional connections to food, and ineffective dieting may not be resolved by bariatric surgery. The development of decision making skills strategies in compassed in mindful eating will assist Bariatric surgery patients to sustain lifestyle changes over time.