Another of the most frequently asked questions by patients who are contemplating weight loss surgery is whether they will really stop feeling hungry after having bariátrica surgery.

The answer is: No; the hunger sensation will eventually be present.

However, the intensity and frequency of the episodes in which the feeling of hunger occurs will change considerably.

Perception of hunger sensation after gastric sleeve

On this occasion, we will focus exclusively on the sensation of hunger as such, and more than talking about the physiological effects of surgery, hormonal changes, changes in gastric capacity, etc., we will talk about the psychological aspects of the perception of hunger and the appetite.

It is important to bear in mind that hunger is a very primitive sensation, something for which our brains and organism are programmed from the beginning of our existence. And although we do not want to see it that way, it is a matter of mere survival. That is why we unconsciously usually associate the perception of hunger with something very unpleasant, almost intolerable, and that we do not wish on anyone.

Being as objective as possible, the truth is that hunger as such, the pure feeling of being hungry, if we analyze it carefully, is not so serious or unpleasant. Feeling hungry does not have as severe consequences as our brain and subconscious tend to make us think.

The point of this article is not to convince you to endure the feeling of hunger without doing anything about it, but to notice that many times we end up sitting in front of food without really having the physiological-physical need to eat. Sometimes we eat for reasons other than hunger.

Types of hunger

We can classify hunger into two parts: physical (real) and emotional (or circumstantial).

Physical hunger

When a person really has an appetite and the body requires energy in the form of food, the body warns us with different physiological signals, the most common being gurgling and movement of the stomach and gut, along with the feeling of emptiness that is perceived in the upper middle abdomen. This sensation can be overcome or ignored in an easier way than we think since it is still a considerably less unpleasant sensation than physical or emotional pain, to cite an example.

However, there are those who, in addition to this "tolerable" sensation, begin to feel fatigue, weakness, general malaise, changes in mood, headache, and even nausea.

When these signs or symptoms appear, ignoring them and setting them aside is impossible. This type of appetite must be satiated with food, preferably of the best possible quality, since when we are very hungry, we tend to eat faster and in larger quantities. If our goal is to lose weight, we cannot neglect these three important details: the speed at which we eat, the quality and quantity of the food we eat.

Emotional or circumstantial hunger

This is where the person should seek to modify their customs or circumstances from the emotional and social point of view, since we have deeply rooted the intake of food with interpersonal relationships and the processing of our emotions.

Some examples where the situation could be handled differently if our main goal is weight loss, whether or not it is related to gastric sleeve surgery or any other bariatric procedure, are:

At family gatherings where we meet dear people, we are happy to see people we haven't seen for a long time. So it is almost a fact that in such a meeting, the most important moment of it will be the moment to share food with loved ones and not only that, but food can be one of the main topics: quality, quantity, the memories of other members and their cooking skills, etc. All this leads us to associate food with happy moments, so whenever this type of opportunity to eat with family or friends presents itself, we do not miss it and tend to overeat.

That is why many people when they feel overwhelmed or sad, tend to take refuge in food as their comfort zone.

Another example in which we tend to eat without really having an appetite is when we eat foods that we like, which unfortunately tend to be high in carbohydrates, fats, and calories. So we tend to succumb to temptations more easily and before the feeling of hunger really occurs. Rather it is a desire, whether emotional or not, to eat a food that we like. In this circumstance, we also tend to eat more than what our body needs.

Another situation, although it seems to me that it is less complicated to avoid falling into it, is when we have a specific routine in our day-to-day with established times for when we eat our food. Has it not happened to you that you are in front of your food without hunger, but you are there out of habit since it is mealtime? This is very variable and depends a lot on each person; it is almost certain that many of our visitors or patients have seen themselves in this situation where the feeling of hunger is not really present, it is minimal and unconscious, but out of habit, they are ready to eat the first bite.

Hunger Management Tips

All of what we are discussing is with the aim of helping you to analyze your days, your customs, your emotions, and your relationship with food since it is very likely that if you are self-critical enough, you can improve many aspects of your life in relation to food. food and the bad habits that revolve around it.

If you do a deep analysis, it will be easier for you to eat only when you should eat, which is when the sensation of physical hunger appears. It should also be remembered that when this physical hunger occurs, you must be aware of the speed and quantity with which you eat and not let this sensation govern these two aspects that, in our opinion, are crucial for the loss and maintenance of said loss. weight after bariatric surgery.