The goal of bariatric surgery is to do something to the stomach to help you lose weight that makes you feel full faster while eating less food. Myth or fact?
This is a great topic to discuss since it is often a source of confusion when it comes to guiding eating habits after surgery. A lot of people tend to mix up the different sensations that result from eating, fullness and satiety. The feeling of fullness is best thought of as a result of stretching the stomach by food. It is often uncomfortable and is probably best thought of as a punitive response by the body. In contrast, the feeling of satiety is simply the lack of desire to continue eating.
By itself, satiety lacks the uncomfortable bloated sensation that usually accompanies fullness. Think of satiety as the feeling that the body is satisfied that nutrition goals are being met. Since carbohydrates aren’t as essential for overall nutrition, they don’t appear to result in the same level of satiety as proteins and fats. With large amounts of carbohydrates, you can achieve fullness without satiety. Meaning you have that potentially uncomfortable sensation without your body’s nutritional needs being satisfied. Most of us have been accustomed to the feeling of fullness signifying that we’ve eaten enough, but it likely means we’ve eaten too much with the body’s nutritional needs not being met. Therefore, hunger will continue and make it hard to lose weight.
The great thing is that it is also possible to reach the feeling of satiety without being bogged down by feeling full. It is usually achieved by eating the proper mix of nutrients. For most bariatric patients, that typically consists of foods low in carbohydrates since they often get in the way of the more essential proteins and fats.
So, the need to eat until you’re full is a MYTH. The goal of bariatric surgery is actually to change the way the body responds to food, so patients can better achieve satiety, and that leads to better weight loss. Feel free to eat until you’re satisfied, but not until you’re full. If you still feel hungry after you eat, you’re probably not eating the right mix of nutrients, so we should examine what you’re eating, not just the amount.
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