Grazing is a defeatist behavior that gastric bypass patients sometimes engage in. It is defined as the consistent, day-long consumption of low value food items. Testing suggests that those bariatric patients who graze often have a set of pre-existing traits such as binge eating and resistance to behavioral modification.
I was a binge eater before my gastric bypass surgery in 2003. Grazing is a fatal flaw that I still must protect against.
The best way to address the grazing habit after gastric bypass is to employ preventive measures prior to the onset. That said, many bariatric patients will not succeed preemptively and must therefore deal with the problem only after it presents.
Binge Eating Disorder Prior to Bariatric Surgery
Many gastric bypass patients who are grazers struggled with binge eating disorder prior to weight loss surgery.
Binger eating disorder is a condition characterized by a person’s need to eat compulsively. This behavior is the result of emotional difficulties.
Those who have binge eating disorder will overeat to the point of becoming nauseous and beyond.
The gastric bypass patient who was a binge eater prior to weight loss surgery must understand that bariatric surgery is not a cure for binge eating disorder. Gastric bypass surgery can and does result in dramatic weight loss, but it is not a remedy for behavioral misconduct. The only remedy for behavioral problems is to change behavior.
If a person has binge eating disorder and finds herself struggling after weight loss surgery, a professional and specialized interventions may be necessary. Such interventions are no more than asking for the help that is needed.
Breaking the Grazing Habit
Should you find yourself in the habit of grazing, the obvious resolution is to break the habit. This is no doubt easier said than done, but consider all that you have achieved to this point.
The first step is to ask for help. It is unlikely that you can triumph alone, so simply ask for the help that you would no doubt give to another if it were you who was being asked to help. Use your support network and those professionals who are currently among your inner circle.
Begin to monitor yourself closely. Write down all that you eat or drink for a period of three days or so, and then compare your notes with the post-gastric bypass surgery nutrition plan from your bariatric surgeon's office to note how much they do or do not coordinate. It is possible you are not getting enough protein or that your meal portions are too small. Write down the supplements and vitamins that you take, as well.
With your nutritionist as a guide, create an ideal bariatric meal plan for the next three days. Hang it in your kitchen and record your actions and compliance. Seek out patterns and record the habits and triggers that lead to grazing.
Using your support network, address your grazing behavior over the next three day meal plan.
Learn the different types of hunger, specifically head hunger and physical hunger. Continue to maintain and execute your food plan while making necessary adjustments along the way.