The goal of weight loss surgery is to feel satisfied on a smaller portion of nutritious food than you would have prior to surgery. This reduction in food leads to a less calories being taken in, allowing the body to use some of its stored energy (fat) for fuel, meaning you lose weight.
You see the body is a complex thing, but so too are our eating behaviours.
You will note the opening line referred to a small portion of nutritious food – balanced, non processed, ‘border of the supermarket’ type food. Lean protein, veggies or salads and a little wholegrain.
But do you know what this food can do? It can stretch your pouch or sleeve, triggering a feeling of fullness or satiety, signalling that you have eaten enough. This may mean that it can sit a little more heavily than other foods do.
The feeling of satiety, or heaviness may be a little uncomfortable at first. It may take some getting used to. What it should not do however, is cause you to look for food which will predictably sit more comfortably, that will slide down more easily and allow you to eat more.
The ‘Slider Foods’.
Slider foods are crunchy, soft or sloppy processed foods with little or no nutritional value. They are usually high in carbohydrate, fat or sugar so are often relatively high in calories compared to a less processed option. Being processed, much of the work has been done to break them down. They are therefore easy to chew and easy to swallow, meaning they empty quickly from your pouch or sleeve. They don’t sit around signalling that you have eaten, or that you have eaten enough. They slide on through that pouch or sleeve, leaving space for more food.
Without the signal to stop eating, more is eaten.
No longer are we satisfied on a smaller portion of nutritious food. We have now created a scenario where we are not satisfied, and we are not satisfied on higher calorie food – the double whammy. More, calorie dense food is eaten and we wonder why we are not losing weight.
So how do you recognise a slider food? Look for a food that is easy to chew, easy to swallow and easy to keep on eating.
Savoury slider foods include crackers such as Jatz, rice crackers or Cruskits, popcorn, potato chips, corn chips or pretzels. These are also often quite salty, which prompts you to drink, further adding to the ‘slideability’. Sweet slider foods include sweet biscuits, cakes, muffins, lollies, chocolate, ice cream, sweet yoghurt, milkshakes, sweetened smoothies or flavoured milk.
Take some time to reflect on how often slider foods may be creeping into your diet.
As we often say, weight loss surgery isn’t a life sentence and there is no expectation that you will never eat a piece of chocolate again. However if these foods are taking over, it could be time for change.