New Year’s Resolutions after Bariatric Surgery
Written By: Emma Squillace
New Year’s is known for being the time that so many people make resolutions – and often those commitments are to lose weight. Of course any time someone makes a choice to improve their health, it’s a good step. However, you likely know the reality is that the vast majority of people who commit to losing weight on January 1, have abandoned their resolution by the end of the month. Why does this happen? First of all, the resolution to ‘lose weight’ is such a broad and difficult goal. Additionally, losing a substantial amount of weight with diet and exercise alone is incredibly difficult. That’s why so many people lose weight successfully with bariatric surgery or a gastric balloon: these tools are the extra step that allow diet and exercise to be successful. While a resolution to ‘lose weight’ may be very general, we’ve got some suggestions for weight-loss related resolutions that are great for bariatric surgery patients – or for anyone!
Eliminate liquid calories
Whether you’re starting your weight loss journey or well down the path, one way to find improvement is in liquid calories. Commit to saving all your calories for food. This means drinking lots of water, unsweetened seltzer, and enjoying coffee or teas instead of hot chocolate, vanilla lattes, and egg nog. You may be able to cut hundreds of calories out of your day, without adjusting the foods you eat at all.
Another great resolution – especially for those who feel they’re stuck in a plateau – is to track every bite of food you eat for 2 weeks. Sometimes seeing everything we’re taking in can give us insight into why we’re not losing weight. Maybe you’re eating more sodium than you should. Maybe the small cookies or a few bites of your kids’ dinners are adding up. Maybe your portion sizes have slowly increased without you realizing. Whatever the answer, a few weeks of careful tracking can be so helpful. Check out free apps like Lose It for easy food diaries on your smart phone.
Step up the exercise
If you started out slowly with exercise, like going for walks, that’s a great way to begin. But after doing that for a few months, your body may be getting more fit and that same level of exercise doesn’t have the same results. Make a commitment to trying some new forms of exercise. While classes like spinning or Pilates may seem intimidating, most gyms and fitness centers can recommend a beginner class. Or try a few online videos to get more familiar with a new type of exercise, before taking a class. You can also slowly add jogging to your walks. Just 30 seconds of jogging every few minutes can boost your metabolism and help you work up to a higher level of fitness.
How many vegetable servings are you getting each day? Can you double it and see what effect that has? Vegetables are not only nutritious, but high in fiber. They take longer to digest so they’ll keep you full for longer. While fiber does not usually get as much attention as calories, fat, or even sodium, it is a significant factor in a healthy diet. Focusing on nutrition is especially important for balloon and weight loss surgery patients since they take in fewer calories per day. Getting the most out of each calorie is a key to successful, sustained weight loss. As you make improvements, be sure to follow any guidelines we’ve given you for eating after your surgery or balloon.
This January 1st, if you want to make a resolution, find one that is specific and attainable. If you’ve had a weight loss procedure, pick one aspect of your lifestyle you can further improve – like eliminating liquid calories or changing your fitness routine. And if you are looking to lose 30 pounds or more, think about making an additional resolution to learn about your surgical and non-surgical options. We’re happy to answer any questions you have. We can be reached at (855) 690-0565.