How to eat with a gastric band

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The gastric band is a great procedure and has been helping people manage their weight for over 20 years. The keys to success with the band are to have the band correctly placed, to have proper adjustments, to eat the right foods and to eat them in the right way.

When you choose a specialist weight loss provider the first two points are usually taken care of (band placed correctly and responsible adjustments). Choosing the right foods is fairly straightforward and this blog is focused on the last part – how to eat with a gastric band.

This is probably the single biggest factor that you control in achieving band success. So, how should you eat with a gastric band?

It’s really about finding a way to slow down your eating so that you stop eating when you are no longer hungry, rather than when you are full. What’s the difference, you may ask? Well, there is a point before we are full when we are satisfied and no longer hungry. The thing is that we generally eat large mouthfuls and eat them so quickly that we pass the ‘no longer hungry’ phase and go straight to ‘full’.

A great way to recognise the ‘no longer hungry’ stage is to use an egg timer when eating your meals. Studies have shown that this increases weight loss results. Here’s how it works:

  1. First, take a morsel of food (morsel not mouthful – a morsel is generally regarded as being the size of a 50p piece)
  2. Chew carefully for 15-20 seconds
  3. Swallow
  4. Wait 30 seconds (turn the 30 second egg timer over)
  5. Take the next morsel
  6. Chew
  7. Continue to repeat the process until you are no longer hungry

If you have a band and can learn these eating habits, your chances of hitting your target weight are increased.

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Van Patel

Van is an expert dietician and is committed to guiding bariatric surgery patients throughout their journey

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