How to Correct Overeating After Gastric Bypass

January 11th, 2013 - Posted to Weight Loss

Following gastric bypass surgery, a gradual return to overeating causes people to stop losing weight and even gain weight back.

The gastric bypass does involve the surgical reduction of the stomach size, but with time, stomach tissue can stretch.

The stomach, whose capacity was reduced to a few centiliters in the operation, can gradually expand if it is repeatedly overfilled.

This means the patient can continue to overeat, and this will thwart weight loss progress and may even reverse it. The first thing to do is to identify the problem.

Are You Gaining Weight? Has Weight Loss Slowed Down?

Next, you'll have to examine what you're doing day in, day out. A good way to do this is by meticulously logging food and exercise; this can be tedious, but it's proven to be effective. Often, we'll eat more than we realize; some of us are prone to snacking while watching TV, some of us drink sugary beverages whenever we're driving, some of us have problems avoiding midnight snacks, some of us splurge on candy when stress rises. These, and many other behaviors, can cover up the true amount of food we're taking in. One late evening at work, a school play the next night, and all of a sudden our cooking plans are shot and the force of habit gets weaker.

Once you've identified the problem and its root, it's time to draw up a plan of attack. Our nutritionist is available to discuss eating habits, educate about nutrition, and help you plan meals. You can also call us for general information to help you get back on track, and your weight-loss surgeon is happy to discuss these issues with you when you come in for follow-up appointments.

If you find that you don't eat as well when you're stressed out, sad, or celebrating, there may be an emotional or psychological component to sub-optimal eating habits. All that this means is that you've got a strong mental connection between certain events and food, and that's a primal urge that's really hard to overcome. Dr. Calzadilla, our staff psychologist, can help you analyze what triggers these habits and break the connection. Call us if you'd like to speak to our staff.

Sometimes, gastric bypass patients' ability to feel full after small meals fades with time. This can happen if the stomach, which was made smaller during surgery, gradually stretches back out. The first way to address any post-gastric bypass weight gain is by examining diet and exercise, but sometimes a “tune-up,” or revisional procedure, can be necessary.

Attend Support Groups

Another great way to help keep your diet on track is to attend our support groups. Every month, many of our patients get together to discuss specific issues, swap tips, motivate each other, and share stories. Each time, the room is full of people who know what you're going through because they are going through it now or have recently done so.