Right after weight loss surgery, most people are very attentive and intentional about what, when and how they eat. They take small sips and later small bites, taking care to be very deliberate. They select foods and beverages based on the post-surgery diet progression, fluid and protein goals. Protein grams are counted and labels are closely read. They often comment that they feel in control of their eating, which may be very different than what they experienced before surgery. Excess weight drops rapidly, medications become a thing of the past and there is renewed health and wellness.
As time goes on, the natural tendency is for the focus to slowly shift away from eating to simply living life. Many good choices are still made, but the focus on eating is not as pronounced. There is danger to this shift in focus. Without focus, there is a tendency to overeat and not even recall what or how much was eaten shortly after finishing. When the attention to eating wanes, control over what is being eaten can be lost. Control can be lost to emotions, situations, food availability, and habits. Food may again be relied on as friendship, entertainment, numbing of feelings, and a host of purposes other than nourishing the body. Intentional eating can help keep the focus on healthy eating and provide boundaries and control.