Bariatric (weight loss) surgery can be life-changing. With the obesity epidemic on the rise, men and women in every state are desperately seeking ways to bring their BMIs down to healthier levels. Thanks to advancements in bariatric medicine and procedures like the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass, the formerly obese are now enjoying slimmer bodies, greater energy, and a renewed love of life.
Imagine losing more than half of your excess weight. If you are currently 100 pounds overweight (which means a body mass index of 40 or more), you could find yourself dropping fifty or more pounds in the first couple of years following your procedure. Most people go on to drop half or more of their excess weight in the first year.
You might call that weight loss surgery success. But to find true success with any bariatric procedure, you need the other half of the equation, which is to keep the weight off long-term.
To reach this pinnacle outcome after undergoing weight loss surgery, you must commit to living a healthier lifestyle. Bariatric procedures are not magic wands. The excess fat doesn’t just melt away on its own because of surgery. The bulk of your progress will depend on how willing you are to commit to living a healthier lifestyle. Your bariatric surgeon will give you tips for living more healthily so that weight loss surgery success can be yours.
Here are five tips to adopt now, even if you’re only considering surgery, if you hope to put obesity behind you once and for all.
Lifestyle Habits for Weight Loss Surgery Success
1- Build A Better Relationship with Food
Dietary habits are one of the hardest to adopt and break because you need to eat to live. You’re going to be eating every day, multiple times per day. You can’t just cut food out of your life like you can cut out, say, cigarettes when trying to break a destructive habit. To be successful with dietary habit changes, keep a food journal. Write down what you eat, when, and how much you consume during each meal. Also, write down your mood so you can recognize hunger cues and the situations that revolve around eating to address weaknesses like social eating and snacking when bored.
Stock your home with healthy food choices and use online recipe sites to spice up your meals. After all, healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. Moreover, try eating in an environment that’s conducive to improved dietary habits, such as committing to only eating home-cooked meals at the dining room table. This stable environment will make food your friend again, instead of always seeing the meals you eat as the enemy.
2- Cut Sugar and Sodas (Even Diet)
Look up the food labels for the common foods you eat. Notice how much high fructose corn syrup and sugar there are in everyday foods. For many processed foods, these ingredients are among the first listed, which is a testament to how many of those ingredients those foods contain. By reading food labels, you can stay away from the foods that are loaded with sugar for long-term weight loss success.
After weight loss surgery, soda can cause unfavorable issues to occur with your newly altered digestive system. Cutting out sodas might appear to be a detrimental and major life change, especially if you absolutely love soda. You can never drink Coke or Sprite or Pepsi or Dr. Pepper ever again? However, you will soon come to realize that you feel better when you’re not forcing all those artificial ingredients into your system.
If you can’t cut sodas out completely, at least practice moderation. Talk to your bariatric surgeon about your relationship with soda and alternatives you may be able to trade your habit with such as flavored water and similar healthier beverages.
While these habits can be tough to crack now, before you’ve had surgery, there’s one other thing you should know. Many bariatric surgery patients report that their cravings for certain foods diminish, which makes contributing to a healthier lifestyle much easier. You may find this is the case with soda in addition to your favorite (naughty) treats like cake, pie, and candy.
3- Aim to Be Active
You don’t have to become a fitness expert right out of the gate to be successful with weight loss surgery. You don’t need to run off and join the gym or sign up for a bunch of exercise classes unless those things sound fun and engaging to you.
Try constructing your entire lifestyle around activity. Walk when possible instead of driving. Take the stairs as opposed to the elevator. Take the kids to an indoor jump park instead of taking them to the movies. And whenever you find yourself sitting in front of the TV, get up and move around, or get on the ground and work on those abs. These habit-forming activities are easy to incorporate into your average day and will help you look and feel better the more you do them.
4- Get Enough Sleep
Much of your fat loss will occur while you are sleeping. During a night of deep, rejuvenating sleep, your body goes to work healing itself. It processes waste and burns fat. The deeper sleep you can manage, the greater your chances of achieving and maintaining significant weight loss.
Practice excellent sleep hygiene which includes the following advice.
- Limit caffeine and your screen time as you prepare for bed.
- Try not to eat right immediately before you go to sleep.
- Make your bedroom cool and dark to stimulate deep sleep.
- Shade your windows to keep the morning light out.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress that supports your spine and neck.
Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night to receive the greatest health benefit.
5- Drink More Water
If you think you drink enough water during the day, chances are you need to drink more. Most people don’t drink enough of the water they need daily for their bodies to properly function. While your body is busy while sleeping, it also works hard during the day, especially if you’re active.
Use a water drinking app on your smartphone to track your level of hydration and try carrying around a big water bottle that encourages you to drink throughout the day, even while working. The more water you drink, the greater your chances of dropping the excess fat and keeping it off for good.
Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?
Choosing weight loss surgery is a big and scary decision to make. Taking your health into your own hands is one of the best ways to draw your line in the stand against the disease of obesity. You will lose weight, but to keep it off you must commit to healthier living.
You now have several ways of committing to a healthier lifestyle starting today. Pay attention to your habits – good and bad – and construct your life around the healthier habits you want to adopt. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind. It’s not a race. It’s a marathon, and the finish line is your long-term weight loss success.
Call to See if You’re a Good Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery
Healthy Life Bariatrics is committed to helping you find success with weight loss surgery. Whether you’re just now considering surgery or you’re deep into the research phase, you can get all your questions answered by scheduling a consultation with Los Angeles bariatric surgeon Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki.
At Healthy Life Bariatrics, Dr. Moeinolmolki and his professional team can help you fight obesity with proven procedures like the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. We help bariatric surgery patients throughout Los Angeles, Glendale, and Encino, and we look forward to helping you too. Find out if you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery by calling (310)694-4486.