Yes, even Intuitive Eating and Bariatric Surgery can exist!
You’ve been on this cycling of diets, health plans, even surgery, and now you are wondering if intuitive eating and bariatric surgery is for you. End the extreme restrictions and yo-yo out of control feeling around food.
Everyone can do this; even intuitive eating and bariatric surgery can co-exist.
You were born with the skills and successfully ate intuitively when you were young, and you can return to this practice once again.
Let’s first look at what intuitive eating is and what this practice is not, as there is often some confusion with what practicing intuitive eating really means.
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is about being in tune with your body’s hunger and fullness cues as well as the satisfaction of food. Intuitive eating is valuing and connecting to the wisdom your body and mind collectively have together when you give your body the respect it deserves.
Eating intuitively means being curious about what and why you want to eat something, and then enjoying the food without judgment. Yes, without judgment.
Intuitive eating is not a free for all
Intuitive eating is not a “free for all” to give up and eat however much you want of whatever you want whenever you want it.
Actually, when you start paying attention and recognizing how your body feels after food, you will identify you do not feel as good when you go on trends of eating foods that are not right for your body. Learning to identify and deconstruct old food messages and nurture your specific body cues is all a part of the intuitive eating process.
If you want to get more details on intuitive eating click here
You can practice intuitive eating after bariatric surgery
If you have had bariatric surgery, you may have a different challenge with connecting with your hunger, fullness, and appetite control signals.
There are many mechanisms at play for the alterations that happen to eating and food regulation post-bariatric surgery. Some regulatory changes are permanent, such as the re-routing of food bypassing some of the digestive system, others appear to be temporary.
The food-reward and eating regulation systems for everyone are complex and not fully understood. However, we do have some research showing the benefit of using intuitive eating post-bariatric surgery.
Research on bariatric procedures and intuitive eating
A study at The University of Massachusetts Memorial Bariatric Surgery center looked at those who incorporated intuitive eating principles and found higher intuitive eating was associated with higher satisfaction, feeling in control of eating, and a positive relationship with eating. Another study showed an intuitive eating style post weight loss surgery was associated with more weight loss.
Overall, there is a growing amount of research that shows the benefits of intuitive eating on both physical and mental health.
Even though there may be a long history of dieting and one or more bariatric procedures that impact and change the body’s cues for eating, you can still learn to intuitively eat. Intuitive eating and bariatric surgery can exist together.
You can find more success with bariatric emotional eating support. If you want to learn more about bariatric success, click here to download this free guide on 8 Key Strategies for Post-Bariatric Success.
Intuitive Eating is for your long-term maintenance plan
You may wonder if intuitive eating is for your long-term maintenance plan or not. Bariatric procedures are designed to alter the hunger cues, but the results are variable.
Some people report continuing to be hungry. While the surgery is meant to help a person feel full with smaller amounts of food, some people do not have much hunger signals. The majority of clients I work with have hunger signals go away for a short time period initially and those signals return 1 – 2 years after the surgery.
Even though you may have a reprieve from feeling hunger cues, you know hunger is not the ONLY reason you eat. Intuitive eating teaches you how to learn what your body is telling you. For more information about the principles of intuitive eating, see What is intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating is about being in tune with your body’s hunger and fullness cues, as well as the satisfaction of food. Intuitive eating is valuing and connecting to the wisdom your body and mind collectively have together. When you give your body the respect it deserves, you have more insight and wisdom.
Eating intuitively means being curious about what and why you want to eat something, and then enjoying the food without judgment. Yes, without judgment. I am letting you know, even after bariatric surgery, intuitive eating is possible.
Final thoughts about intuitive eating and bariatric surgery
Intuitive eating after bariatric surgery is an important approach that helps you in finding your long-term, realistic approach. It’s about challenging external rules and subconscious habits around eating.
You’ve been on diets, followed the post-bariatric diet plans, and want to find a long-term plan that is sustainable. Reconnecting and strengthening your intuitive eating skills will help you feel more confident and in control of your eating.
For a nutritious approach to health based on intuitive eating, consult a certified intuitive eating counselor who is also a registered dietitian nutritionist that is versed in these programs. I can help.
Scheduling time to start feeling in control of your eating and meeting your dietary needs is your first step.
Looking for ways to implement intuitive eating into your day-to-day life. Book a free 20-minutes appointment with me to see which services are the best fit to help you.