Weight loss surgery is a remarkable step forward for patients seeking effective, healthy weight loss, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, millions of patients around the world take years to adjust to the lifestyle changes that come with bariatric surgery.
One of the hardest changes is dealing with food cravings. A new diet is a key part of successful weight loss, but it’s always a challenge to silence the little voice begging for sweets. If you are facing food cravings after weight loss surgery, we have a few tips to help you overcome them.
1. Focus Your Attention Elsewhere
Most food cravings after weight loss surgery aren’t related to hunger; they’re a fixation on pleasurable experiences. In many cases, cravings are for comfort food. This won’t help you to lose weight. These items are usually very sweet, salty, or rich, which can be a bad combination with weight loss surgery.
Instead of giving in, stay on track by shifting your focus to something else that can consume your attention, like a phone call with family members or some chores around the hosue. By staying busy, you can wait out your cravings until they subside. Most experts suggest that it only takes around 5 minutes of distraction to get past a craving.
2. Get Moving
There’s no better way to take your mind off of a pesky food craving than exercise. With the ability to increase endorphin levels, clear your mind, and keep you occupied, you’ll be able to forget your cravings and move on with your day.
A workout doesn’t have to be long or involved; a brisk 10 minute walk can be all it takes to focus your energy elsewhere. In addition, physical activity can provide you the same comfort, relaxation, and feel-good endorphins that you were seeking from a food craving fix.
3. Avoid Temptation
Putting yourself in a position to have access to fast food or unhealthy snacks makes it much easier to break the rules. Will power has been shown to be a finite resource throughout the day. Thus, the way to set yourself up for success is to simply avoid temptation.
Instead of driving by your favorite bakery on the way home, take an alternate route. Don’t purchase unhealthy food at the store. By removing temptation, you’re more likely to stay strong long term against cravings after weight loss surgery.
4. Find Creative Substitutes
When the cravings become too strong, a stand in may be enough to satisfy your hunger. For example, if you can’t stop thinking about having a soft drink, a soda water with a splash of juice can be a healthier alternative. Frozen fruit or homemade fruit juice popsicles can stand in for ice cream, and properly prepped zucchini noodles can feed your cravings for pasta.
Here are some other creative substitution ideas.
Eating after bariatric surgery takes a change in habits, but with willpower and perseverance, it’s possible to curb your cravings and keep yourself on the road to a healthier future. To learn more about fighting cravings after weight loss surgery and to see what the Olde Del Mar Surgical team can do for you.