Stress and Your Band

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre

Stress…stress…stress…it’s on everyone’s lips these days and unfortunately a sign of the times.  Work, home, kids, and health, the sources are endless. 

But how does this affect your Lap-Band? Good question!

While stress is a common occurrence for patients, some find that stress has no impact on their band at all. Others find that as their stress level elevates so does the tightness in their Lap-Band. 

Why does this happen?   

Individuals who are under times of stress, release a “fight or flight hormone” called adrenalin, which causes our body’s natural response to increase the secretion of stomach acid.  For some patients who are otherwise at their “sweet spot”, this can cause a temporary swelling around their band and may experience difficulties getting their food down.  

If you are among these patients who find themselves struggling with solid foods during stressful periods, remember you are not alone. Here are some helpful tips to help you overcome it:

TIP #1: Cut your foods into smaller sized pieces. This tip not only helps with the discomfort patients experience during stressful periods, but applies to all Lap-Band patients. We recommend using small utensils when possible to help limit the size of each bit of food. Try using a baby spoon, cocktail fork and small decorative plates to help control portions and increase the visual appeal of the meal.

TIP #2: Don’t forget the 20/20 rule! Chew. Chew. Chew. It’s very important that you focus on chewing your food well and eating slowly. Each bite of food should be chewed at least 20 times and each meal should last at least 20 minutes. We recommend eating your protein-based foods first to encourage the feeling of satiety, followed by vegetables.

TIP #3: Try softer foods. Foods such as casseroles, fish, cooked vegetables, yogurt and soups may go down easier without causing discomfort during stressful periods. Just be sure you are able to get back to your regular diet after the stress has passed.

If you’ve tried all of these suggestions and are still not able to comfortably tolerate your foods well, we recommend contacting us at the clinic for further assessment and discussion.

Yours in health,

Tammy, Debbie and Sue