Are You Eating Easy to Eat Foods?

We once asked our Facebook followers the foods that were always on their shopping list following weight loss surgery. The following were the most common responses:

  • yoghurt
  • mince
  • avocado
  • eggs
  • porridge
  • cottage cheese
  • low fat ice cream.

Do you notice anything about this list? What do all these foods have in common? They are all ‘easy to eat’ foods.

This theme often resurfaces in conversations about crackers. Following weight loss surgery, some people prefer to choose crackers over bread. It seems that easy to eat crackers, the ‘puffed’ varieties that dissolve in the mouth like Cruskits, are a popular choice. They are easy to eat which is convenient, however, it generally allows you to eat more of them than a more challenging and nutritious cracker, like a grainy Vita-weat or Ryvita. So why are you choosing easy to eat foods?

The purpose of weight loss surgery is to feel satisfied on a smaller amount of food. So consider this; what would make you feel more satisfied:

  1. a) Taking time to chew, chew, chew through the higher fibre, more nutritious, grainy Ryvita or Vita-weat crackers, or
  2. b) taking half the time and effort for the Cruskits to dissolve in your mouth after a quick, half-hearted chew?

It is an experiment worth doing. Perhaps also note how many of each of the crackers you need to eat to feel satisfied, as well as how long you remain satisfied after eating them.

In the hundreds of weight loss surgery clients we have seen, we have noticed that after recovering from weight loss surgery, some people never really progress past the ‘soft food’ stage of yoghurts, soups, mornays, stews, casseroles and mince dishes. Or, they progress onto more solids foods but gradually slip back in to these softer, easier to eat foods. This is most common for people with a gastric band, as the band is adjusted and becomes tighter. We regularly have conversations with clients telling us they prefer soft foods as they are “easy” and they “can eat more”. However, when we explore it a little more, their true hunger is satisfied just as much on a smaller serve of a food which is more challenging to eat. Eating larger amounts of soft, sloppy food or easy to eat, ‘dissolvable’ food is eating to satisfy our eyes, rather than our true hunger.

We are fully aware that some people with a gastric band have difficulty eating particular foods. We also believe however that there are thousands of people with poorly managed gastric bands that are not able to eat healthy, solid food. Unfortunately there is a misconception with gastric bands that tighter equals better, and that regurgitation is normal. In our work with clients, the people we see who successfully lose and maintain their lost weight with a gastric band are those who can eat a good variety of solid, healthy foods, not those who must survive on protein shakes, soups and juices as their band is too tight to eat anything else. If you can’t eat a range of healthy foods please speak to your team, or get a second opinion. It may be that you need to work on your eating technique, or you may need some medical intervention.

Unfortunately the perception that easy to eat foods are necessary has become quite widespread and is not only confined to the gastric band community, with many online weight loss surgery groups spreading these beliefs. Are you choosing easy to eat foods out of habit? Could you eat more challenging foods that will satisfy you more?

If you need a bit more guidance with choosing foods to help achieve your weight loss surgery goals, you can get direct access to us via our support options. Find out more here.

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