Over the weekend I met over 200 weight-loss surgery patients all at different stages post-op. We chatted about the information we had been given prior to surgery; what we had researched beforehand; what advice we were given to go home with; and what we had learnt since then. It was more than apparent that some received much better information and support than others, and many felt that they had floundered somewhat at the beginning of their weight-loss journey.
There was lots of conflicting advice too relating to drinking water before, during and after eating with one bariatric team saying one thing and another saying something quite diffferent. All in all it made for a lively discussion! There were however a few real nuggets of information that seemed to help everyone and are worth passing on…without running the risk of upsetting anyone’s surgeon and bariatric team…where there is generally a good consensus of opinion. I hope to cover quite a few of these in the coming weeks and months…we’ve already looked at the question of fizzy drinks (see ‘Can You Blow Your Surgery with Fizz’ 28th August 2012 blog) to make this website more a place of reference not just a recipe and food fest (or feast?). We shall archive these in a Bariatric Basics category within the blog for easy referral.
THE 20: 20: 20 RULE
One of the best rules I was given and have been reminded of since is the 20:20:20 rule. Nothing like as complicated as the off-side rule in football it simply means:
Aim (but don’t exceed) to eat 20 mouthfuls of food for a meal, over a 20 minute period of time, chewing each mouthful 20 times and putting your knife and fork down between each mouthful.
Other interpretations of this are:
The “20, 20, 20 Rule”
1. Take a small volume of food onto your fork or teaspoon (no bigger than the size of your thumbnail/a 5p piece).
2. Chew the mouthful thoroughly (20 times) before swallowing.
3. Put your cutlery down count to 20 before putting the next mouthful in.
4. Eat in this way for a period of 20 minutes. At this point, stop and walk away. Give yourself 5-10 minutes and then consider whether you are still hungry; if not – stop eating. Discard any food that is left or save for another meal. Only go back to the meal if you genuinely still feel physically hungry – try 3-4 more mouthfuls eaten in the same way and then consider your hunger level again.
In others words:
* extend your meal to over 20 minutes
* under-chew…make sure each mouthful you swallow has been well masticated to the consistency of apple sauce
* race through your meal without ‘mindfully’ eating it I would add, eat at a table or without distraction, whenever you can too. If you have any nuggets you’d like to pass on then do leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org Likewise if you have a topic you would like covering then don’t hesitate to flag it up for discussion. HOPING THIS FINDS YOU WELL…. CAROL