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Tips for not obsessing about food



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I'm early in the process and trying to lose weight prior to surgery as my surgeon has asked me to do. I know I'm among friends here who know exactly how a mind like mine works. So I'd love to hear whatever tips you have that have worked for you, even temporarily, for this simple question...

How do I stop obsessing about food?

Even when I'm eating well, way too much of my time is spent wondering when I'll be able to eat again and thinking about that next meal. Right now I'm at work, focused on work, watching a show, and still, my mind every couple of minutes drifts off to my desire to eat. If anyone has any advice for this specific difficulty, I'd appreciate it. Because if I keep thinking about it, eventually, I'm probably going to give in.

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It's really hard. I still think about food (especially sweets!) more often than I'd like

If you are pre surgery, I suggest eating more Protein and fewer carbs. For many people eating simple carbs like bread, crackers, Pasta, rice, etc or sweets like Cookies and ice cream, can cause cravings for more of these things. I found that fruit did not cause these issues for me, nor did artificial sweeteners. But your mileage may vary...

I would keep a drink in your hand and drink when you want to eat. It helps a bit. Also, I find that I think about food more when I'm bored, or doing something I don't like, like work!

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If you are a sugar/food addict you will have cravings. Once you obtain from your trigger foods, the craving will pass after a withdrawal period that lasts only a week or two. If you eat even a small qualtity of sugar, flour, rice, potatoes, or processed foods the cravings will probably return and you'll have to go through withdrawal all over again. It gets much easier if you are abstaining.

If you don't know if you are a sugar/food addict (or if you suspect you are), I recommend the following books:

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This is something that the surgery really changed for me. Somehow having most of my stomach removed cured my food obsession (maybe due to reduction of ghrelin production). I no longer find myself focusing on when I can next eat. I still have the occasional craving, but they are manageable now and not overpowering. Not everyone has this experience, so I'm not predicting it will be the same for you. Just saying that things may change post-op. Best of luck!

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Distraction. Play your favorite game. Participate in your favorite hobby, activity, whatever. Keep your mind/body busy. If you find yourself obsessing about food, get up and do something.

Keep yourself distracted and you won't have time to... Squirrel!

Good luck,

Tek

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Thank you for all the advice. I had a pretty successful day at work. Try to stay distracted and also stayed away from some trigger foods. Hopefully home goes just as well.

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Does your program require you to visit a therapist? Many have found success managing their craving as a result of seeing a therapist. They will support you as you work through what drives you to eat & help you develop strategies to manage the cravings. Ask for a recommendation from your medical team/surgeon to one who has experiences with bariatric patients.

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Watching a show could be the problem. I had to stop watching tv until after my surgery. I can’t believe once you have to stop thinking about food just how many food advertisements there. People don’t even have a chance.

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1 hour ago, Arabesque said:

Does your program require you to visit a therapist? Many have found success managing their craving as a result of seeing a therapist. They will support you as you work through what drives you to eat & help you develop strategies to manage the cravings. Ask for a recommendation from your medical team/surgeon to one who has experiences with bariatric patients.

I did see a psychologist but it was just making sure I'm mentally fit. Thanks for suggestion, I will definitely consider it.

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On 11/19/2021 at 1:12 PM, Tyler79 said:

Watching a show could be the problem. I had to stop watching tv until after my surgery. I can’t believe once you have to stop thinking about food just how many food advertisements there. People don’t even have a chance.

Oh, yeah the ads can be terrible. It’s why I record or stream almost every tv program I watch these days. Funny though I’ve been able to watch quality cooking/baking shows without a problem from the beginning (Great British Menu, Great British Bake-off, Top Chef, MasterChef, etc.) but ads for fast food & high fat, high sugar, etc. foods actually turn my tummy now. Social media can be terrible too.

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9 hours ago, Arabesque said:

Oh, yeah the ads can be terrible. It’s why I record or stream almost every tv program I watch these days. Funny though I’ve been able to watch quality cooking/baking shows without a problem from the beginning (Great British Menu, Great British Bake-off, Top Chef, MasterChef, etc.) but ads for fast food & high fat, high sugar, etc. foods actually turn my tummy now. Social media can be terrible too.

I agree - the cooking shows don't make me crave food, but on the rare occasions I have to see commercials (like at a hotel, although I rarely watch TV there) it's ridiculous how the food looks so much better than it does in real life!

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