Bariatric nurse Judy Tanielian discusses why it is important for a patient to eat slowly after having bariatric surgery.
Nurse Judy Tanielian:
Eating slow and taking small bites and chewing them well is really one of the essentials for success following bariatric surgery. Ninety nine percent of the people I see in the clinic who come back a year or two later complaining of some weight regain have developed a habit of grazing. Grazing is eating a couple of bites, waiting 10, 15-20 minutes and taking a couple of more bites, and this pattern continues throughout the day.
And what we find is these patients are eating the same amount of food that they would normally have eaten over a day prior to surgery. So we encourage them to only eat for 30 minutes at a time but to take small bites that don’t overfill the pouch, wait and allow that to pass out of the pouch and then take another bite. Chew very well because the stomach can no longer grind the food as it used to.
Dr. Fobi has a story he likes to tell our patients. He asks them, “If I were to send you from California to New York and replace your 20 gallon gas tank with a one-gallon gas tank, could you make it?” Most people say, “No, I couldn’t make it on a one-gallon gas tank.”
And he laughs and he says, “Oh yes you could, if you knew where a gas station was, every 20 miles you could stop and refill.” And that’s the same thing with our eating.
If we keep refilling our tank all day long we can maintain our weight. It’s not just limiting ourselves to small amounts but it’s limiting the whole amount to a smaller amount throughout the day.
About Judy Tanielian, R.N., B.S.N., C.B.N.:
Judy Tanielian, R.N., B.S.N., C.B.N. has nearly forty years of nursing experience and six years of experience as a Clinical Director managing Bariatric Surgery programs. She graduated with honors from Portland Community College’s Associate Degree Registered Nursing program in 1973. She served as a nurse at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in The Oregon Burn Center for twenty two years, filling a variety of roles from bedside care to management. While at Legacy, Judy was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree with honors, through Excelsior College. During that time period, she was also inducted into the Nursing Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau.