Hospital:

Overcoming Bariatric Challenges: The Last Supper Syndrome

December 2, 2019

Most patients think they will no longer be able to enjoy some of their favorite foods after bariatric surgery. For a lot of patients, food has become a comfort to them and they are about to give up the first thing they run to when then need that feeling of comfort. Thinking they will miss these foods after surgery makes them sad or feeling at a loss not knowing where to turn to get that feeling comfort food used to provide.

We find that right before surgery, patients will “binge eat” their favorite comfort foods and try to enjoy them one last time. We refer to this as “The Last Supper Syndrome.” While it may seem harmless to indulge one last time or enjoy one last weekend of the foods you think you will have to give up, undoing months of diet and exercise could cause self-sabotage in the long run. Remember, this is a lifelong change. It began once you made the phone call to start this journey.

Not only are you training your body to think and eat differently after surgery, you are also following a necessary diet needed to shrink your liver prior to surgery to avoid complications. In addition, having bariatric surgery does not mean you are limited to a bland and tasteless diet for the rest of your life full of broth and protein shakes. You will be surprised to find that you can still enjoy some of the same foods you love (yes, there are some foods that you need to avoid)! The only difference is you would enjoy them in smaller amounts than before. We have dietitians that specialize in helping patients who have had bariatric surgery enjoy life and food again as you progress after your surgery. You may even find your palate is now open to new tastes, or even reject foods you use to enjoy. So indulging in that “Last Supper” is not necessary. You will still be able to enjoy eating as a part of your life.

Submitted by Jacquelyn Bartie, Scheduling & Financial Clearance Coordinator for Jefferson Health General and Bariatric Surgery