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Got a gastric band? What do you do to keep focused when eating?

When you have a gastric band on board, paying attention to how you eat is essential if you want to avoid discomfort or regurgitation. This is often called ‘mindfulness’ during eating.


But with technology, family, work and other attention-seeking demands, it’s very easy to become distracted and very hard to ‘stay in the moment' like the mindfulness experts and psychologists encourage.

If you don’t pay attention to bite-size, food texture, chewing well and taking small swallows, then you pay for it with discomfort.


Some tips and tactics that others use to gain focus include:


  • turn all impulse gadgets off before the meal or snack starts. That includes the mobile phone and computer.
  • turn on some calming music to slow the breathing and frantic pace down. If you have fast beats or loud and aggressive music playing then you’ll probably eat quickly to match the pace.
  • make a rule to never answer the office/home phone during meal times. The answering machine or message bank can deal with calls. Nothing is more important that pure attention to the meal being eaten.
  • place table-talkers on the dining table and office area that remind you to stay focused
  • avoid getting over-hungry because that causes a fast grab for food and big bites with bad chewing.
  • put a blindfold on to slow down rate of eating and also increase appreciation of texture and mouth volume. It’s hard to use a knife and fork fast when you can’t see the food!
  • use utensils in the opposite hand to usual to increase concentration level.
  • use chopsticks in the wrong hand to really slow things down.
  • put utensils down between each bite.
  • change the venue in which you eat away from fast, furious and predictable to soothing and fresh. For example, leave the office to eat in a park. Move away from the chaos and noise of the food court to a quieter location. Leave the lounge chair to sit on the deck or in the garden.


What do you do or say to stay focused both before and during eating?


Email me with your secrets to share with other readers.