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Question – Though my protein intake has been regular after gastric sleeve surgery, it seems like I am hungry more often. What should I do?
It’s totally normal to have some hunger pangs after surgery. For some people, the hunger vanishes a few days after surgery and some people continue to have normal hunger signals. Eventually, everyone begins to feel “hunger pangs” again.
The reason behind the Hunger Pangs
- Ask yourself if your activity levels have increased of late. You might notice that you get hungrier after workouts. Drink more proteins to compensate.
- If you skimp on veggies and protein and gorge on snacks, your body will crave for more junk food.
- Remember – now is a good time to learn what those hunger/fullness cues are telling you.
- It can be either true physical hunger – a need to fuel our bodies or it could be appetizing hunger because something looks good.
- It could also be out-of-habit hunger, head or emotional hunger.
- The act of skipping meals during the day is one reason why you always feel hungry.
- Drastically reducing the intake of calories can also make you feel hungry.
- Frequently, it’s not that we are necessarily hungry between meals, but that we are bored.
Video: Avoid Boredom Eating
View in Article, high-fat foods contain a lot of moisture due to which they can be easily tolerated and people crave for them more as opposed to dry foods. Although overall food cravings do get reduced after weight loss surgery, the desire for certain forms of foods can still increase initially.
Something to Remember
- Caffeine is diuretic (increases urination) thus causing you to lose valuable fluids.
- Sodium, which is added to sodas increases your demand to drink more.
- These can make you feel thirsty and thirst is often confused with hunger.
Tips to Beat Hunger Pains
If you have food cravings after bariatric surgery, it’s a good sign, believe it or not! The flip side is that you have to keep it under control. These cravings have less to do with nutrient intake and more to do with the brain chemistry of pleasure. “Manage your cravings after weight loss surgery.” Mayo Clinic Health System, 2015
View in Article
- Plan all your meals in advance including the snacks.
- Avoid crispy crunchy carbs. Substitute snacks with healthy proteins.
- Maintain an eating pattern. Eat at a stipulated time.
- Include healthy carbohydrates in the diet.
- Greek yogurt, blended bean soup, cottage cheese are great options.
- Engage yourself in other activities to avoid thinking of food.
- Follow the emotional release technique which involves tapping on pressure points in order to release emotions.
While most people don’t want to feel hungry, those “pains” are actually beneficial from the beginning and help you to start that mindful eating approach immediately after bariatric surgery.
This Post Addresses
- Hunger pains after gastric sleeve
- Head hunger post gastric sleeve
- Stomach growling after bariatric surgery
- Constant feeling of hunger after bariatric surgery
- What if I feel hungry after weight loss surgery?
- Leahey, Tricia M. et al. “Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Food Cravings: Do Food Cravings and the Consumption of Craved Foods ‘normalize’ After Surgery?” Surgery for obesity and related diseases: official journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, 8.1, 2012, 84–91, PMC, Web,
- “Manage your cravings after weight loss surgery.” Mayo Clinic Health System, 2015