Along your journey I’m sure you have all heard “weight loss surgery is just a tool”. This is such a common phrase because it is exactly that. The surgery itself is just one small piece in a very large and complex puzzle. Bariatric surgery will not be as effective if you don’t make health conscious decisions with your food, activity levels, and day-to-day lifestyle. Changing habits is not an easy thing to do and even when you begin to create those new healthy habits the old ones are always wanting to creep back into your life. Whether you are 2 months out, 6 months out, a year out, or five+ years out, falling off track can happen to anyone. What is important to do is to recognize that you are getting off track and find a way to get yourself back on the pathway to success. Here are 7 tips to get your life, health, and habits back in your control!
Be mindful of what you eat and drink.
It is very common to eat and drink without paying attention to how much we are actually consuming. Portion control is so important to your success. In fact, most people underestimate how much they eat in a day. If you have found that you are stalled at a certain weight or are regaining, a good start would be to track and log what you are eating over a week. There are many apps that make this fast and easy to do, we recommend using Baritastic. When you become aware of what you are consuming on a daily basis it is easier to make better healthier choices.
Are you eating enough protein?
At the very center of the bariatric diet is protein. Protein helps you feel full longer, slows down digestion to make you feel more satisfied, maintains muscle as you lose fat, and much more. Overall, protein is an essential part of your weight loss success. This is the reason you should always eat your protein first before any other part of your meal. If you feel like you have been less focused on getting your daily protein intake try to center your mind back to having 60 – 80 grams of protein a day. Protein sources include: meat, eggs, low fat cheese, low fat or fat free yogurt, beans, fish/seafood, and poultry. For more details about how to get the right amount of protein per day call 913-677-6319 to schedule an appointment with one of our registered dietitians.
Are you drinking enough water and at the right time?
It is easy to replace water with other drinks during the day that are high in carbs including juices, coffee drinks, soda, and sweet tea, but that can be a main source of weight regain. Everyone, especially bariatric patients, need to drink at least 64 ounces of water to stay properly hydrated. In addition to drinking enough water you need to make sure you are not drinking water during/with your meals. When you drink with your meals the food gets flushed through your pouch so you have minimal satiety. This will make you hungry within a short period of time. Focus on drinking water when you wake up and between meals for best results.
You might not be getting enough physical activity.
Exercise plays a critical role in losing weight and also keeping it off. Getting enough physical activity will help you be successful in meeting your weight loss goal, improve your energy, improve your mood, and help you sleep better. If you are someone that struggles to get yourself to the gym or “hates working out”, we have a solution for you. There are so many different ways to get physical activity that “hating working out” can no longer be an excuse. You can take your dog on a walk, take a Zumba class, try water aerobics classes, do group fitness activities, do yoga, the list is endless. Focus on finding something you love and make small goals along the way until you reach your final end goal.
Are you getting enough sleep?
I think we can all agree that there’s not enough time in the day to get everything we want to get done. It is tough to balance working out, eating healthy, work, social life, sleep, family, etc. It is unrealistic to get 10 hours of sleep a night for most of us, but try to aim for 7-9 hours. Sleep impacts both your impulse control and decision making. When you have gotten a full night of sleep you are likely to be more active during the day and make healthy food choices. With sleep, exercise, and food all impacting one another and all being vital for weight loss success it is important to put an equal focus on all three.
Make sure you set realistic goals for yourself.
Sometimes looking at the big picture can be extremely overwhelming, but if you can break down your ultimate goal into small realistic goals the big picture looks much less frightening. Every time you reach a new goal you will be more driven to meet then next one. This can be a great cycle and habit to get into. Goals allow us to believe in ourselves, give us inspiration, and hold ourselves accountable.
Be active within the bariatric community.
A great way to add to your support system is by attending support group meetings. Everyone there has been in your shoes and knows the experiences surrounding weight loss surgery. Each member has a different journey to share and understands the emotions involved and the dedication required for a successful bariatric surgery. Another way to get extra support is by being active in online support groups. There you can ask for support but also give your support to others, so it is the best of both worlds. The Bariatric Center of Kansas City has a closed support group on Facebook that in very interactive. Click here for the link to join: Support Group Link.
Most of you reading this are probably doing so because you’re ready to get your bariatric journey back on track. We want you to know that our support is always here for you. We hope that these tips and tricks will help you while you travel your pathway to success! If you have any specific questions related to this information provided or would like to make an appointment with us, feel free to contact The Bariatric Center of Kansas City, 913-677-6319. Our specialists can assist you with information and bariatric support.
If you’re interested in starting a bariatric journey soon, sign up to attend a free informational seminar today by registering at: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-bariatric-center-of-kansas-city-at-shawnee-mission-health-lenexa-ks-324917613