Lap Band Post Op Diet
The Proper Lifelong Gastric Band Diet Portion Sizes

Review the IMMEDIATE post LAP-BAND® diet here.

Long Term LAP-BAND® Post Op Diet

One of the biggest changes after having stomach band surgery is getting used to the lifelong smaller portion sizes you'll be eating on the post LAP-BAND<span style='font-size: 50%'>® surgery diet.

Football vs. Lemon

Prior to having a gastric band operation, your stomach can hold about as much as the size of a football.

After bariatric banding, your "new" stomach (a.k.a., "pouch") can hold about as much as the size of a lemon.

Your new stomach will be able to hold only 4-8 ounces.

That means your lifelong LAP-BAND<span style='font-size: 50%'>® post op diet portion sizes should be only ~ 1/2 cup - 1 cup at a time.

(Now you see why a gastric banding procedure helps you lose weight in the first place. Less food = less calories = weight loss)

It IS possible, however, to eat more than 4-8 ounces at a time! While possible, this is not smart.

Why go through the gastric band operation just to undermine it?!

LAP-BAND® Post Op Diet: HOW to Eat the Proper Portion Sizes

When your pouch is full, the accompanying pressure the stomach band creates will signal you to stop eating.

If you listen to the signals your body sends, and stop as soon as you feel full, you won't need any further guidelines on portioning. Listen to the signal!

If, however, you find yourself ignoring the signals, pushing the limits and overeating, and falling back in to old, poor eating habits, you could benefit from a few portion control tips:

Post LAP-BAND® Surgery Diet Portioning Tips

Post LAP-BAND® Diet: Use small dishes

Start with the appropriate portion sizes. If you put a large plate of food in front of your face, of course, you're going to eat more than you need to. (Anyone would...research supports this fact.)

If your pouch can only hold 4-8 ounces at a time, why not start serving food in 4-8 ounce bowls or on small side plates instead of large dinner plates.

If you start with small portions you're more likely to finish with small portions. Go ahead, try it!

Post LAP-BAND® Surgery Diet: Use common objects to eyeball portion sizes

If you're eating at home, using portion controlled dishes makes it easy to stick to your gastric band diet. If you're eating out, you might find it more difficult to judge appropriate portions.

If you feel comfortable, you could throw a 4-8 oz measuring cup in your purse (or man bag) and use it at a restaurant to measure any food on the menu you order.

If that's not gonna happen...

...simply use these common objects to visualize what portion sizes look like:

  • 1 oz. sliced turkey = 1 CD
  • 2 oz. salmon or chicken = 3-4 fingers
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese or tuna = 1 brillo pad
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese or ricotta cheese = 2 ping pong balls
  • 1/2 cup rice or potato = 1 tennis ball
  • 1 small apple = 1 tennis ball
  • 1/2 cup vegetables = 1 computer mouse

Remember your (lifelong) LAP-BAND<span style='font-size: 50%'>® post op diet portions should be no bigger than ~4-8 ounces at one sitting.

In general:

  • 1/4 cup = 2 ping pong balls
  • 1/2 cup = 1 ice cream scoop or 1 tennis ball
  • 1 cup = 1 baseball or your fist

LAP-BAND® Post Op Diet Tip

When you eat in a restaurant, request a separate side plate with your entree. When your meal comes, transfer about a fist worth of food to the side plate.

Ask for the rest of your food to be doggie-bagged. (Get it out of sight, and out of mind.) Enjoy your small plate of food slowly and mindfully. Simple, right?!

Post LAP-BAND® Surgery Diet: Eat Slooooowly

Eating slowly is another strategy that will help assure you eat the right (small) portion sizes.

When you eat slowly and mindfully, you have the best chance of "hearing"/feeling the gastric band's signal that you've had enough.

Strategies to Help You Slow Down:

  • Use small, baby utensils.
  • Chew each bite 25-30 times
  • Put your fork down between meals
  • Play slow music in the background
  • Match the slowest eater at the table bite for bite
  • Play a game with the kids at your table: "Let's See Who Can Finish Last?!"
  • Play a game with a sand timer (For more on this game see: Gastric Band Diet: HOW to Eat)

LAP-BAND® Post Op Diet: The IMPORTANCE of Proper Portions

Overeating can cause you to vomit and/or cause your pouch to stretch. A stretched pouch can cause the stomach band to slip and require surgical re-positioning.

A stretched pouch also requires more food to fill it up. More food = more calories! This will slow your weight loss.

Overeating is usually the result of mindless, careless eating or eating too fast. It can also be the result of drinking liquids with meals.

Solid food + liquid beverage = slushy/liquidy consistency. A slushy/liquidy consistency will slip right past the gastric band.

(Remember, it's when food sits above the band and stays in the pouch that you feel full.) Eating and drinking at the same time therefore makes it easier to overeat.

Keep in mind that your stomach band is simply a tool. How you choose to use it is up to you. Avoid "operator error." Make sure you eat the proper (small) portion sizes.

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