You’re tired of feeling frustrated with dieting, losing and regaining even more weight. You have decided to make the call for a Gastric Procedure and finally get the weight off once and for all. But you also hear stories of people regaining weight after the initial weight loss post surgery. What if it happens to you? I encourage you to consider the following before making your decision.
If you know you binge or compulsively eat when you’re stressed, anxious, angry, depressed, make sure you have learned how to manage these emotions with a mental health professional specializing in Eating Disorders before your procedure.
2. Are you experiencing diarrhea, constipation, bloated feeling, heartburn…..?
You may have an imbalance in gut bacteria, a gut infection and/or inadequate digestive acid and enzymes. These are signs that you are having trouble digesting, absorbing and using the nutrients from the food you eat. Resolve these so you can digest foods and use all the nutrients from the food you eat and supplements you may need to take.
3. Do you feel deprived when dieting?
Years of “on and off” dieting can lead to rigid thinking around food that leads to restricting followed by overeating the foods labeled as “bad”. It’s important to challenge this thinking before a gastric procedure since the volume of foods you can eat after the procedure is much smaller and you may not tolerate other foods you enjoy.
4. Do you have a history of addictive behavior in your family?
If yes, make sure food hasn’t played an “addictive” role in your life. Brain biochemistry and neurotransmitter imbalances can lead to addictions crossing over to other substances or behaviors when a person cannot use food.
You may use food to reward yourself or just simply enjoy the taste, texture and the social connection around food. A post-procedure diet will limit the types of foods and quantities you can eat. Make sure you have other ways of finding joy in your life.
6. Have you had your thyroid, cortisol, insulin and sex hormones checked?
Before you make changes to your stomach, make sure there are no hormonal imbalances that may be affecting your moods and your eating. If these remain in imbalance then this will sabotage your post-procedure recovery.
Finally, if you have decided a procedure is the best option for weight loss- meet with your Gastric surgeon and ask about professional nutrition and emotional/behavioral support after surgery. Adjusting to post-procedure life can be mentally, emotionally, nutritionally challenging. Find Facebook and other Social Media groups of post-procedure patients for additional support. It is vital that you establish this before your procedure to ease the transition to your post-procedure life.