If you’re contemplating a gastric sleeve or you are on a solid path to getting it done then this article can help you down the path to success. For most people gastric sleeve surgery is a last resort to lose a significant amount of body fat in a short amount of time. The question then becomes how do you keep it off? That comes with the habits that you start building before and after your weight loss surgery. These are not really easy habits to build since a lot of them go against what you have been doing for most of your life. Not drinking while you eat, portion control and consistent and progressively challenging exercise are a few of those habits that need to be established.
Water for weight loss
Getting enough water is crucial to you keeping your weight off. If you are not a big water drinker now, start focusing on that change. Start carrying a water bottle around with you more often, set up an alarm to remind you to drink. Second, is how you drink water. If you are still in the pre-op stage of bariatric surgery how quickly you drink isn’t an issue. When you lose a large portion of your stomach this changes. Practice taking small sips.
Third is when do you drink? Once you have gone through the surgery drinking and eating together is not the greatest idea. It allows the food to move through your system a bit faster opening up the opportunity to eat more than you should. This is a gateway habit for weight regain.
This one seems silly. It’s the gastric sleeve’s primary purpose, right? Yes it is but you are still going to be in control of your portion sizes. At first not so much. The pouch will only be so big and a probable lack of an appetite will help with that portion control. Yet as you get further out from your surgery you will find that it becomes easier to eat more at one sitting. This is a natural progression of the weight loss surgery. But building good habits around portion control can limit the time it takes to increase the size of your pouch.
One of the best habits to build is to always measure the volume of your meals. Never trust your eyes to tell you what 4 oz looks like because it will not be accurate. Second get in the habit of doing a periodic food journal. This gives you an opportunity to really see what you are eating (not just guess about it.) It can also expose some bad eating habits that may have slipped back into your life.
Exercise – it should always be a bit difficult.
The habit of exercise is for some a very difficult thing to build. But if you really want to get the most from this weight loss surgery it needs to be part of your life. Focus on strength training in the first year after gastric sleeve surgery then you will see some great results. The thing is the longer you workout the less effective the workouts become; unless you change up what you do. You can’t stay in a routine too long or progress will slow down. So you need to get into the habit of building a program that will keep challenging you. One that, as you become stronger and fitter, progresses the resistance up in a safe way. This can be a bit challenging if you are new to exercise so take time to talk with a professional about what that means for you.
This is just a partial list of things to think about when you are contemplating a gastric sleeve. Yet if you start working towards making these changes a more permanent part of your life you will make losing weight and keep you weight off easier.
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Geof has been working with bariatric surgery clients for over a decade. His goal with Coaching For Bariatric Success is to give you the tools to make your weight loss successful for the long term.