Changing Behaviors

Changing BehaviorsTo ensure post-surgery weight loss success you must change your behavioral habits now. Having the wrong mindset or participating in the wrong activities will interfere with your ability to lose weight after your surgery.

Bariatric surgery requires you to make positive behavioral changes in your food, diet and exercise habits. In addition to maintaining a healthy mindset, you will need to change your environment and discontinue previous unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Develop the life-affirming habits you will need to succeed with post-surgery weight loss early on. Do not rely on your surgery to force you into these healthy habits. Changing behavioral habits will take time and commitment, so surround yourself with support from family and friends. If you are ready to make this commitment, begin researching the knowledge and tools needed to develop life-long healthy habits.

Take these Steps to Develop Healthy Eating Habits

Set yourself up for success by developing the goal-setting skills necessary to achieve healthy habits prior to undergoing surgery. You can start by following these suggestions.

Planning and Theory

Life-long habits begin with you. Leading up to your surgery, spend time researching or speaking to someone whose diet and fitness habits you admire. This person could be your weight loss doctor, a support group member or a successful bariatric surgery patient. Figure out what keeps them motivated to continue with healthy habits.

Planning ahead will also help prepare you for bariatric surgery lifestyle changes:

  • Remove all unhealthy foods or those that present you with temptation from your home.
  • Prepare your healthy meal plans and grocery lists in advance to avoid tempting impulse buys.
  • Keep a journal of everything you eat—review it often to identify dangerous eating habits you’ll need to break before your surgery.
  • Break away from sedentary habits—get on your feet and move around whenever possible as opposed to watching TV or sitting at the computer for extended periods of time

Positive Choice Actions

Once you’ve defined your habitual objectives, create an action plan for your health and weight loss goals. Your action plan will plot your short-term and long-term goals on a realistic timeline. Make sure your goals are realistic, flexible and most of all, attainable.

Healthy Choice Management

As you begin to develop healthy habits before surgery, keep in mind it’s going to take practice. You should be stress-testing your action plan during the weeks or months leading up to your surgery.

Be prepared to face challenges, but remember that they will help you prepare for the lifestyle changes that will follow your operation. As you encounter slip-ups in your action plan or find a certain healthy habits hard, figure out a way to work through them and develop methods to prevent mistakes from happening again.

Making behavioral changes may seem tough at first, but stay focused on the big picture. Keep track of your goals and use your support tools to make sure you stay on target with your weight loss efforts and never hesitate to ask your bariatric surgeon or weight loss surgery team for advice.