success

Reaching Goal Weight and Preventing Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

December 26, 2016 no comments operator Categories Blog, Healthy Living, Uncategorized

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Contrary to popular belief, bariatric surgery is not a guaranteed long-term weight loss solution. You have to put in the work and make lifestyle changes in order for your surgery to be a life long success. Continuing or going back to old, unfavorable habits can quickly bring you back to where you were before your procedure. Start 2017 off right and follow these tips to ensure that you will have permanent results.

Bariatric Surgery Long Term Success Tips

1. Continue follow-ups with your bariatric surgeon and bariatric dietitian 

It is very important to continue regular visits with both your bariatric surgeon and your bariatric dietitian. Just because you are losing weight and you feel wonderful at the moment does not mean you should stop these meetings. Remember that the weight comes off much faster in the first few months following surgery, so nothing may alarm you. However, this surgery is a lifelong commitment and should not be taken lightly. Aim to meet with your surgeon as directed right after surgery and at least 1-2 times per year after that, and try to check in with your dietitian once every 3-4 months. This will help you stay on track, continue progressing, and prevent issues before they arise. Always remember that preventative medicine is best!   You should be keeping up with your blood work and meeting with your dietitian go over your food/nutrition plan to ensure you are getting in proper nutrients and not losing too much muscle. You took this step to change your health, it is OK to get some assistance along the way.

2. Utilize the surgery

You just got a wonderful procedure done and your stomach is much smaller than it once was. Make sure to pack it full of nutrients and filling foods such as PROTEIN, fiber, &  healthy fats.  This will ensure you will stay satisfied longer and prevent overeating. This is the point of the surgery isn’t it? When you do have some space and hunger, make it count with a nutrient dense choice. Try your best to avoid going too long without eating, every 3-4 hours is ideal.  Getting in your fluids and staying away from excessive amounts of coffee/caffeine is also important and another way to utilize your surgery. Again, you’ve been handed an amazing tool of a smaller stomach, so make sure to take advantage! Over time you will be able to eat more so adapting these habits from the start will keep the weight off for good. If you are not eating protein & fiber packed foods, skipping meals, and not getting in enough fluids, you are not fully utilizing your surgery. (and taking advantage of such a wonderful tool you’ve been given)

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3. Always remember the rules (& never get too comfortable)

When you first arranged your surgery, you were provided with a bunch of rules of thumb to follow. These are not only for the first few weeks following the surgery, they are life long! You are given these rules for your advantage. You are not invincible and things can change over time. It will benefit you greatly to adhere to:

  • Not drinking and eating together: waiting 20-30 minutes after drinking to eat, and 20-30 minutes after eating to drink
  • Avoiding carbonated beverages, even diet (can expand your stomach in the long run!)
  • Eating slowly
  • Chewing thoroughly
  • Reaching your protein goals & eating it first at your meals
  • Avoiding high calorie/sugary drinks (juices, lattes, alcohol) the empty calories add up and go down even smoother

4. Keep yourself accountable

Tracking any and everything from what you eat, drink, exercise, and even your mood will help you stay accountable and mindful.  Just even 2-3 days per week if it is tough to do daily is great. It will also help you and your health care provider recognize any unhealthy habits/patterns that are starting to form. In the beginning, you are so limited to what you can eat, so what are a few snacks here and there going to do? Well over time, you are able to eat more (and are more comfortable) and that one handful of chips or pretzels or that 1-2 chicken nuggets can easily turn into a few more. Continue with weigh ins, follow-up visits, and support group attendance. You are the only person you are cheating if you aren’t honest with yourself. This surgery can be so extremely beneficial, but it is a must to stay accountable and pay attention to what you are doing!

5. Exercise/movement

The end goal of the surgery should be to be fit & healthy. Maintaining a healthy weight consists of both a balanced diet and exercise. Exercising will keep you burning calories (especially on those days you had that extra piece of chocolate) help tone loose skin, and build muscle to help your metabolism. It may not accelerate your weight loss, but it is a key factor in keeping the weight off for years to come. It is also very beneficial for mental health, heart health, and overall well-being.

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Remember!

If you have fallen off track or if you see yourself heading down an unhealthy path, make sure you reach out to your healthcare providers.  Do not feel embarrassed or shy! They are here to help you. Experts in this field, such as your surgeon and bariatric dietitian, can help you stay or get back on track by providing you the tools you need to jump-start again and stay motivated.

The worst thing you can do is go back on an extreme diet or take a diet pill. This will only set you back further. Figure out what is preventing your progress and work on these issues one by one. If you still have too many barriers, consider meeting with a therapist to help.

Eating your protein first will never get old either. Protein will keep you fuller longer, avoid eating too many “empty” calories, utilize the surgery,  and it is necessary for so many of your body’s functions. And just one more last piece of advice: avoid exploring too much. Just because the surgery isn’t stopping you, doesn’t mean do it. 🙂

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We always focus on protein! So here is a sample high protein day: 

*this is only for patients that are beyond the first few months of surgery

Breakfast: 

Egg Wrap: 24 g

  • 1 egg and 1 egg white (10g)
  • Flatout Protein Up Flatbread (12g)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped and sautéed (1g)
  • 1 Tbsp salsa
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sautéed (1g)

OR

Smoothie: 28 g

  • Protein powder (15-20g)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (3g)
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter (4g)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup spinach (1g)

Lunch:

Tuna Salad: 22 g

  • 2 oz tuna (14g)
  • 1/2 cup kale or romaine (1g)
  • 1 oz Roasted Chickpeas (5g)
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds (2g)
  • 1/4 cup avocado

Snack: 15g

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (10g)
  • 1 oz pumpkin seeds (5g)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Dinner: 17g

  • 2/3 cup lentil pasta (14g)
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce (1 g)
  • 1/3 cup zucchini (2g)

Snack: 5-7 g

  • Frozen greek yogurt bar or Enlightened Bar (5-7 g)

Total: 80-90 grams protein

As always, you can only try your best. Everyone has different eating styles and amounts they can eat at one time.

You can call the office at 732-210-9581 or visit https://lbsnutritionllc.com/contact-us.html to schedule your nutrition counseling appointment & get more of these meal plans!

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