Eating habits and weight loss surgery

Eating habits and weight loss surgery

Eating too fast can be a big problem especially pre weight loss surgery. Why? Well because when we eat too quickly we are not able to recognise the signals that tell us we are full and we end up eating too much. Post-surgery if we eat too quickly we can experience huge discomfort. This habit can become very ingrained over the years and prove challenging to break.

So how do we overcome this bad habit? Well here are a few strategies that can help:

Eat with a knife and fork or fork and spoon and put them both down between mouthfuls or each bite. Count slowly to sixty or watch the second hand on a clock rotate for 60 seconds before taking your next bite. Meanwhile chew your food really slowly and thoroughly about twenty times. Savour the flavour and consider the texture … in other words be mindful of what you are eating.

Sit down, ideally at a table in a relaxed manner and enjoy each bite of food that you take. Don’t watch TV, read or drive when eating. There is a tendency to eat faster when you are trying to do something else at the same time.

Set a timer or watch the clock elapse 20 minutes. Try and make your meal last for this duration because it takes your stomach 15-20 minutes to send a signal to the brain to say you are full.

If you know that you tend to eat too fast (and always finish well ahead of everyone else) then consider eating smaller mouthfuls by using a child’s set of cutlery or pair of chopsticks to slow things down. Alternatively, if you are right-handed, try eating with your left hand, and vice versa. The unfamiliarity and awkwardness will slow down your pace and enable you to enjoy the taste and texture of your meal.

Most of us recognise the eating habits of others but not ourselves. To engage with our own, try occasionally to eat in front of a mirror. This can help you to visualise how big your bites actually are and how fast you seem to be eating.

Finally, before you make a start to your meal, try waiting for a minute and during that time commit yourself, in your mind, to eat slowly and mindfully. As time passes, watch out for the signals that say you’ve eaten enough and are full … then stop!

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