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Tijuana Bariatric Center Blog

Complications of Overeating After Bariatric Surgery

A healthy Mediterranean dietWhen you undergo any sort of bariatric surgery procedure, the size of your stomach is drastically reduced. This helps limit calorie consumption, allowing a person to lose a lot of weight. This can also lead to an adjustment period for the patient as they figure out the limits of their appetite. Overeating after bariatric surgery is a common issue in the first weeks after surgery, and it can lead to some problems.

The weight loss surgery experts at our Tijuana, MX practice would like to consider the side effects of overeating after a bariatric procedure. We’ll note the causes of overeating as well, and then offer some insight into how overeating can be properly managed.

What Happens When Bariatric Patients Overeat?

When a bariatric surgery patient eats too much, their small stomach pouch is stretched to capacity. This leads to a number of immediate complications, such as:

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gas
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid reflux/GERD
  • Dumping syndrome

In the long term, frequent overeating can stretch out the size of your stomach, effectively undoing the calorie restriction benefits of the bariatric surgery.

What Is Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping syndrome is a common term many people hear before and after they undergo bariatric surgery. Dumping syndrome occurs when large chunks of food wind up getting dumped into the small intestine before it is properly digested in the stomach. This results in the abdominal discomfort and dizziness noted above.

Why Do I Keep Overeating?

Many people continue to overeat after bariatric surgery because of old habits and/or their psychological relationship with food.

If you are used to eating a lot, you will need to modify your old behaviors and adapt to the decreased stomach capacity you now have.

Similarly, you will need to alter your emotional relationship with food. While binge eating might have been a source of comfort in the past, new behaviors will need to be used to offer the comfort you seek.

Chew Slowly and Savor Your Food

To avoid overeating, always chew slowly and really savor your food. Your brain takes a bit longer to register that you’re full than your stomach, so it’s a good idea to eat slowly at all times so you know exactly when to stop eating another bite.

Drink Water Between Meals Rather Than During

Water can fill up your stomach before you eat any food. During meals, be sure to just focus on the food you’re eating. Drink water between your meals to avoid stuffing yourself and really make the most of the nutrition your body needs.

Work on Portion Control

Try to consider smaller portions of food than you ate in the past. Eating less and eating slower is a sure way to make sure you’re full and avoid dumping syndrome and other problems. Get to know your body’s needs.

Save Food for Later If You Are Full

Once you’re full, don’t force yourself to finish more than you can handle. Box it up and save it for later. Leftovers are great for a snack.

Consider Speaking with a Counselor or Therapist

Since you may have a psychological attachment to food that needs to be addressed, be sure to speak with a mental health specialist about your issues. They can help you develop new habits and behaviors that improve your relationship to food, find fulfillment in other activities, and prevent you from overeating.

Contact Tijuana Bariatric Center

For more information about your diet and overall wellness after undergoing surgery, be sure to contact the weight loss experts at Tijuana Bariatric Center. We will offer insight and advice to keep you as healthy and as happy as possible in the years ahead.

Tagged In: Bariatric Surgery, Diet, Side Effects

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