How to Deal with Mood Changes After Weight Loss Surgery
Following weight loss surgery, it’s not uncommon to find yourself dealing with a flood of emotions. Part of the reason for this is biological. Losing a significant amount of weight and changing how the body absorbs nutrients from food can affect hormone levels. It’s also psychological. You may find yourself anxious about your progress, or you may wonder how your relationship with a significant other might change. All of these issues with post-surgery mood are perfectly normal. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to deal with these mood changes.
Avoid Foods That Shift Energy Levels
Some foods can make post-surgery mood swings more noticeable and troublesome. Anything with high amounts of sugar and caffeine, for instance, can trigger mood ups and downs as energy levels spike and then decline. There are plenty of healthy alternatives to coffee that can be equally satisfying. You’ll find just as many appealing substitutes for high-sugar foods or snacks.
Take a Walk
Mood changes can contribute to stress eating. If you get back into this habit after your surgery, you may experience complications or simply not see the expected results. A solution is to find new ways to cope with mood shifts not involving food, such as going for a walk. Doing so can give you an opportunity to clear your head. Plus, the spike in endorphins (so-called “feel good” hormones) that cardiovascular exercises like walking can produce may help improve and stabilize your mood. Other low-impact exercises can have a similar effect.
Keep a Journal or Diary
Sometimes actually writing down your thoughts as you go through mood changes can make it easier to understand your feelings and emotions. Expressing your thoughts in a journal or diary can be therapeutic since you won’t be keeping everything bottled up inside. This may also prevent you from unintentionally taking out your frustration over mood changes on loved ones or co-workers.
Identify Signs of Mood Swings
You’re not going to be able to stop all mood swings that may occur following weight loss surgery. But what you can do is learn to identify signs that you are going through mood changes, such as a sudden burst of frustration or anger for no reason or an urge to cry. Do your best to be aware of these feelings and draw on support from friends and loved ones.
A psychological evaluation is usually required prior to weight loss surgery. This can be a good time to work through any lingering anxiety you may have before going ahead with your procedure. Even if you are fine emotionally before your surgery, hormone adjustments can throw your mood cycles out of whack temporarily as you recover and shed pounds. It can also be helpful to talk to other individuals who’ve had the same procedure to get some advice on how they coped with mood issues following their surgery.