Having bariatric surgery does not necessarily mean that you’ll be free from cravings or bouts of emotional eating. Succumbing to food cravings and emotional eating can lead to weight regain and, for gastric bypass patients, possible dumping syndrome.
A lot of people fight the craving for a period of time and then try eating the desired food to get rid of the craving. This often results in eating too much food and then feeling guilty. Giving in to the urge often makes the craving stronger and more frequent with time. It is actually more effective to avoid the desired food. With time, the craving will pass and will be less likely to return.
You should know that breaking the pattern of eating in response to stress, frustration, or sadness is possible.
Successfully overcoming cravings and emotional eating takes patience and knowledge of a few coping techniques:
• Distract yourself
• Identify the emotion
• Tame your stress
• Have a hunger reality check
• Keep a food diary
• Get support
• Fight boredom
• Take away temptation
• Don’t deprive yourself
• Snack healthy
• Get enough sleep
• Ask for help when you need it
Remember – if you have an episode of emotional eating, forgive yourself and start fresh the next day. Try to learn from the experience and make a plan for how you can prevent it in the future. Focus on the positive and give yourself credit for making changes that’ll lead to better health.