It is common that patients are unsure of how to get out of weight plateaus and/or maintain weight after having bariatric surgery. Here are some things that are key to continuing your weight loss and maintaining your weight!
1. Realistic Post-Operative Expectations of Weight Loss
Sometimes, patients will come in wanting to get to a weight that is likely unattainable. It is beneficial to start small and work your way through multiple milestones in your weight loss journey. Start with a goal of losing 50 pounds. Once that goal is reached, go for 80 pounds, and so on. Try not to rely too much on the scale as a marker of your success!
2. Adherence to Follow-Up Visits
Patients that are compliant with attending ALL post-op follow-up appointments are more likely to lose weight and keep it off. At follow-up appointments, patients receive reinforcement of positive habits to continue, as well as, advice on how to get through weight plateaus.
3. Compliance with Nutrition Recommendations
It is recommended that during the 1st year after surgery patients should consume approximately 1,000 calories/day. Additionally, patients should aim to consume <90 grams of carbohydrates/day. Lastly, it is recommended for women to consume 60-80 grams of protein/day, while it is recommended for men to consume 70-90 grams of protein/day.
4. Practicing Mindful Eating
Eating mindfully is key to prevent overeating and promote weight loss. If you are unfamiliar with mindful eating, check out our last blog post on how to eat mindfully!
5. Take time to Plan Meals for the Week
If patients do not prepare and plan meals in advance, they are more likely to turn to a fast-food restaurant or vending machine for food. I recommend taking 1-2 days out of the week to prep your meals and snacks in order to avoid eating out!
6. Choosing Nutrient Dense over Calorie Dense Foods
Although some foods are similar in calories, they are not similar in nutrients! For example, a donut is approximately 200 calories, while a banana with 1 tbsp of peanut butter is approximately 200 calories. Even though these snacks are similar in calories, the banana with peanut butter is packed with vitamins, minerals, fructose, and healthy fats. Therefore, choose your foods wisely, always choose the most nutrient-dense option!
7. Not Drinking Fluid During and Right After Meals
Drinking fluids during and right after your meals can cause your food to slide down too quickly. This can cause unpleasant side effects like nausea, diarrhea, etc. Additionally, it may cause you to feel hungry faster. So, we recommend not drinking during meals and waiting at least 30 minutes after your meal to resume drinking.
8. Maintenance of Regular Physical Activity
Exercise is a key component of losing weight. Exercising for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week is recommended. Start with walking and progress to power walking, slow jogging, etc. When you are cleared, try to incorporate resistance exercise into your weekly routine to aid in maintaining/building lean muscle mass!
9. Having Support During Weight Loss/Maintenance
It is essential to have one person at least to help you through all of the life changes that occur after having bariatric surgery. Having someone to cheer you on or just someone to vent to about changes in your life is key for your mental health.
10. Sleeping 7-9 hours each night
Chronic lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. While you sleep, there are bodily processes that occur that aid in weight loss and keeping weight off. Aim to get no less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
If you have any questions about your weight loss and/or weight maintenance after having bariatric surgery, contact our office! We are happy to help you get the best results from your bariatric surgery at Houston Weight Loss.
Call us today for your free bariatric consultation!