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Nearly everyone has triggers that prompt emotional eating. For some, it could be a bad day at work. For others, it could be the desire to celebrate something.

After weight loss surgery, eating too much can damage your surgery. It’s especially important for post-bariatric patients to develop a strategy to cope with the emotions that lead to overeating.

How to Tame Emotional Eating

Tip #1: Minimize stress

Do you ever feel like you’re being pulled in every direction? This can happen when you’re too busy. You’ll feel emotional stress. If the stress goes on for too long, it will also be hard on your body. Several studies have concluded that stress hormones can interfere with weight loss.

Feeling emotional and on edge may prompt you to reach for comfort food. Fight this tendency by regularly taking time do things that make you feel good. If you’re not sure what those things are, experiment. Exercise can work off both the pounds and the angst. Spending time with a friend, or indulging in a bubble bath may leave you feeling re-energized. Eventually you’ll find activities that help you unwind without food.

Tip #2: Get support

Gather a core group of friends or family members that love and accept you as you are. These are the people who don’t care what you look like. They may have concerns about your health, but they don’t interfere with your choices, nag you if you fall off the wagon or judge you because of your decisions.

In addition to friends and family, you can find support by joining a weight-loss or bariatric surgery support group. Having people that understand what you’re going through is incredibly helpful. With support, you’re better able to deal with the emotions that formerly led you to eating.

Tip #3: Eat well

Deprivation leads to overcompensation. If you eat too little during the day, you may overeat in the evening. After weight loss surgery, patients eat small portions. You may have to eat often to get the nutrition you need. Follow the directions of your dietitian. She will help you develop a meal plan. After weight loss surgery, patients should eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. Within those parameters, there are many tasty foods to enjoy. Savor each bite.

Tip #4: Forgive yourself

If you have a setback, be kind to yourself. Weight loss surgery is a tool to help you eat less, but you will still deal with many of the same issues that challenged you before the surgery. If you get off track, start again. Focus on your goals and get back to your healthy-eating plan.

The WeightWise team includes doctors, dietitians, exercise physiologists and patient advocates. We’re here to support you. Contact us today to learn more about our services. If you’re considering weight loss surgery, please register for one of our online or in-person informational seminars.