Food...ah, the conundrum, how to get in enough protein and still eat other foods. I am on a multi-vitamin daily to help with nutrient deficiencies. Nutrient deficiencies can make your body feel hungry because it's wanting something you aren't giving it.
Below are some questions I've been asked after surgery:
What do you crave after surgery? I had a major salt craving last week and OD'd myself on 10 olives and 3 small pickles. Then my tummy complained for the rest of the night about all that vinegar! LOL
What kind of protein are you eating? I am particularly happy with rotisserie chicken right now, especially the lemon pepper flavor. It's soft, so easy to chew, and it's dense, so it keeps my tummy full for a long time. I recently tried steak for the first time since surgery and that kept me full for quite a while as well.
Are you getting any carbs at all? I know that lots of folks try to avoid eating a lot of carbs, but your body probably needs some carbs to burn daily. Adding in some carbs helps with the empty feeling. A piece of toast may be enough (or too much if you're an early post-op).
I ate a lot of instant mashed taters with my early mushy foods. I don't eat them as much now, but they helped keep me feeling full back then. Of course "a lot" is a relative term. I'd have under an ounce of mashed at any one time, along with my 2 or 3 ounces of protein.
Another thing I do is to keep mini babybel cheeses on hand. I'll eat one of those if I'm hungry and it usually keeps me full until my next meal time. Most mornings, one of those is my "breakfast". I just can't face real food until after 11 am, it seems.
I have posted before that I see food now as either protein or not protein. My major goal every day is to get that 70 grams of protein into my sleeve. That's followed vey closely by my trying to get 64 oz of water in as well.
I basically eat anything I want, but those two goals are first and foremost now.