How to Eat Mindfully:
The Single Most Important Skill After Bariatric Surgery

cartoon plate

Learning how to eat mindfully is the single most important skill to master after weight loss surgery. Yes, you heard me right!

HOW you eat matters almost more than WHAT you eat after bariatric surgery.

How to Eat Mindfully: 5 Key Steps

1. Cut all food into very small bites before starting a meal. This is similar to the way you prepare a plate for a small child before placing it in front of them.

Cut everything once and be done with it. Remember my mantra, “One and Done!” This way, you have less chance of forgetting to cut your food into small bites as the meal progresses and you get distracted.

2. Use small plates and smallest utensils

Take a small bite of food using a tiny fork or spoon. Invest in baby utensils or cocktail forks and spoons. Small portions and small bites look adequate when eaten off of small plates and utensils.

3. Put your fork down between bites and put your hands down in your lap. Another mantra for you: “Fork Down, Hands Down!”

4. Chew your food thoroughly to applesauce consistency. If you like to count your chews, use 25-30 chew per bite (25-30 cpb)

5. Insert a Pause. Wait 1 min between bites.
Use a timer on your phone, watch, or clock, or invest in a 1 minute sand timer that you can leave on the table where you eat.

It’s in this pause that you make the decision whether to take another bite or not. Another mantra for you… Wait for it…

… “Master the Pause.”

After 1 minute, decide if you need to take another bite. If so, go back to Step 2 and Repeat. Continue repeating the process until you feel full.

Mindful eating means you never decide in advance how much you’re going to eat. Rather, you evaluate how you feel after every single bite and gauge whether or not you should take the next bite.

Why to Eat Mindfully?

It’s the only way to determine the “right” portion sizes.

Your new stomach will tell you when you’ve had enough. And “enough” will vary depending on the texture of food you’re eating and how long ago your surgery was.

If you eat too fast and mindlessly, you’ll miss the “cues” that you’re full and wind up overfilling your stomach…

…and possibly vomiting…or feeling really awful anyway.

Learning how to eat mindfully means paying full attention to the physical cues you get while eating and getting to know the first sensations of “full”…

…then stopping.

When you practice mindful eating, you pay more attention to how much food it takes to make you feel full vs. trying to eat a particular amount.

Practice stopping when you’re full regardless of whether you eat 1 Tablespoon or 1 cup of food. Avoid forcing yourself to eat a particular amount because you think it’s the “right amount.”

See my short video for a reminder of How To Eat Mindfully and to practice mindfully eating with me!

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