Do I Still Have To Measure My Food at One Year Postop
By Michelle Hoeing Bauche, MS RDN LD CSOWN
During the first several months after bariatric surgery, you usually have a very specific tool indicating how much you can comfortably eat. However, many individuals notice that after those first few months, their new tool starts to relax and it becomes easier to eat. This relaxation can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you likely feel better when you are able to eat more “normally” and you don’t feel sick or overly full on the smallest amount of food. On the other hand, that restriction is what keeps others accountable to their commitment and their tool, and they often miss that feeling of restriction the farther post-op they become.
So, do you need to continue measuring your food? The answer, as with most nutrition guidelines, is that it depends. You will likely benefit more from continuing to measure your food intake long term because portion sizes naturally increase over time. Once the physical restriction of surgery begins to ease up, you may find yourself consuming an extra ¼ cup or more of food at several meals. While ¼ cup doesn’t sound like much, that small amount can add up quite a bit over time. Often, we may think we can easily “eyeball” a serving and know how much it contains, but most likely, we’re not going to get it right every time. The only way to know for sure is to actually measure your food intake.
Alternatively, there may be instances in which it may not be appropriate to measure your food consistently. If you are eating mindfully, meeting your protein and fluid goals, maintaining your weight, and feeling good overall, then it may not be worth the extra hassle to measure your food at every single meal. For individuals that become so obsessed about what they eat that it causes more stress in their lives, these are instances where it may not be appropriate to continue measuring food intake. In this instance, it may be helpful to work with a licensed counselor or therapist to address any underlying eating disorders or obsessive thoughts around food.