Gastric Band Questions

How do I do well with a gastric band?

The gastric band systems helps you eat less and feel full in two ways; first by reducing the capacity of your stomach and second by making you feel full faster and stay full for longer due to the stimulation of nerve endings around the band.

Gastric banding results do however vary from patient to patient as the amount of weight you lose depends on several things; the band needs to be in the right position and you need to be committed to a new lifestyle and eating habits. It is important to remember that gastric banding is a tool to help you change your behaviours to achieve weight loss.

Success with a band can start pre-operatively. In the weeks before your surgery, I highly recommend you prepare yourself in the following ways

  • Start exercising, if you aren’t doing so. Getting into the habit of regular exercise will be vital to your post-surgical success
  • Start to implement healthy food choices – cut back on high calorie, high sugar foods
  • At home, use smaller plates to help you choose smaller meals
  • Set realistic weight loss targets to ensure your goals are realistic

After surgery

  • Remember to take your time with meals – take small mouthfuls and chew food thoroughly. Each meal should take around 20 to 30 minutes. Mindful eating will not only improve your food tolerance, it will also help to avoid over-eating and increase the satisfaction you get from your meal
  • Continue to use small plates and utensils to control portion size
  • Do not eat if you are not hungry
  • Take protein foods with most meals. Protein, such as meat, chicken, eggs and fish, keeps you feeling fuller for longer
  • Avoid ‘slider’ foods – these are foods that are high in fats, sugar and carbohydrates that dissolve easily and therefore pass quickly through the band
  • Avoid fluids that are high in sugar – again these foods will pass you band with ease without creating a feeling of satiety (fullness)
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Visit your healthcare team regularly. Research suggests that regular support improves your weight loss outcomes

If you gain weight or your weight loss is slower than expected, ask yourself

  • Am I eating too many high-calorie foods or drinks?
  • Am I eating too often?
  • Am I struggling with non-hunger driven eating? For example boredom eating or stress eating
  • Am I exercising enough?
  • Do I need a band adjustment?

All of these issues can be addressed at follow up consultations with your dietitian and surgeon. At Melbourne Weight Loss Surgery we offer unlimited consultations with the dietitian free of charge for two years following your surgery with us.