Jacqui Lewis - BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine
5 Keys to Long-Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery
Depending on your surgeon, your number one priority is setting weight loss goals -this keeps your eye on the prize. Certain principles govern these weight loss goals. The principles for bariatric surgery success long-term are simple in theory:
Eat right, exercise consistently, and take your vitamin supplements.
As you start on the path to regaining your health, adhering to these guidelines can just seem… well, hard.
But with proper support through Bariatric groups and education, long-term success after Bariatric Surgery is within reach.
The following weight loss tips can help you stay on the right path.
The accredited saying to Thomas Jefferson that “Knowledge is power” has transcended to current society.
You know that your body's digestive system has changed anatomically due to your weight loss procedure. This is why the importance of Bariatric Surgery patient education can not be stressed enough.
Your new lifestyle requires following specific directions to set you up for success. However, when people follow directions blindly, their compliance level is much more likely to decrease.
Suppose you take the time to educate yourself on the roles protein, vitamin supplements, and exercise play in your body's organs and systems.
In that case, you are much more likely to adhere to your bariatric post-surgery routine. While the best source of information will always be from your surgeon, support group and dietitian, they aren't available for answers at your fingertips. But BN Healthy is. We have a wealth of information in our frequently updated blog providing easy access to education on everything weight loss surgery related.
2. Food Preparation
Food prep is common in other communities, such as bodybuilders, as a technique to save time. Preparing your menus and some of the cooking in advance takes the pressure off you for making poor decisions when life gets hectic. Although you can tailor the order for your personal schedule, food preparation consists of the following:
- Designating one day per week to go to the grocery store. Remember, write down a list! Another trick: Do not go to the store hungry. You are much less likely to buy tempting snacks.
- Chop! Chop! You can use Sunday afternoons to cut up the vegetables you plan to use in the week's recipes to save time each evening.
- Be proactive about your menu list: Designate what foods you will eat for each meal daily. This removes the stress of "panic ordering," especially when going to a restaurant.
- Journaling: Although not related directly to food preparation, keeping a food journal helps to see where you may have made any hiccups and how you can tweak meals in the future.
3. Avoid Temptation
When grocery shopping, you'll want to follow a large U shape. One end will contain all of the fresh produce, all of which is Bariatric friendly, and then you will pass through the meat and dairy sections, which also include several Bariatric friendly options. The only part of the U that should be avoided: The bakery and deli, processed meat and carb haven.
Inside the perimeter of the aisles lay all the processed foods Americans gravitate towards (except the paper products and trash bags, which you may purchase), so navigating them can be tricky.
Certain foods you may want to incorporate into your diet include whole grains or nuts and seeds as toppings for salads and smoothies.
Of course, these foods are buried in a sea of sugary cereals and baking supplies, so use caution. You won't be tempted to eat it if you don't buy it.
4. But Don’t “Ban” Anything
Now that you understand the nutritional importance of protein and are more equipped to resist tempting foods, let's all relax a little. While general Bariatric diet principles encourage portion control and healthy food choices, you only live once. Our society is structured around the enjoyment of food, and to completely abstain from everything you love would:
1. Be plain depressing
2. Compound your craving for the particular exceptional food
3. Increase your FOMO
You can have some pumpkin pie or brownies during social gatherings such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or birthday parties. There are two keys to doing this without compromising your weight loss progress:
1. Savor each bite: Eat mindfully.
2. Portion control: Half of a brownie or a small slice of pie will still satisfy a sweet tooth craving.
3. Save the splurges for foods you really enjoy!