WLS Questions: How to Tell Family Why You Can’t Graze

Steph Wagner

June 10, 2015

Video - WLS Questions: How to Tell Your Family Why You Can't Graze After Weight-loss Surgery

I was really excited when a follower made a specific request for this video. I’m always ready for request on video topics because it means I’m answer the questions patients actually have!

This question comes from a WLS patient who has loved ones that don’t understand her new eating plan. How do you tell family and friends – out of love- why you have the make these changes AND how they can help support you in that?

All Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding patients needs to have a game plan on how to talk to family about their new lifestyle. You can never have too much support when it comes to this journey!

Transcipt –

WLS Tips – How to Tell Your Family Why You Shouldn’t Be Grazing

Hi I’m Steph Wagner, Bariatric Dietitian on FoodCoach.Me

This video comes to you as a request from a follower who’s family, as well well-intentioned as they are, cannot understand why she shouldn’t be grazing and how they can best support her in that.

Can anyone relate to this? The postop bariatric life is on that can be very confusing to those who don’t have to live it. I imagine it’s like someone with a severe food allergy. If you don’t have to live your life with food allergies, how can you really understand what it’s like to be someone who does?

Your life after weight-loss surgery really isn’t all that different than having a bad food allergy. Some foods make you really sick. And if they don’t make you sick, they may cause weight re-gain and gaining weight can be hard on your health and make you sick. So…in a way…you have an allergy to foods high in starches and sugars.

But your family may not see it that way. It’s hard for them to understand just how serious you need to take your eating plan. They may see it as you being on a diet, and they’re used to you breaking your diet or they break their own diets…because to many…diets are meant to be broken. Explaining, out of love just how important you new lifestyle and eating plan is, will be very important for family to know how to best support you.

My biggest suggestion when it comes to family and friends adjusting to your new way of life is that you need to educate and teach them why you now eat the way you do. This is helpful in a lot of ways. If you have to explain why you do something to someone else, it actually helps YOU to understand why you do something. Instead of “oh they just told me not too” make sure you really understand why we make the recommendations we make. We always have a reason for telling you to change something. Do YOU yourself know what those reasons are?

When you have a good grasp on why you need to eat this new way, schedule a time to sit down with a friend or a family member and have a good heart to heart on how they can best support you. Maybe your family member or friend is genuinely trying to sabotage you. In my experience, it’s often times not that they want you to fail, it’s that they don’t understand they have a role in you succeeding.

Maybe you have a family meeting and you talk to everyone at once about what your surgery is, and why you eat differently afterwards. Maybe you need to take a friend to coffee and sit them down and say, I’d love to tell you more what I’m going through and ask for your help and support in this area. I know if a friend sat me down and asked for help and support, I would be honored they asked me and I would join them in encouraging and supporting them through their season of change. They’ve invited me to be a part of it and now I feel like I’m on their team.

SO, to answer to original question. Why should you not graze after weight-loss surgery. Do you know the answer? If you think you do, I would encourage you to pause this video and try to answer for yourself, then hit play and see how well you did. It’s always good for you to have a refresher.

Here’s my answer. Whether you’ve had Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass or Gastric Banding surgery you now have a different anatomy than you did before. I use this visual of a tube to picture your stomach pouch. Before surgery, you had a small muscle at the bottom of your stomach and that muscle would keep food in your stomach until it was time for food to move through to the small intestine. With the sleeve, that muscle is no longer intact or in use, in the bypass, we bypass around that muscle and you don’t use it anymore and with the band we are trying to keep food in your band for fullness instead of using that muscle. So there is no longer a gate keeper at the bottom of your stomach which means the wrongs foods at the wrongs times can move right through your stomach. You get all the calories with getting full.

So, the textures of foods are very important. Soft, high carb foods go right through your stomach but don’t keep you full. You get hungry very quickly. Drinking with your meals also empties your stomach quickly. If you are grazing through the day, you are probably not getting the restriction that your stomach could be providing had you sat down and ate an actual meal. If you take more than 30 minutes to eat something, that first bite is on it’s way out and your still going. Grazing means you are a bottomless pit and can get calories in all day long without getting full.

If you find yourself hungry in between meals, it could be lots of things. You need more water. You ate too soft of a meal that didn’t stay with you or you didn’t focus on the lean solid protein at your meals. Could be you ate too fast or too big of bites. Hunger control is a whole other story and is a video series I have available for Premier Access Members.

I hope this clears things up a little bit, but I do think education friends and family is a huge piece of your success. There’s no stopping a patient who is very well supported and surrounded by cheerleaders.

Thank for watching, I’m Steph Wagner and remember to chose better food for a better life.

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