Eating with Lap-band surgery questions and answers – portion size

What is the correct portion of food for a Lap-band surgery patient?  What are the signals your body gives to tell you when to stop eating? Should you rely on your body’s signals to tell you when?  These are some of the questions you must remember the answer to so you can master living with Lap-band surgery.  Dr. Simpson makes remembering everything you need to know about the device as easy as it possibly can be.

Successful Lap-band patients consume a portion of food and walk away

The total portion size being no more than: four ounces of protein (meat, fish, or poultry), and no more than six ounces of vegetables (excluding corn or potatoes).

The Lap-band does not stop you from eating more food

In fact, many weight loss surgery patients could eat more food. The device’s job is to take that small amount of food that you consume, and allow it to stimulate the hypothalamus (a primitive part of the brain that regulates appetite, hormones, and fat stores).

Lap-band surgery patients who stop when they feel full…

…are eating beyond what the device is meant for. For many, this means you will not lose the weight you need to. For some, constantly challenging their device with more and more food may lead to slips or stretching of the pouch or the esophagus.

If you have some other signal to tell you when you are full…

…you might check to see when that signal kicks in. For many, that signal may kick in after you have had more than you should.  So, you should eat less than this.

When do successful Lap-band surgery patients determine they need a fill?

When they find that they become hungry between meals.  Not when they can eat more.  Not when they can consume things they normally couldn’t.  Not when they do not feel a “restriction.”

Lap-band surgery works by suppressing appetite…

…not stopping you from eating.  Give the Lap-band a chance.  Eat a small portion and walk away.  You may be hungry and feel as if you can eat more when you leave the table, but you will soon discover that you will be satisfied with a smaller amount.  Remember, if you are hungry when you leave the table after eating a small portion it isn’t real hunger – it is your mind, or your eyes, wanting to consume more.

Here are a few tips that successful Lap-band surgery patients do:

Use a small plate to measure their food.  This you feel less deprived. Did you know that in the 1920’s the dinner plates they used were the size of the salad/bread plates used today?  Did you know that the dinner plates used today were the platters they used then to feed an entire family?

Use a small fork (We will give you one).  This helps you eat smaller bites.  Eating larger bites too fast is not a good habit to get into.

Eat slowly – It should take you twenty to thirty minutes to finish.  If you finish before 20 minutes you are eating too fast.  If you still have food on your plate after 30 minutes you need to throw the food out (really, it is ok). Enjoy the food. Savor the food. If you eat slower you will enjoy the food more, and you will feel “fullness” more than if you eat fast. Weight loss surgery patients who eat too fast have a higher rate of slips, can over consume easily, and enjoy food less.