Portions not Sensation
The lifestyle you must learn to live after Lap-band surgery is pretty straight forward. Below are directions about how to eat with the Lap-band after you have healed (approximately six weeks after surgery). It won't be too long and you will become comfortable with the band and your new lifestyle. You wont' be alone. You will have a lifetime of support from new friends that also have had Lap-band surgery.
The lap band allows you to feel satisfied with less. This means if you eat a small portion of food, and the band is adjusted, you will be satisfied. This does not mean to eat until you are full. Start measuring out portions in the early stages to get your eyes use to the amount you will be eating. If you eat until you are full you will overeat. When you leave the table you will probably feel hungry, but that is not real hunger.
Measure your portions
2-4 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry for lunch and dinner and a half cup of vegetables. Measure your meat and vegetables out. Do not force it if you cannot eat it. If you cannot eat that much, that is ok. Start by measuring your meat carefully. It will allow you to cut your portions into a small bite size and get you to where you can "eyeball" your portions later.
Soft foods and Liquid Calories will defeat the Lap-band
Starbucks coffee, high calorie liquids, ice cream, mashed potatoes, and other forms of soft foods will inhibit weight loss. You can learn to drink coffee without cream and sugar, honest. You can learn to have vegetables more than potatoes -- it will get you to where you want to go. Besides, regular coffee is cheaper than Starbucks latte.
Drink slowly with meals
After you body has accepted your Lap-band and has normalized, you can drink small swallows of non carbonated fluids while eating. Drinking this way will moisten food and may help to avoid food sticking in your band. Carbonated beverages will force food into the lower pouch and make you feel hungry sooner. The band is a tool, and the purpose is to feel satisfied for a long time.
Slow small and easy...
...this is the rule for eating. Take your time. Measure your portions. Small bites, and take it easy. Enjoy food. Here are a few tips: use a smaller plate. Use smaller forks, like a salad fork. Consider chop sticks (ever see someone use chop sticks who can lose weight). Take your time eating.
Productive Burps and sliming
(not your usual dinner time conversation): If you burp up food, or if you create a lot of slime it meant that you ate too fast, too much, or something became stuck. This is your body's way of trying to fix the problem. It should be a wake up call to you to change behavior. Rarely something that gets stuck can cause the stomach to swell, and you may not be able to eat solids for a little while. To avoid the productive burps and the sliming -- eat slowly, cut the food into smaller pieces, and chew well.
Some Foods Stick and some really stick:
Dry chicken sticks -- a lot. Chicken may be lathered in sauce, or found in a soup, but the consistency of the chicken is still dry and fibrous. Be careful. This can become stuck. Dark meat of chicken works better. Other foods that become stuck include breads, pasta, sticky rice and eggs that are scrambled and have the consistency of rubber (hard boiled eggs and pouched eggs work well -- the problem with pouched eggs is making sure you are not caught).
The band only lasts so long so plan
If you are going to be a long time between lunch and dinner, plan on a snack. It is better to plan a snack, then to try and avoid temptation. Some like to carry a piece of fruit, or a Southbeach bar, or some other snack that allows you to fill up between meals. The band should hold you for three or four hours-- after that you have to depend on water loading.
How long between not how much
We judge whether you need a fill by how long between meals that you have real hunger, not by how much you can eat. If you overeat -- that is eat more than your portion, you will defeat the band. If you become hungry between meals, chronically -- you need a fill. We would rather you eat another small meal than eat more for a single meal. It is better to get your eyes and brain used to smaller portions.