How to Get Back on Track After Weight Loss Surgery
Weight re-gain after weight loss surgery can happen and it’s never too late to get back on track.
Anyone who has had weight loss surgery understands that it is a great tool to lose a significant amount of weight – particularly your first year after surgery. However, for long-term success, it is important to make necessary nutrition, fitness and behavioral changes as well. This is why Dr. Atwa and our entire team at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors work so closely with our patients before and after surgery – so they not only lose weight, but truly understand how to keep it off.
If you find you are re-gaining weight after weight loss surgery, it is time to ‘get back to the basics’ as soon as you notice this trend. Here are some very effective ways to get back on track:
Remember Your WHY and Commit to Change
Remember why you had weight loss surgery in the first place and commit out loud and in writing to the necessary changes you need to make to get back on track with your weight loss and improved health. There is no need to beat yourself up about weight re-gain. Statistics show that approximately 20-25% of patients struggle with weight re-gain after weight loss surgery. Simply accept it and make a renewed commitment to the changes and actions that will get you back on track. You are more than worth it!
Track Your Food Intake and Make Necessary Changes
In order to evaluate the problem, it is important to gather food intake tracking. Your food diary, whether written on paper or through a convenient app, holds the clues to what is causing weight re-gain and sheds light on necessary changes. Focus on the basics of eating lean protein first and then nutrient dense vegetables. This will help keep you more satisfied throughout the day and night.
Avoid Grazing Throughout the Day
Grazing – or eating small quantities throughout the day leads to too many calories and is a sure path to weight re-gain. Plan your meals carefully and avoid eating in between meals. It also helps to plan your meals ahead of time, eat at a table instead of on the go and take time to savor and enjoy your food.
Avoid High Calorie Liquids
High calorie liquids such as drinks with sugar or alcoholic beverages are ingested easily and can really add up! Drink low/no-calorie liquids to stay hydrated and as you know – water is best. It is important to sip on water all day long. You will be amazed at how much water you can get in when you approach it this way. In addition, being hydrated helps to prevent you from confusing thirst with hunger.
This is easier said than done but will really help with your weight loss efforts from a hormonal perspective as well as increasing your sense of control. Some ways to minimize your stress (and help your weight loss efforts) include:
- Physical activity can help which releases endorphins that can also improve your mood.
- Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you focus on the present moment.
- Taking slow, deep breaths can help calm your body and reduce stress.
- Getting an adequate amount of sleep can lower your stress level.
- Making time for activities that you enjoy with the side benefit of reducing stress. Activities such as reading, taking a bath, listening to music, getting a spa service, painting, yoga, gardening or simply spending time outdoors in nature.
- Spending time with friends and loved ones that you have a supportive connection with is fun and also shown to reduce stress.
- Laughing is a great way to release stress and release pent up stress inside.
Regular physical activity is an essential part of weight loss and weight maintenance – and can help lower your stress level. You can start with low-impact activities, such as walking or swimming, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as your fitness level improves. This is also a great way to release some of the stress you may be experiencing.
This is the time to make sure you are going to your follow-up visits and attending support group.
Remember that weight loss surgery is a tool to lose a significant amount of weight. However, to achieve long-term success, it is important to make ongoing lifestyle changes and adopt new habits so you can use your tool to its fullest potential.
At Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, we have ongoing support for our weight loss surgery patients throughout their first year after weight loss surgery and beyond. To learn more, please reach out to us today.