As many know and understand, bariatric surgery is a wonderful tool that helps with weight loss. However, keeping the weight off and not slipping back into old habits is another topic.
In order to reach your goal weight and maintain that weight, consistency is key. And this involves committing to a lifestyle change. No one is going to be perfect on their journey, and some weight regain in common.
But here are several key habits to focus on that will help you reach and maintain the healthier lifestyle goals you have set for yourself.
Protein is essential for maintaining and building lean muscle, which helps with your strength and energy and metabolism. Protein helps you feel fuller for longer as well. Always try to eat your protein first at every meal and try to maintain this as a lifelong habit.
Focusing on calorie free and carbonation-free drinks is important. It is easy to confuse hunger and thirst, so instead of snacking on foods between meals, make sure you are focusing on reaching your 64 oz fluid goal for the day.
Having supportive friends and family close by is so helpful. When we face life’s challenges, it’s always nice to have that emotional support or encouraging words close by to lean on. For some, it is extra helpful to talk with others that have had bariatric surgery as well. I would suggest looking into joining a local support group to create connections and ask questions of others going through the same thing.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle does involve incorporating physical activity into your weekly routine. This can look different for different people. Some enjoy sports like participating in a recreational softball league while others prefer outdoor activities like walking and hiking. Many choose to stick with traditional exercise habits by going to the gym, participating in group fitness classes, or working out from home watching workout videos. Whatever fits your lifestyle and interests best, try to be active 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes. There might be weeks where you are unable to reach this goal. But do your best to incorporate even a 10 minute walk during a work break on the days you’re extra busy. Check out this blog on physical activity for more information.
This is the practice of being present while you eat. By avoiding distractions and focusing on your meal and how satisfied you are does help reduce the likelihood of overeating. It does help to eliminate distractions around meal time as well. Make sure the TV is off, stop scrolling through your phone, and focus on enjoying your meal.
Going to follow up visits as recommended by your surgeon’s office is so important. These visits review your lab work to make sure your vitamin levels are looking good, and allow you to stay connected with the resources that are available to help you if you experience weight regain. The dietitians are there to help, support, and guide you along your journey to living a healthier lifestyle through nutrition.
Using cell phone apps or food logs is essential for staying on track with your nutrition and tracking your progress. People that track their nutrition, even through weight maintenance are less likely to regain weight. This helps you to visualize what areas could be improved whether that is with increased snacking, carbohydrate intake, or reduced fluids..
We love the app Baritastic, because it is made uniquely for someone that has had bariatric surgery. If you use the program code 87168, you will be able to access all of our nutrition resources as well!