Portion Control is Key to Keeping Weight Off after Surgery

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Having weight loss surgery is just the first step toward a new, healthier lifestyle. Part of that new lifestyle will be related not only to what you eat but how much you eat because the surgery affects the size of your stomach.

Portion control is important because you need eat enough to get the proper nutrients, but you also need to know when to stop to keep from overeating and potentially gaining the weight back. Ultimately, with your doctor or dietitian, you will work out the specifics of your diet, but the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH) gives these general guidelines regarding how much to eat immediately after your surgery:

  • You should only eat liquid or pureed food for two to three weeks, slowly adding soft foods before moving back into regular food.
  • You will probably get full very quickly – even after just a few bites. Make sure to stop eating when you feel full. Your pouch – the part of your body that is altered during bariatric surgery – will get slightly larger over time.
  • Even when your pouch gets larger, it will not hold more than about a cup of chewed food, while a normal stomach can hold up to four cups of chewed food.

Once you are ready to eat solid food again, it will be very important to watch how much you eat in order to successfully continue on your weight loss journey. Learning ways to enjoy a meal while keeping your portions under control will help, according the NIH.

At Home

You don’t have to measure portions for the rest of your life, according to the NIH. Instead, the goal is to be able to generally recognize portion sizes. You can always invest in a kitchen scale, and the NIH also suggests:

  • Choosing fruit or single-serving pre-packaged items when you do snack. You can also divide bags of large snacks into single-serving packages yourself.
  • Freezing food that you are not serving right away so you won’t be tempted to eat more.
  • Reviewing food labels and putting only a serving-size amount into a separate bowl instead of eating straight from the package.
  • Trying to eat meals at regular times and limiting snacks.
  • Using smaller dishes, bowls and glasses.

Dining Out

It can sometimes be a little tougher to know how much you’re eating when you’re dining out, but that doesn’t mean you should give it up. The NIH suggests these tips for portion control at a restaurant:

  • Avoid ordering large drinks
  • Don’t eat your whole meal; immediately box up half of it to take home or share with someone else. Ordering a half-size portion is also an option
  • Look for menu items listed as low-calorie or “fit fare”
  • Stop eating when you start to feel full

Controlling your portions will eventually become second nature to you, which will make it easier to still enjoy all your favorite foods, just in moderation.

For more information about portion control, talk with your physician or visit Premier Weight Loss Solutions.

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