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Boredom Eating: Tips to break the habit

16th May 2019

Eating When Bored  Can Lead to Unhealthy Eating Habits

If you ransack your refrigerator, pantry and kitchen cabinets when you're bored, welcome to the club.

Boredom does make you hungry. Not hunger for food, but emotional hunger. When you're bored, you are hungry for that dopamine surge. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. When you feel pleasure - eating your favorite food for example - your brain releases dopamine.

When your dopamine level is low, you may experience feelings of boredom. Eating is an enjoyable and comforting experience, so it makes sense that people are drawn to eating when bored.

So, boredom leads to unhealthy eating habits caused by this emotional hunger. The only problem with this kind of hunger is you never feel satisfied as your brain continues to seek a solution to your boredom.

But it’s a vicious cycle: when you binge-eat out of boredom, you gain weight; when you gain weight, you tend to lose self-confidence which may lead to depression; when you are depressed, you end up eating more to defeat the feeling of emptiness. Eventually, your relationship with friends, family and social circle may begin to suffer.

How to Prevent Boredom Eating

  1. Pause before you eat. Now that you're aware of the root cause of your problem, you should be able to identify emotional hunger from real hunger.
  2. Drink a glass of water. Thirst can easily be mistaken for hunger.
  3. Find a diversion. Take a walk, call a friend, read a book, do housework - anything that can burn calories instead of collecting them.
  4. Chew on sugar-free gum. This can prevent mindless munching.
  5. Schedule your meal and snack time. The key is awareness. If you eat according to schedule, you become more aware of your food intake, giving you greater control.
  6. Embrace boredom once in a while. Food is tastier when you are famished, water tastes sweeter when you are parched. In the same manner, life can be more satisfying and fulfilling if we can tolerate not being entertained all the time.

I’m struggling ! What do I do now?

If you are struggling to control your boredom eating, you can stock up on healthy and mood-boosting food so when you feel the urge to eat, you can quickly choose healthier options.

Instead of sugary and fat laden food, try snacking on:

- Vegetables and hummus

- Light popcorn

- Mixed nuts

- Fresh Fruits

- Greek Yogurt

- Dark Chocolate and Almonds

- Hard boiled eggs

- A piece of cheese

- Whey protein shake

- Canned Salmon or sardines

- Dried, unsweetened coconut

- Olives

The Dr Lockie Multi-disciplinary Approach May Help

Don’t let boredom eating hold you back - there are many more enjoyable and fulfilling things in life.

At the Dr. Phil Lockie Surgery our multi-disciplinary approach of a surgeon, nurse, dietitian and psychologist provides comprehensive support to patients pre and post obesity surgery.

If you have trouble with weight loss, there could be an alternative. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with our Perioperative Nurse, Shirley Lockie, to answer questions and discuss your options.



Important Information for Bariatric Patients re Alcohol

4th April 2019

As part of our pre-operative advice we do talk about alcohol intake and bariatric surgery.

A recent study from the U.S.A. looked at the effects of drinking alcohol after gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy and compared them to patients who were yet to have bariatric surgery. The study looked at 28 women, 11 had a sleeve gastrectomy approximately 2 years prior to testing, 8 had a gastric bypass approximately 2 years prior to testing and the remaining 9 were scheduled for surgery.

In the surgical groups, the sleeve gastrectomy group and the gastric bypass group, their blood alcohol concentrations increased faster and peaked approximately 2 times higher than the pre-surgical group. The surgical patients felt more drunk as a result. Interestingly, testing with a breathalyser under estimated blood alcohol levels by nearly one third. Obviously, this could have significant implications for bariatric patients who drink and then drive. If roadside testing showed a slightly elevated breath test, subsequent blood testing could find peak blood alcohol levels that were up to one third higher and this could result in a much more significant penalty.

So, to re-emphasise what we discuss prior to surgery, alcohol intake is easy calories and can result in transfer of addiction and have potential issues when it comes to drinking and driving.

Importance of Our Two-year Multi-Disciplinary Program

19th March 2019

Two-year Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Permanent Weight Loss

At Phil Lockie Surgery your support doesn’t stop once surgery is complete, we follow a two-year, multi-disciplinary approach to ensure you get the most out of your procedure. It is important to remember that surgery isn’t a quick fix, there are significant dietary, psychological and lifestyle changes required post-surgery. During our two-year program we aim to address any weight gain at an early stage, improve long term weight and psychosocial outcomes, and assist patients to achieve and maintain optimal weight loss.

Our multi-disciplinary approach involves the surgeon, dietitian and psychologist. We ensure that all follow-up appointments coincide with your routine pathology so that we can review the results and address any concerns in a prompt matter. At each check-up relevant information to your recovery will be discussed, at 3 months we discuss managing hair loss and at 6 months coping with the return of hunger. All of our patients also have access to a monthly, complimentary weight loss support group.

Follow Up Is Vital

Your progress is important to us, we supply a range of services to ensure you succeed in your weight loss journey. Sticking to your scheduled follow-ups is essential to your health and maintaining your weight. Along with numerous studies and first-hand experience those who don’t attend their appointments are more likely to gain weight post-op.

A recent study indicates that as many as 50% of patients don’t attend their follow-up appointments and therefor no matter how good their surgery was, they didn’t benefit as well. Studies showed that after one-year type 2 diabetes remission rates were 62% in the group who completed follow-up and 57.5% in the group with incomplete follow-up. The completed follow-up group also had greater improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol.

The importance of follow-up appointments and post-operative care is immense, it’s the difference between an average result and a great result. Our clinic doesn’t just look at your weight loss, we also ensure you are progressing mentally, emotionally and physically. It allows us to possibly spot potential barriers before you see them coming. We review your latest lab work and provide a supportive environment where you can talk about your journey and ask questions.

Get Started Here

We want to see you succeed in your weight loss journey. Contact us today for a free, no obligation appointment with our Perioperative Nurse, Shirley Lockie, and see how we may be able to help you.

Dr Lockie Takes a Team Oriented Approach

8th November 2014

Dr Phil Lockie's surgery takes a team approach to patients to help improve patient outcomes.

This multi-disiplinary approach includes a pre-operative specialist, dietitian and pyschologist in addition to our surgeon Dr Lockie.

Additionally, our support group meetings are managed by our psychologist and have proven to be an invaluable asset once the initial postoperative recovery is over. Monthly guest speakers help provide more detailed information and resources to attendees.

If you are considering taking action on your medical condition, please call us on 07 3353 2011 or click here to send an online enquiry.

Dietary Advancement Post Sleeve Gastrectomy

2nd May 2013

It has come to my attention that a Brisbane-based practice is providing their laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy patients with literature whereby solid foods are being introduced within the first week following their procedure. We wish to advise that we do not support this instruction and that we strongly recommend you follow our liquid dietary guidelines after your surgery.

You are provided with clear fluids in hospital and then progress to free fluids (or nourishing liquids) for 2 weeks duration when you are discharged home. This allows your stomach pouch to heal, reduces the risk of potential leaks and signficantly decreases any discomfort or pain that is associated with eating solids too soon after the surgery. It also ensures you are able take in sufficient volumes for hydration and adequate protein for good recovery. This intervention is evidence-based and is reinforced by our many years of experience in this field.

Margaret Brooke – Accredited Practising Dietitian
Locum for Michelle Graham


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