Always feeling hungry after gastric sleeve surgery… Or any weight loss surgery for that matter…gastric bypass or band?
It can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening, especially when you were told that hunger would be a thing of the past.
Well, don't fret! As a professional in this field, I can assure you this is a common issue that many patients just like you experience after bariatric surgery. I’m here to help you get your hunger under control!
The first step is to understand the difference between…
Physical hunger, is the body's natural response to needing food, whereas emotional hunger is driven by your emotions and cravings.
So, if you find yourself constantly hungry after gastric sleeve, bypass, or band, it's important to identify if it's truly:
My tips on learning the difference between the two are sure to help!
If you're dealing with physical hunger, the solution is simple: choose foods and habits that will keep your stomach feeling full and satisfied for as long as possible.
Here are the top ways to do just that:
It's no secret that staying hydrated is key to weight loss, but did you know that drinking even more a day can keep hunger at bay?
That's right, if you’re already hitting the standard 64 oz recommendation, aim for 96-128 oz daily! (Obviously aim for 64 oz if you’re not there yet).
And don't worry about feeling like a water balloon, it's all part of the plan. When you’re full on fluids, your stomach doesn’t growl like a hungry lion.
one is a bit tricky because who doesn't love washing down a delicious meal with
a cold drink?
But, if you're trying to alleviate physical hunger, it's best to avoid drinking anything 15-ish minutes before and after you eat anything solid. This way, your stomach can properly digest the food before it's washed away by a flood of liquid.
Think of it like trying to build a sandcastle at high tide! It doesn’t end well.
Protein is the ultimate hunger-fighting nutrient because it takes
longer to digest than carbohydrates. It's like the superhero of hunger-busting,
keeping you full for hours after you eat it.
Back to the sandcastle again: If you’ve built a sandcastle, the slower the ocean washes it away, the longer you get to enjoy it.
I promise...if you focus on eating protein at each meal, you won’t’ feel as hungry after gastric sleeve, or bypass or band. So, next time you're at the grocery store, stock up on the best lean proteins, and:
When it comes to protein foods, not all are created equally. Texture matters and liquid and mushy soft proteins just doesn't cut it.
they may be suitable during the post op healing phase, but once you're past
that, it's time to upgrade to solid, food-based protein.
Think chicken breast, lean ground meats, turkey breast, salmon, and lean steak. These solid and dense options take up more space and take longer to digest, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
Sooooo, if you're looking to alleviate physical hunger, skip the protein shakes (if you're well past recovery) and opt for a chicken breast instead.
Note: Solid dense proteins are usually harder to eat than liquids and solids. My tips on eating mindfully will help ensure you get them down.
Mealtime should be like clockwork. If you go tooooo long without eating, it leads to feeling overly hungry and making emotional decisions. (Seems obvious, right?!)
The best way to control hunger is to stay ahead of the curve.
Think of it like taking medicine, you don't wait for the pain to kick in, you take it regularly to prevent the pain in the first place. Same goes for hunger, so stay ahead of the curve by eating at regular, planned intervals.
At bare minimum, have a tentative mealtime schedule in mind; know at what time (even if it's approximate) you’ll eat throughout the day. Added bonus: Eating regularly keeps you from overeating too!
If you're always feeling hungry after gastric sleeve, bypass, or band, take a hard look at what you've been eating. Have you strayed from the "protein first" strategy and slipped back into eating sweets or carb-y convenience foods?
If so, you're not alone. It's fairly common because let's be real, the protein gets boring, and it isn't that convenient. However, even though this may be the case...
Processed carbs and sweets are a no-go….they’re addicting. Not only do you get a sugar high, feel great for a little while, then crash and crave more sugar...
...they leave you feeling hungry soon after eating.
To manage your hunger after bariatric surgery, steer clear of processed carbs and sweets and opt for lean protein, vegetables, and quality carbs instead. You will have a noticeable decrease in hunger. Scouts honor.
By following these 6 tips, you'll be able to keep your stomach full and satisfied, and finally put an end to your bottomless pit syndrome!
takes time, so it's important to be patient and kind to yourself :)