Are you considering to have weight loss surgery? Surgery is recommended for people who are severely obese and have failed to lose the weight. Most surgeons won’t perform surgery on patients unless they have a BMI over 40 or people who have a BMI of 35 who have serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes.
Weight loss surgery should NEVER be considered a quick fix to meet your weight loss goals. Remember that weight loss surgery should be considered as a last resort when it comes to reducing your weight. However, you don’t want to wait too long either. Waiting too long to have the surgery can increase your chances of gaining additional weight or your health problems become severe. Diseases such as diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, heart problems, high blood pressure, gout, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder problems increase as your weight increases.
Prepares You Mentally
Losing weight is hard and if you aren’t into it 100% it will be ten times harder. Before you can be approved for weight loss surgery, your insurance company and doctor will likely want you to lose a certain amount of weight over a 3 month period. This might be devastating news at first but your doctor wants to make sure that you are committed for the long haul.
Have you watched the popular weight loss shows on television? Extreme weight loss TV show is an excellent example that shows exactly how difficult losing weight will be over the long haul. Most of the contestants on the show end up regressing when life gets hard and they return to their old habits. If you aren’t mentally prepared to deal with the signs of regression, you could end up regaining the weight that you worked so hard to lose.
make your weight loss journey a lifestyle change. You want to destroy the negative self-talk and learn not to beat yourself up if you fail one day.
Determine What Your Triggers Are Before You Start
Do you know what triggers that got you to your current weight? Once you can identify some of your triggers, you can do your best to avoid them or learn how to recognize them so that you are prepared to handle them. Here is a list of common triggers:
- emotional eating
- mindless eating
- medication side effects
- binge eating
- past trauma – either physical or emotional
- family, relationship problems
- excessive stress in the workplace
- stressful job
- not thinking before you eat
- failing to plan your meals
- eating out too much
- certain environments such as movie theater, restaurants, family gatherings
- routine changes
- not logging your food
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and they are broken down very quickly. As you know sugar lacks nutritional value and is added to processed foods so you will have to carefully read labels to avoid added sugar. Once you start restricting your caloric intake, you want to make sure that you are consuming the right amount of vitamins and nutrients from foods that help keep you feeling full longer. Plus foods with sugar tends to contain higher amounts of calories and could push you over your daily calorie budget.
Once you have weight loss surgery, you will feel full rather quickly and you want to ensure that your body is absorbing the right nutrients. The surgery will reroute your stomach and bypass part of the small intestine to help speed up digestion. Speeding up the digestion process causes your body to naturally block some calorie absorption.
Too much sugar can also cause digestive issues called dumping syndrome.
Helps You Adjust to Eating a High Protein Diet
When you are losing weight, it is important to eat plenty of protein to help prevent muscle loss. Surgery causes malabsorption and getting the proper amount of protein in our body is important. Protein is the building blocks of your blood, skin, cartilage, muscles, and bones. Your doctor will want you to increase your protein intake to 60 to 80 grams of protein a day. Aim to eat 10 or more grams of protein 5 to 6 times a day. This will help prevent hair and lean muscle loss.
Ease into an Exercise Program
Do you currently live a sedentary lifestyle? Living a sedentary lifestyle can cause health complications including obesity, heart disease, or other complications. It is possible to turn your sedentary lifestyle around with a bit of work. It is important that you start slowly so that you don’t hurt yourself or cause injury. For example, try walking 5 minutes or even using exercises recommended by your doctor.
Not only will becoming more active make you feel better but you will improve your overall health. It will also help make losing weight easier too. Slowly increase your exercise until you work your way up to your doctor’s recommended goal.
Helps Reduce Your Recovery Time
Exercising prior to surgery can help shorten your recovery time. After your surgery, your surgeon will have you up and moving as soon as possible. The sooner you get up out of bed after surgery, the less chance that you will need assistance or therapy. Before you are allowed to go home from the hospital, your surgeon will want you to be able to walk short distances, use the bathroom on your own with little help from others, and be able to get in and out of bed safely.
Once you are home from the hospital, it is important that you get up frequently and move around. This will help keep your muscles moving. For example, after my back surgery in 2015, I was told to get up every few hours and walk around the house using my walker. The slow, gentle exercise was beneficial to my healing and it also helped prevent bed sores.
Improves Motivation to Lose the Weight
Losing weight takes dedication and patience but once you start seeing results it is exciting. Before your surgery, you will likely have to lose a certain amount of weight. It is designed to help you prep for life after surgery and it is used to help motivate you to continue losing the weight.
Teaches You How to Set Small Goals to Achieve Long-Term Success
A healthy weight loss plan will help you transition to a healthier lifestyle that will stick with you once you get to your goal weight. You need to remember, though; not all weight loss goals are helpful. Overly aggressive and unrealistic goals may only cause frustration and make you end up ditching the idea of losing weight altogether.
As you are on your weight loss journey, we recommend that you break down your goal weight into smaller chunks. For example, if you have to lose 100 pounds, we suggest breaking it down into smaller chunks. If you use 10-pound increments, once you hit your first 10 pounds lost, you can cross it off and celebrate your success. Celebrating your weight loss goals is important. Do make sure that you don’t use food as a reward.
Writing down your goals will help you meet your goals and improve your chances of meeting all of your goals.
Slowly Eases You Into Restricting Your Caloric Intake
Your doctor will recommend that you reduce your caloric intake to 800 to 1,500 calories a day. This can be a huge adjustment if you are used to eating several thousand calories a day. At first, you might have trouble adjusting to the reduced number of calories but it is possible to eat few calories without feeling hungry all the time.
We highly suggest logging your food using MyFitness Pal and weighing your food for accuracy. Even if you log your food, you have to log it correctly based on serving size. Portion control is the hardest part to learn but you can do it.
Here are a few ways that you can easily trim calories without sacrificing flavor:
- chew your food slowly and put your eating utensils down between bites
- eat at the dinner table so that you don’t end up mindlessly eating
- use spices to add flavor to your food
- stay away from creamy based foods because they often use heavy cream, butter, or other fattening fillers
- carefully choose your condiments
- find new ways to make your favorite recipes healthier such as these guiltless salad dressings
- bake, grill, or broil your food instead of frying it
- eat plenty of foods rich in fiber
- count out the correct portion size and put it in a bowl instead of eating from the bag
- use a smaller plate
- eat plenty of protein and fresh vegetables
- portion control
- pay attention to salad toppings
- eat nuts in moderation
- substitute pasta with vegetables
- stop eating when you feel full and remember you don’t have to clear your plate
- if you have kids, don’t eat the food that they didn’t eat and throw it away
- drink water with your meal
Stop Drinking Carbonated Drinks
Drinking carbonated drinks especially from a straw can cause digestive issues such as gas and bloat. Plus, drinking sodas that contain sugar can cause weight gain or slow your weight loss and you might suffer from the symptoms associated with dumping syndrome. Most surgeons recommend that you stay away from all carbonated drinks for the first three months. It can cause abdominal problems and put additional strain on your incision.
Limit Caffeine Intake
Caffeinated beverages cause dehydration. When you are thirsty is better to reach for a glass of water, unsweetened tea, decaf coffee, or milk. If you struggle with drinking enough water, you can add sugar-free kool-aid, flavored water drops, or crystal light.
Weight loss surgery can help individuals who struggle with losing weight or have health conditions that obesity causes. While weight loss surgery should be used as a last resort, it is a tool that has helped many people lose a considerable amount of weight. When you opt to have the surgery, you need to commit to sticking to a high protein, low sugar diet in order to maintain your weight loss.
Have you considered having weight loss surgery? Did you know that most insurance companies or your doctor will require you to lose a certain amount of weight before having weight loss surgery?
We are not doctors and it is best that you consult with your doctor to determine if weight loss surgery is the right option for you.