Need Help With My Post-Op Lap-Band Diet: I'm Hungry All The Time!

by Lisa
(Tampa, FL)

I seem to feel hungry all the time and I'm not losing weight like I thought I would. I've only had 1 Lap-Band fill so far. I've heard you need to eat protein to keep the hunger away. Is that true and if so, how much protein do I need?

It is true that protein helps fill you up. You should therefore try to include small amounts of protein at every meal and snack.

Aim for 60-80 grams of protein per day as a general guideline. (However, be sure to follow your bariatric center's guidelines if they are different.)

Do some protein math

Here's one example of how you can eat 4 meals per day with 15 grams of protein each to easily meet a minimum of 60 grams protein per day.

Sample Lap-Band® Menu: 4 meals/day with 60 grams protein

Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg prepared with 1 oz cheese. Top with salsa and serve rolled in 1 corn tortilla.

Lunch: 1/2 turkey sandwich: 2 ounces turkey breast + 2 tablespoons hummus + tomato slices. Serve 1 apple on the side.

Snack: 1/2 baked sweet potato. Top with 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Dinner: 2-3 ounces baked chicken. Eat with 1/2 cup cooked broccoli and 1/3 cup brown rice.

(Optional Snack/Fun Treat: 1 lowfat pudding cup)

Choose SOLID protein

Note in the sample menu above that the protein sources are mostly "solid:" eggs, cheese, turkey, chicken. (Cottage cheese is kind of mushy, but it's mixed with a more solid sweet potato.)

Remember that solid foods will keep you feeling more full than mushy, soft, liquidy foods because solids sit above the band and fill the pouch.

Read more about the best protein sources, protein shakes and see my protein shake recipes.

Differentiate Between Physical Hunger and Head Hunger

It IS possible to want to eat all of the time. That's different than being truly physically hungry all the time.

Lap-Band® weight loss surgery is performed on your stomach...not your head!

When you "feel hungry," stop a moment to ask youself where the "hunger" is coming from:

Is it from the neck, UP (head hunger)...or from the neck, DOWN (physical hunger)?

You should really only eat in response to physical hunger!

Is Your Lap-Band® Adjusted Properly?

You mention that you've only had 1 Lap-Band fill. It's possible that the band isn't tight enough.

If you try the above mentioned suggestions and still feel hungry all the time, I'd suggest going back to your bariatric surgeon to see if you need another adjustment.

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