Eating slowly is important for all of us, but it is especially vital after gastric bypass surgery. It takes a while for your stomach to send ‘fullness signals’ to your brain, thereby reducing your appetite for food. This is why one is often inclined to feel overly full when you have been starving and have gobbled your meal.

After a gastric bypass, slow eating is essential for the following reasons:

If you eat slowly, you are going to be chewing your food properly, ensuring that you do not swallow lumps of food, which could get stuck in your stomach or small intestine.

Eating too fast can bring on an attack of dumping syndrome-this is extremely unpleasant, and will result in you feeling very ill for a number of hours.

Here are some tips to slow down the speed at which you are eating:

  1. Put your fork or spoon down once you have taken a mouthful of food, and do not ‘reload’ it until you have finished chewing and swallowed the food.
  2. Use smaller utensils to eat with-teaspoons and cake forks.
  3. Try eating with chopsticks.
  4. Keep an eye on your watch or a timer and challenge yourself by trying to make each meal take a little longer than the previous one did.
  5. Pace yourself by observing how fast the people around you are eating….always try being the last person to finish at mealtimes.

Make sure that you are not eating when distracted e.g. turn off the TV, shut down your screens and be present, in the moment, and enjoy your food!

ARTICLE BY: Claire McMahon-Dietician

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