At The Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management, we recognize that achieving significant weight loss requires you to make several lifestyle changes, while also learning new skills. Here are a few tips to help ease your transition and more effectively prepare for your upcoming bariatric surgery in the East Valley.
#1 Reduce Caffeine – Gradually decrease the amount of caffeine you consume. Replace your normal caffeinated beverage with decaf coffee, decaf tea or a non-caffeinated drink. Patients who stop consuming caffeine suddenly at the time of surgery may experience symptoms of withdrawal, such as intense headaches.
#2 Reduce Carbonated Beverages – Reduce the amount of cold, carbonated beverages you consume. Carbonated beverages, such as sodas, contain compressed gas. When this cold gas reaches your 99.5 ºF stomach, your stomach is forced to expand, which can be extremely uncomfortable in patients who have undergone some form of restricted surgical weight loss. Sodas cannot be a part of your diet after weight loss surgery. So, if you are planning on having a weight loss procedure, start cutting these drinks out of your routine now.
#3 Reduce Your Sugar Intake – Reduce the amount of high sugar foods in your diet. Reduce your intake of foods containing refined sugars, such as doughnuts, cakes and candy, as well as products containing sucrose. Introduce more whole grains, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, low fat dairy products and lean meats into your daily diet.
#4 Reduce Portion Size – Start reducing meal portions and fat intake. Choose sensible portions of nutritious meals that are lower in fat. Also, try not to eat while watching TV, since this can negatively influence how much you eat. Start keeping records of your food intake with a food intake journal.
#5 Eat Slower – Eat at a slower pace. Eating slowly gradually reduces your appetite and allows you to eat less without feeling deprived. Plus, you’ll actually enjoy the taste of your food more!
#6 Exercise Daily – Gradually increase your daily amount of physical activity. Engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Walking is a great exercise. Keep records of your physical activity each day. Download The Bridges Center physical activity journal page.
#7 Stop smoking
According to the American Cancer Society, smoking lowers the amount of oxygen in your body and negatively affects your blood circulation. In addition to impeding your healing process following weight loss surgery, smoking increases your chance of infections, forming painful ulcers, as well as inflammations in your intestines and stomach.
A Strategic Approach to Weight Loss
- Determine the reason(s) why you are obese. Obesity is caused by many different factors, such as genetics, medical conditions and lifestyle habits. In many cases, psychological and emotional issues influence eating habits and obesity — including boredom, frustration, sadness, depression, loneliness, stress, anxiety and anger. Emotional eating is a common way to sabotage weight loss. Become aware of the situations and emotions that trigger overeating.
- Replace overeating with non-food related activities. When you have the urge to overeat due to a negative emotion, try to distract yourself by participating in a non-food related activity: take a walk … read a book or magazine … call a family member or friend … work on a craft project … write in a journal. The key is to get your mind off of food.
- Think positive thoughts. Many times, you are your own worst critic. Just remember, the fact that you’re reading this demonstrates that you are taking action to improve your quality of life. Negative self-reflection can become so habitual that you accept it as fact. These negative thoughts can limit your opportunities, confidence, relationships and health. Take this weight loss journey as an opportunity to turn your thoughts around. Take the time to practice positive thinking as much as you have practiced self-disapproval. You can do it!
- Set smart, achievable daily goals. Start with using at least one of the health tips listed above. Remember, only set attainable goals – do not overwhelm yourself by tackling too much at one time. Every bit of effort makes a positive difference.
- Reward yourself for accomplishing your goals. Every step you take toward achieving your weight loss goals is worthy of self-praise. Reward yourself for becoming one step closer to a happier, healthier you.
Ready to Get Started?
Are you ready to begin your weight loss journey? Meet our board-certified surgeons at a free surgical weight loss seminar in Phoenix or Mesa, AZ. For patients with a BMI over 40 (in some cases, 35), there’s no reason not to learn about the surgical option.*