The Skills of Weight Loss Success
If you’re a patient of gastric bypass or a Lap Band procedure in Michigan, you probably already know about the many lifestyle changes you’ll need to embrace to be successful. You’ll need to stick to the diet guidelines your weight loss surgeon provides, while staying diligent in your exercise routine will be one of the best ways to keep off the pounds you lose.
But successful weight loss is a complex endeavor. Though your weight loss doctor will do everything in his power to ensure that your experience with weight loss surgery is as beneficial as possible, the amount of weight that you lose will ultimately fall to you. Yes, your diet and exercise guidelines will be crucially important, but it may also be useful to learn some other strategies that will help you eat and live healthy.
From willpower techniques to learning how to eat right, here some skills that all bariatric patients should work to arm themselves with.
Strategies for Eating and Nutrition
- Learn the labels. Though the nutritional truths of most foods are laid out in elaborate detail on their nutritional facts labels, many people still do not know how to use them. The next time you go grocery shopping, take a closer look at the calorie counts, vitamin content, ingredient list and grams of fat, sugar and sodium. Though your diet will be heavily restricted after surgery, taking a closer look at what’s in your food may make the difference between an adequate choice and a great choice.
- Find new recipes. If you never felt at home in the kitchen before, now is the time to get acclimated. You’ll need to be very careful of your dietary decisions after surgery, but that doesn’t mean your food needs to be boring and tasteless. With some careful planning and a little effort, you can make meals that fall within the guidelines of your diet and are tasty to boot. Best of all, preparing food that tastes great will encourage the members of your family to eat it as well, which will help them stay healthy and help you stay motivated.
Strategies for Exercise
- Get ready, get set. There are many different kinds of exercise that can be beneficial for bariatric patients, but regardless of what you choose, you need an adequate warm-up. The practice is crucial in loosening and stretching your muscles, improving your blood flow and preparing your body and mind for the more strenuous activities ahead. Your individual warm-up routine will vary by personal preference, chosen activity and available tools, but things like foam rolling, dynamic stretching and walking often constitute great warm-up practices. Do a little research and try a few out—soon, you’ll find a warm-up routine that works for you.
- Listen to your body. Many common injuries can be avoided if you simply learn how to pay close attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel thirsty during your workout, don’t wait to rehydrate—drink some water. If you develop a painful stitch in your side, don’t power through it—stop to massage it and breathe deeply, or think about what factors may have caused it (i.e. eating too close to your workout). You will need to develop a closer relationship with your body to become healthier, and that may start at learning more about what your body is trying to tell you.
Strategies for Willpower
Just like cooking and exercise, willpower is a skill that can be learned and practiced. Only you can determine what tricks will work best to keep your willpower strong, but distracting yourself can often be a good way to keep you from giving into unhealthy habits. If you find yourself quavering over the temptation of a negative urge, try engaging your attention with something different.
For example, write a list of the 10 reasons you truly want to lose weight for good. Then, whenever you feel the pull of an unhealthy habit, make yourself read through your list and then call one of your most supportive friends or relatives. This will delay you from making a bad decision and help you get support from someone who cares about you.
Success is Up to You
Ultimately, you’re the only one who will determine how much weight you lose after surgery. Following your doctor’s instructions precisely will help tremendously, but so will developing your own individual skills and strategies for success.