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Tiny Tummy Tips, Issue #003 -- How to Satisfy Sweet Cravings After Weight Loss Surgery
March 29, 2022

How to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth After Bariatric Surgery

Tiny Tummy Tips, Issue #003 -- How to Satisfy Sweet Cravings After Weight Loss Surgery

In This Issue

1) Will I stop craving sweets after bariatric surgery?
2) What causes sugar cravings?
3) How to manage and satisfy sweet cravings when they arise

Will I Stop Craving Sweets After Surgery?

• It’s fairly common to go into weight loss surgery thinking sweet cravings will disappear forever post op and you’ll never have to endure the battle with sugar again. You may think you’ll avoid cakes, cookies, pies, chocolate, and ice cream like the plague because you’ve heard sugar causes a side effect called “dumping.”

• The symptoms of dumping include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, flushing, dizziness, and/or rapid heart rate. You may think it will be easy to swear off sugar because you never want to experience any of these symptoms!

• Let me share the REAL truth. While sweet cravings may subside or disappear in the early stages after surgery for MANY, it does not happen for ALL. And if they go away in the beginning, cravings don’t necessarily stay away forever.

• I share this not to upset you, but to properly inform you, so you know what to expect and you’re not caught off guard. This will help assure your long term success!

What Causes Sugar Cravings?

If you feel like you’re “addicted to sugar,” it’s not just in your head. There is some REAL physiology going on in your brain that causes it!

Sugar begets sugar cravings. In other words, eating excess sugar repeatedly, elevates a hormone (dopamine) that activates the pleasure/reward center in your brain the same way drugs do.

The more you eat sugar, the more intense the sugar cravings become. That’s why it’s so hard to stop eating sugar and you have “withdrawal” symptoms when you try.

Immediately following surgery, it will be easiest to resist high sugar foods and this will help you “detox” from sweets. Remember however, that while cravings for sugar may fade over time, they may never completely go away.

So it’s important to train yourself to eat healthier foods so you start to crave healthier foods, and to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way to keep the sweet monster at bay.

If you fall back into old habits and start to feed your sweet cravings with high sugar foods, sugar addiction can and will return with a vengeance and can undermine your long term success.

How to Manage Sweet Cravings

It’s important to reframe how you think and talk about your sugar cravings. Understand they may likely occur, and plan to MANAGE them vs wish they never happened in the first place.

#1: Take Care of Your Biological Needs: Hydrate Properly, Eat Properly

Sweet cravings can be physical cravings due to the fact you’re under-hydrated, have gone too long without eating, or have eaten unbalanced meals.

The remedy? Back to the basics. Make SURE you:

*Drink at least 64oz of water daily
*Don’t go longer than 3-5 hours without eating
*Once on solid foods: eat protein, fiber (produce), and a little fat at main meals, like this:

Plain nonfat Greek yogurt + banana + sprinkling of chia seeds
Cottage cheese + raspberries + sprinkling of ground flaxseeds
Fat free refried beans + sliver of avocado
Tuna + onion +green apple + a few walnuts + squeeze of lemon or lime
Hard boiled egg + lowfat string cheese + cherry tomatoes

#2: Manage Your Emotions

Very often sweet cravings are emotional cravings and have nothing to do with physical hunger. There is a saying the goes, “You can never get enough of what you really don’t need.” That’s why it’s possible to endlessly eat when you’re stressed, bored, anxious, procrastinating, etc., etc.

These emotions will all come up even after weight loss surgery, so having outlets other than food is of utmost importance.

#3: How to Satisfy Sweet Tooth with Healthier Foods

Fruit is the easiest go to. Make this your mantra: When you want something sweet, eat fresh fruit.

Don’t be scared of the so called “sugar” in fruit. I’ve never met anyone in over 30 years of being a dietitian who is overweight from eating fruit:

Make a baked apple in the microwave.
Sprinkle a sliced apple with cinnamon.
Freeze grapes.
Freeze banana slices.
Eat 1-2 tangerine cuties.

Dessert Flavored Teas are another favorite I like to suggest. Simply google the term and you’ll see flavors like Butterscotch Blondie, Glazed Lemon Loaf, Caramel Vanilla, etc.

I personally like vanilla matcha tea to satisfy my sweet tooth!

#4: Be Accountable

Keep a food journal. Having to write down the words ice cream, chocolate or cookies may just deter you from eating them!

You’ve go this!!! Decide you’ll take control of your sugar cravings rather than letting them control you!

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Tiny Tummy Tips Newsletter delivers practical, professional advice and simplifies what to eat after weight loss surgery.

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See you in the next issue!

In Health,


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