The effects of weight-loss surgery can have a significant impact on your relationship with food.
Like everyone else at the Lubbock, Texas, holiday dinner, Kristy Owens fills up her plate. But halfway through the turkey and trimmings, she’s done. She’s “completely full” and can’t eat another bite. Owens, 40 – who was on the verge of diabetes eight years ago – skips dessert. “If something even looks sweet, I’m completely turned away by it,” she says. Food tastes saltier now, and she doesn’t have much use for the salt shaker anymore. In 2006, Owens had weight-loss surgery, and like others who’ve had the procedure, she’s found the experience of eating changes in many ways.
Your stomach is smaller after weight-loss surgery and simply can’t hold as much food as it used to. So the challenge is maintaining good nutrition while eating less. Shannon Owens, a dietitian (and Kristy’s sister), works with patients at The Advanced Bariatric Surgery Center in Lubbock. Once fully recovered, patients are encouraged to eat every two to three hours as part of their permanent routine. While the exact amount of food depends on the type of surgery, Owens says the range is from one to two cups of food at a time. “They’re eating six times [a day] so they’ll definitely have no problem getting adequate calories and protein with this food,” she says.