Patients who pursue weight loss surgery are motivated by common factors such as eliminating medications, looks, remission of comorbidities such as high blood pressure or diabetes, and reduction in pain.
The process of preparing for weight loss surgery can feel overwhelming with the number of doctor appointments, tests, and absorbing all of the new information you receive. A natural emphasis is placed on the diet changes required pre-operatively and post-operatively. Meeting with a psychologist to discuss the emotional adjustments required after surgery is a part of your pre-operative preparation. Make sure that your bariatric surgery team is there to support you in all phases of reaching your goals, and to identify trouble areas that can compromise your success.
There has been a lot of research documenting that patients who struggle with emotions and eating prior to surgery continue to struggle after surgery (Chesler, 2011). While surgery and weight loss induce a number of life changes, all stressors you are experiencing in your life right now will not go away after surgery. Surgery will not take away the desire to eat.
We at the Health Travel Guide have been suggesting to practice HALT. It is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. HALT is a popular slogan in recovery communities, the idea is that each of these four conditions, if not taken care of, can lead to relapse. Just ask yourself the questions below:
- “Am I physically hungry?” True hunger is natural. It comes on gradually, grows more intense the longer you go without food, and goes away when you eat. If you are hungry, eat a healthy snack to tide you over until your next meal. If you’re not hungry, continue with the questions.
- “Am I angry?” Eating an entire sleeve of Oreos because you’re mad at your mother, your partner, or your boss may mask your anger, but it won’t get rid of it. Better take a walk.
- “Am I lonely?” No matter how delicious it is, food is no substitute for human companionship.
- “Am I tired?” You can’t make smart choices about food if you’re nodding off.
Breaking Free From Emotional Eating by Geneen Roth
50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers
The Diet Trap by Jason Lillis, JoAnne Dahl, and Sandra M. Weineland
You can read the full article by Jennifer M. Duncan at ObesityHelp here
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us, we are here to help.