July 2021 Monthly Member Live Chat Replay
Answering questions including anxious eating and if you have to chew 25 times forever
Questions and answers mentioned in the live call:
(View this question at minute 2 in the replay.)
I can eat different foods but not much at all. Is this normal? I am getting a little worried.
Every program differs but it is helpful to evaluate if bite sizes are small enough and if you are pausing in between bites to double check you aren’t experiencing “pre-mature fullness” which means get think you are full but are hungry later.
If you are taking small bites (black bean size, pinkie finger nail) and pausing in between each bite and are full with a very small amount, it is not abnormal. There is healing and inflammation on the stomach and moving into more solid protein (chicken breast, hamburger patty) you will feel restriction faster than softer protein (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese).
Ideally you will get to 60 grams of protein a day in food protein which is about 3 ounces at the three meals a day. You may need to supplement with protein shakes until you reach that point.
Portions naturally increase until 6 months post-op so do not be alarmed either when you are able to eat more.
This question is discussed at 2:45 in the video.
My encouragement is to focus on bite sizes more than chewing. While chewing is important, if the emphasis is on chewing tons but the bite is too large it will hit the pouch heavy and cause discomfort, nausea or premature fullness.
Focus on bites the size of a black bean or pinkie finger nail. Chew it a reasonable amount (no need to count it out) and pause in between bites. The size of the bite is important life long.
This question is discussed at 11:00 in the video.
If you haven’t already, find a mental health professional to be on your team. Online resources are available including websites like BetterHelp.com or call the number on the back of your health insurance card to find out about your benefits and who might be in your network.
Activities that engage your parasympathetic system (the ‘calm down’ system of your body) include deep breathing exercises, music with less than 60 beats per minute (yoga music, piano, Enya) and aromatherapy like lavender oil.
It is more helpful to identify the triggers of the anxiety than focusing just on the food. Keep good options on hand (protein chips, herbal teas, sugar free popsicles) but if your body has stress and anxiety going on it is more helpful to find calm down methods.
This question is discussed at 17:30 in the video.
While it is not ‘simple’ the approach I would take it to reduce/eliminate high starch and sweet foods to better identify if the hunger is from the medication or from foods that trigger more hunger (carbohydrate rich foods).
If it were me I would focus on water or water equivalents (flavored water without calories), protein and vegetables and make a push to keep breads, pasta, rice, crackers, chips, sweets held back to better identify which one was causing more hunger. If the steroid is causing hunger, protein is the best tool anyway. If the carbs are making you hungry, it’s likely adding fuel to the fire with both carb carvings and steroids. We feel for you!!!
This question is discussed at 24:00 in the video.
I recommend watching this portion of the video for more of my answer. Recently I sent a survey to bariatric patients regarding support and the number one answer, far and away, was to get your family on board.
Obviously this is a loaded answer and not simple! Refer to this older video about talking with your family (members video) or reach out to a counselor or friend on how to best approach family members in a positive and helpful way.
A special thanks to members who joined us live and for those watching the replay!
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Calls take place the third Sunday of each month at 7:30pm Central. A zoom link is emailed to active members the days leading up to the call. Click here for any questions.