Often patients talk about enjoying certain foods or supplements before bariatric (weight loss) surgery, but after bariatric surgery they no longer enjoy the taste of the same foods.
Research presented at Obesity Week 2014 in Boston from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California confirmed that there is a change in the taste buds after bariatric surgery. The research lead by author John Morton, MD, found that patient’s sensitivity to taste decreased after surgery.
Doesn’t a cheeseburger sound so great when you’re hungry? And when you’re feeling quite full doesn’t a cheeseburger sound gross? (okay maybe not gross, but you get the point) :). When someone undergoes bariatric surgery it often affects hormones that cause the patient to lose one’s appetite. Since the patient does not feel as hungry many of the foods they once craved and loved do not taste as good.
Dr. Morton theorizes that people who suffer from obesity have taste buds that are not as sensitive as people with normal range BMIs, before bariatric surgery. He further speculates that this could even be a contributing factor to their obesity. “Some people derive satisfaction from that full feeling, but you don’t eat as much if you derive satisfaction from the taste, not volume, “ Morton says.
Considering the theory that people with less sensitive taste buds derive satisfaction from the amount of food consumed, as opposed to taste, makes perfect sense for why overconsumption could very well be a by-product of less sensitive taste buds- therefore putting a person at risk for obesity.
After bariatric surgery part of the counseling for bariatric patients is to focus on each bite of food and to savor the flavors of the food while eating at a slower pace. The hormonal changes that occur after bariatric surgery will definitely take some getting used to, but in time your body will adapt. Be patient and practice techniques to help you derive satisfaction from the way food tastes as opposed to feeling full. You need to give your mind a chance to register that you’re full and you can accomplish this by eating slowly. Slowing down consumption may be even more important if your taste buds are even less sensitive after bariatric surgery.
We all expect immediate gratification this day-in-age. We are lucky that so many things we want in life can happen at the click of a button, but the fact is our mind and bodies don’t always work this way. They need time. Start the clock now and practice eating slowly to help re-sensitise your taste buds. It’s definitely worth a try!
Thanks for Reading!
Your Bari Life Team
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