First week back to work...How do you handle the munchies?
I had the same mindless snacking issue pre-op. Post op, it hasn't been as bad. First off, I just KNOW I can't have chocolate, and that was my worst pre-op obsession. So I keep some low cal snacks in the fridge and allow myself ONE in the afternoon. I eat it consciously, not while working, so that my brain really registers that I ate something. I keep low-fat mozzarella string cheese, SF puddings, no added sugar fruit cups and applesauce in many flavors, and cottage cheese. It's all yummy, and it's just enough. The only time I've tried a protein bar, it's made me a little nauseated, so I have stayed away from those, but maybe they are an option for you. You can get a little protein in at the same time. Best of all, if I think I'm hungry, but KNOW I really can't be, I just have something to drink. I love iced decaf tea with an Ocean Spray SF cran-grape (or whatever flavor) added over a big glass of ice. It's heaven! If you feel like snacking - I'd suggest trying some liquids first, then a healthy snack if you really want something solid. Just don't eat mindlessly. (When I did that, I found myself not chewing well enough and eating too fast. I was lucky I didn't get sick.) I'm not a vet by any means, but I do remember worrying about what I would do when I came back to work. Gradually the old habits will fade if you don't feed them!
I am finishing up my 2nd week back and haven't had a bit of a problem. I was a snacker too. But I have breakfast before i come to work, around 9:30-10:00 am I start drinking a protein shake. Then by lunch, I eat at home. Then around 3:30 I eat a greek yogurt or pudding cup...
I stay away from the mindless snacking because I don't bring anything that I can't have- I only bring a snack for the morning, and the afternoon. I am amazed at how much better I feel not snacking all day.
You will get the hang of it- try only bringing 2 snacks, it might help.
I've been back to work since mid-September, and here's what I've done:
high protein drink (like Click or high protein hot chocolate) on the way to work
breakfast at work, around 9 a.m.
lunch at noon
snack in the afternoon (like another high protein hot chocolate, or a few crackers and cheese or pistachos)
cheese stick on the way home from work
dinner when I reach home
sugar free popsicle, jello or pudding as dessert
This seems to work pretty well for keeping "hunger" at bay, and I can stay within my calories for the day (around 1000 give or take a few). As I'm allowed a few more calories, I'll add a bit more to my breakfast or lunch.
I work at home so I am constantly fighting the urge to cook something or search the refrigerator for snacks. I think it boils down to mouth boredom. If I have something N/S to keep my mouth busy I'm ok. Hot tea helps now with fall, iced tea or Crystal Lite in summer. I even found pre op gummy vitamins that I use for an emergency. So far I've avoided soft drinks...yay.
It is really hard and probably something that no one is prepared for before surgery. I have a high stress job which doesn't help.