When it comes to diet and managing weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery, it can be difficult to choose the best approach for you.

You probably weren’t given a handbook on how to manage the constant feeling of hunger after gastric sleeve surgery. You are not alone. Most patients don’t know how to control hunger and cravings which can quickly lead to yo-yo dieting, failing exercise and diet plans, and eating more and more each day.

Gastric sleeve surgery is the most popular weight-loss operation today. And even after undergoing surgery and being equipped with this excellent tool, it is always good to have some guidance.

The sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve, creates a smaller stomach and removes hunger hormones to make you full faster and stay full longer.  Unfortunately, hunger doesn’t disappear completely – so you may need to try these techniques to put an end to your constant cravings and desire to overeat.

First off, it is important to recognize and distinguish between stomach hunger versus head hunger.

How to manage hunger after sleeve surgery

I’m Always Hungry After Gastric Sleeve Surgery – What Do I Do?

Are you thinking maybe they didn’t do the surgery right or it “just didn’t work for you?” If you are having this experience, you are not alone. There is no one exact answer for “feeling” hungry post-bariatric surgery because there are probably as many answers as there are people who experience it.

Feeling Hunger After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Stomach Hunger vs Head Hunger

If you think you are hungry – is it stomach hunger or head hunger? During laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy majority of hunger hormones (Ghrelin) located in the upper part of the stomach are removed. Therefore, right after surgery, you may not have any appetite or food cravings.

Hunger after the bariatric operation is unlikely to be a stomach or body hunger. We eat either as a nagging old habit and lifestyle or is caused by emotions like boredom, loneliness, and sadness (head or fake hunger).

Ways to Manage Hunger After Sleeve

Although there are many claims to magical fat-burning properties to certain foods, there are some foods that in combination will promote the “feeling” of satisfaction and stop the physiological feelings of hunger for a longer period of time. The more you follow these three steps the more you will keep the hunger at bay and keep your body in ultimate fat-burning to support you in your weight loss journey.

Tip: One trick is to drink water 45 min before and after each meal to combat head hunger. Also, remember to eat small meals more often and do not skip a meal. Here are 3 other steps:

Getting Enough Protein After Gastric Sleeve - Mexico Bariatric CenterStep 1: Protein Intake

Are you eating enough protein?

Take your ideal healthy weight and divide it by 2.2. This will give you your baseline protein needs; meaning you don’t want to go below this.

For example, if your ideal healthy weight is 150 pounds, your baseline protein needs will be 68 grams of protein. Your goal is to have 35% of your food intake to be from lean protein. For example, a 1200 calorie food plan, your protein intake would be 105 grams.

Step 2: Healthy Fat

Are you getting enough healthy fat?

There are so many misconceptions about fat. People think if I eat more fat it will make me fat; absolutely not true. Because fat actually assists with creating the “feeling” of fullness, the more “healthy fat” you eat the more overall sense of satisfaction you will have from food.

Your goal for balanced eating and for increased fat burning is approximately 35 to 40 percent of your diet coming from fat. For example, a 1200 calorie food plan, your fat intake would be 53 grams per day.

Step 3: Balanced Diet

meal planning after bariatric surgeryIs your diet balanced with resistant starch?

Many of us just ignore any advice as soon as we hear the words “starch” or “carbohydrates”. I am sure you have heard the saying, “not all carbohydrates are created equal“.

Research is showing that resistant starch helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels; both of which can affect the feelings of hunger as well as assisting with a healthy gut and overall healthier immune system. All of which are very important to anyone who has had weight loss surgery.

So what exactly is resistant starch?

This simply means a starch that is not digested in the gut. It is very similar to fiber in the fact that our body cannot break it down or absorb the starch. It just passes through our bodies. The great thing is, it also stops other saturated fats and sugars from being absorbed as well.

There are no guidelines yet for how much resistant starch one should have. The key is to make sure your carbohydrate choices are mostly high in fiber. A good first goal for fiber is 25 grams per day. Food sources high in resistant starch are rolled oats, cashews, beans, lentils, peas, green bananas, and potatoes with skin.

Wrap Up

Remember, surgery is just a tool to support you in reaching your weight loss goals. If you are constantly feeling hungry one of the reasons may be due to unbalanced meal planning which spikes sugar levels, promotes an overproduction of insulin and the bottom line is, it leaves you feeling hungry all the time.

I would love to hear from you! Please share how incorporating these three steps helped you or just share your experience.

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