Weight Loss Surgery: Tips to a Healthier You

Weight loss surgery provides you with a powerful tool to help you lose weight. Everyone’s journey is different, and how fast you lose weight is different from person to person.

Your weight loss is also dependent on which weight loss surgery you have had. For example, if you have had a lap-band, the weight comes off more slowly. On the contrast, if you have had a gastric bypass or duodenal switch, your weight loss may be more rapid. However, slow weight loss and weight loss plateaus are part of the journey. Don’t forget to be patient with yourself as you learn more about your body and its cues and continue to steer the course. Here are some suggestions you might find helpful:

1.  Take the focus off of the scale. Try focusing on your healthy behaviors, like nutritious eating, hydration and exercise, and not so much on the scale. Remember during this transformation, you will want to focus on creating a healthy lifestyle. This includes being active for long-term weight loss. Put your energy into new activities and hobbies you enjoy doing.

2. Pay attention to how your body feels. Start learning how your activity impacts your energy levels. Take notice of your energy level when you are staying hydrated and exercising. Being in tune with your body is very rewarding and should be a goal after weight loss surgery.

3. Don’t discount sleep. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep (7-8 hours a night). Getting your sleeping habits in check may help with any supposed hunger (i.e. lack of energy) that you may be experiencing.

4. Don’t forget your supplements. Take your vitamin and mineral supplements every day and be consistent. One helpful way that you can remember to take them is to use your technology by setting alarms on your phone or tablet as reminders.

5.  Journal it. Use your food journal to write down your feelings about food. Keep track of emotional hunger or cravings. Differentiating between our physical hunger and our emotional hunger takes time, patience, as well as persistence. When food has been our friend or our comforter, sometimes it can be hard to say good-bye. Your surgeon’s support group can be a good meeting to attend to help you find solutions for some of your struggles.  A great book that we often recommend is Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. This book will guide you along your path to eating more mindfully.

6. Take the time to de-stress. Chronic, uncontrolled stress can wreak havoc on your emotions and physical health, which will hamper your weight loss success. If you feel you have excess stress, here are some suggestions to help you manage it.

  • Be active. Physical activity can reduce stress by increasing the feel-good hormones called endorphins. Don’t forget yoga!
  • Deep breathing is a very simple, but highly effective technique for relaxation. Inhale deeply, with your belly going back in as much as possible. Then exhale deeply, with your belly puffing out as much as possible. Practicing at least five minutes of deep breathing a day helps your body get into the relaxation response.
  • Meditation can be effective in lowering our stress. Try to let go of thoughts and try to be completely free of thoughts. A regular mediation practice may help you cut back emotional eating if you are struggling with this.

The weight loss journey following surgery is just that, a journey. Don’t forget to surround yourself with support and give yourself a pat on the back for your successes. Our team of experts is here to help you along the way.

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