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I had surgery on Monday (22nd) and I was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. The scales show me having gained weight but I’m sure that’s the IV’s they gave me constantly.

My question is, I don’t feel hungry in the typical way as I did prior my sleeve surgery. Instead I feel pain? Or is it just gas? Or is it just surgical pain? How can I tell when I’m hungry and I need to eat?? I never thought eating was going to be so confusing. I don’t want to eat anything, I’m not hungry, but I know I have to eat too. Two days out and it all seems so foreign to me still. Help?

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We’ve all been where you are now. Loss of hunger & appetite is a benefit of the surgery (though there are some who don’t lose their’s) but it can be confusing & difficult to work with it. Aim for three ‘meals’ a day and eat what you can. Don’t force yourself to eat more even if that means you don’t eat all your portion. You’ll get used to leftovers in your fridge you’ll finish at your next meal or the next day. I only drank two ‘meals’ a day during liquids. I diluted everything and just sipped, sipped, sipped until it was finished - usually a couple of hours hence the two meals.

Probably the most challenging part is understanding the difference between real hunger & head hunger especially as many of us were driven by our heads when it came to eating not real hunger. Head hunger isn’t affected by the surgery so it can be a real struggle to manage as it seems almost stronger. Generally, if you’re craving a specific food, flavour or texture that’s head hunger (a craving). If you’re hungry out of boredom, emotions (like stress & worries after the surgery), habit (always snacked by watching tv or after dinner, etc.) that’s also head hunger. If head hunger is making itself known try distracting yourself: read, craft, do a puzzle, ring a friend, go for a walk, sip Water, a cup of tea, or similar.

It takes about 8 weeks for you to be healed after the surgery and this includes your nerves which carry the messages to tell you you’re hungry, had enough or are full. So for a while those messages may not get through or may get through differently and the signals may be different. Like some sneeze, or their nose runs when they’ve eaten enough.

Believe me, when your hunger does come back you’ll wish for the days you didn’t have it.

All the best.

PS - Yes they pump you full of lots of fluids so the scales can show an increase after surgery. You’ll pee it out over a few days.

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yep - most of us lose our sense of hunger for up to a year. I know it seems weird at first, but honestly, I found it very liberating after a while. I was free of "food noise" for the first time in forever! I hoped I'd be one of the very lucky few whose hunger never comes back, but I was not. it came back at five months out. Anyway, yes, norrmal. and take full advantage of that!! It's never going to be easier to lose weight than it will be right now. when you're never hungry and don't give a flip about food!

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This is the best time to start good habits for the future. You probably won't feel hungry for a while, but you will need to eat regularly anyway. Without the distraction of hunger, you can make deliberate choices. Right now, you should have a schedule from your surgeon's office or dietician that tells you what you can eat, how much, and when. Try to follow that as you get used to your body's new cues. If you need more detail, you can check out bariatric cookbooks, but choose ones written by doctors and registered dietitians who specialize in bariatrics. It's a good time to slowly try out new recipes and retrain yourself for small portions.

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One of the biggest adjustments I had to make post op was to eat because I needed to, not because I was hungry. I actually never lost my hunger post op, but in those first few weeks when all you can consume is liquid, it is a struggle to get everything in. As soon as I moved to purees I started eating something every 3 hours when I was awake. Everyone's interval is different. Some can do just 3 times a day, but for me if I got over the 3 hour mark I'd start to get shaky and irritable and completely crash, it was clear I needed food, even if food was just a shake or a Protein yogurt. I'm 6 months post op now and this has eased and I can go a little longer, so I follow my hunger cues more now and mostly eat at normal mealtimes with Snacks if I'm up late or up early. But in the early months I just couldn't do that.

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Thank you all for your input and help! I don’t feel hunger or crave any foods right now. I just want to be left alone and just drink Water when I wish to, eat something when I think I may want to. I’m not getting my calorie intake and no where near my Protein intake. My parents are forcing again and again that I need to drink more and take all my meds etc. I know I need to but I have been taking them spaced out given o can’t just swallow everything at one time, it makes me sick. So anyway, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has no “hunger” out there. Thanks everyone.

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2 hours ago, SpringCleansing said:

Thank you all for your input and help! I don’t feel hunger or crave any foods right now. I just want to be left alone and just drink Water when I wish to, eat something when I think I may want to. I’m not getting my calorie intake and no where near my Protein intake. My parents are forcing again and again that I need to drink more and take all my meds etc. I know I need to but I have been taking them spaced out given o can’t just swallow everything at one time, it makes me sick. So anyway, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has no “hunger” out there. Thanks everyone.

For the first month, hydration is king. Calories are nice. Protein is good. But dehydration is the number one reason for ending up in the hospital post-op. Your family should be told about that. Aim for at least 64 oz a day. You may not get that at first, but after a few weeks of trying you will. For the first two weeks I felt like I was constantly drinking---and I was! I couldn't tolerate Protein Shakes or anything like Jello or pudding, I had stomach spasms pretty severe the first two weeks. I could only get down Water (which I had to flavor with sugar free flavorings to get down) and sugar free popsicles. My surgeon said that was okay. We have protein stores in our bodies to get us through the first few weeks. But it is still good to aim to get protein in as much as your tummy will allow. And I took my meds one pill at a time, spaced out throughout the day. Your family clearly loves you and are concerned, but only YOU know how you feel. It's okay to remind them of that. If they need more info they can read your packet from the surgeon or come read posts here. 😂 You'll get through this. Just keep sipping!! 💚

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On 4/25/2024 at 9:10 PM, ChunkCat said:

For the first month, hydration is king. Calories are nice. Protein is good. But dehydration is the number one reason for ending up in the hospital post-op. Your family should be told about that. Aim for at least 64 oz a day. You may not get that at first, but after a few weeks of trying you will. For the first two weeks I felt like I was constantly drinking---and I was! I couldn't tolerate Protein Shakes or anything like Jello or pudding, I had stomach spasms pretty severe the first two weeks. I could only get down Water (which I had to flavor with sugar free flavorings to get down) and sugar free popsicles. My surgeon said that was okay. We have Protein stores in our bodies to get us through the first few weeks. But it is still good to aim to get protein in as much as your tummy will allow. And I took my meds one pill at a time, spaced out throughout the day. Your family clearly loves you and are concerned, but only YOU know how you feel. It's okay to remind them of that. If they need more info they can read your packet from the surgeon or come read posts here. 😂 You'll get through this. Just keep sipping!! 💚

This is something I’ve not been doing well on, hydrating. Today I felt like I didn’t even get a bottle down. I was exhausted and slept most the day! I did space the pills and Vitamins out which helped but today I’ve had awful pains from gas I think. Thank you for the guidance! Water water water. I can work on that.

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