Mindful Eating Post-Surgery
After weight loss surgery, the amount of food you can ingest comfortably is greatly reduced. However, training your body and mind to eat less may prove to be difficult at first. Being mindful of your eating habits will help you eat smaller portions while making your dining experience more pleasurable.
Post-surgery, you’ll be given specific dieting guidelines regarding liquefied, pureed and soft foods, but eventually you’ll return to eating normal food. It’s at this point when mindfulness can provide you with the most benefit.
How to Eat Mindfully
Just like its name implies, mindful eating suggests that you become acutely aware of your food, both on the plate and in your body. Really try to understand the food as you take a bite. Chew slowly; savor the taste and texture. You may find it easier to think about your meal this way if you rid yourself of all distractions, which can be hard to do when we live in a world where technology is constantly beeping and buzzing. However, those things will be there when you’ve finished eating. For now, try to sit quietly and slowly enjoy your food. Try to take at least twenty minutes to eat your meal. This will give you enough time to chew your food thoroughly.
Understand that you’re providing fuel for your body. Food is not a reward or something to turn to when you’re bored. It’s a necessity. Don’t go very long between meals. Post-bariatric surgery, it’s suggested that you eat three meals and two protein snacks a day, so space them out accordingly.
The Benefits of Mindful Eating
- Understanding when you’re full. Often, our brain doesn’t realize that we’re full until after we’ve been full for several minutes. This is a problem if you eat quickly, but if you’re eating mindfully, you’ll realize that you’re full sooner. After bariatric surgery your sensation of fullness may be different than it was before. Take time to recognize the new sensations.
- Improve your digestion. Chewing your food for longer periods and more thoroughly will insure that it’s the proper consistency for digestion.
- Feel satisfied with less. By savoring each bite, you’ll be enjoying more of the meal with less of the food.
- Reduce chances of over-eating. Knowing when you’re full and feeling satisfied can help prevent you from eating more food than you would otherwise and experiencing discomfort such as nausea and vomiting. .