Understanding the Risks of Overeating after Bariatric Surgery

Overeating is one of the biggest causes of complications after bariatric surgery. While patients will initially experience substantial weight loss, they often lose motivation over time and begin falling back into old habits. Fortunately, the professional team at Tijuana Bariatrics will explain the risks of overeating after bariatric surgery and provide strategies to help you avoid it. Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more.

An empty plate after a meal

Potential Complications Caused by Overeating

Overeating after bariatric surgery often has immediate negative effects, with many patients experiencing considerable discomfort and nausea. Often, overeating can also lead to vomiting or diarrhea. If the food consumed is high in sugar or fat, overeating can cause dumping syndrome. With this condition, food travels too fast through the stomach and is dumped directly into the intestine, causing dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Although physical discomfort may lessen over time as you consistently overeat, it will eventually stretch your stomach and likely compromise the results of your weight loss procedure.

How to Avoid Stomach Stretching

To help patients avoid overeating, we will provide detailed guidelines and advice. Some of the general steps you can follow include:

  • Snacking between meals: Sitting down to breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a big appetite often makes it much easier to overeat. By eating healthy snacks between meals, you can curb excessive hunger and make it easier to keep portions small.
  • Focusing on moderation: Most patients find it extremely difficult to eliminate treats completely from their diet. Instead, we recommend practicing moderation by allowing yourself a treat here and there and avoiding binging.
  • Not drinking fluids during and immediately after meals: Separating out solids and liquids reduces the strain put on the stomach at meal times. Many patients drink an hour or two before their meal to ensure that they stay hydrated without filling up. Avoiding carbonated drinks is especially important, since the carbonation can mix with food and create gas, substantially increasing pressure within the stomach.
  • Not making exceptions: It can be tempting to allow yourself to eat a large meal as a treat, especially around the holidays. Although one big meal will likely not stretch out your stomach, this can often make it very difficult to return to smaller portions afterward. We strongly urge patients to avoid these exceptions and instead enjoy only a small helping of their favorite side dish.
The stomach is a highly flexible organ, so it can shrink over time by consistently eating smaller portions.

Countering the Effects of Stomach Stretching

Fortunately, a stretched stomach is not necessarily unfixable. The stomach is a highly flexible organ, so it can shrink over time by consistently eating smaller portions. Many patients find that getting in touch with their nutritionist or joining a post-bariatric surgery support group helps them get back on track and remain there. In some cases, however, eating less will not be enough. For those patients who still struggle with overeating, Tijuana Bariatrics’ doctors offer revision bariatric surgery to correct an expanded stomach pouch. 

Contact Us to Learn More

With support from the team at Tijuana Bariatrics, you can lose weight in a healthy and safe way. If you are concerned about overeating after bariatric surgery, contact our practice today for personalized advice from experienced weight loss professionals.