Written By: Emma Squillace
There can be many challenges to maintaining a weight loss program through the holidays. This is true whether you are trying to lose 10 pounds through diet alone, or are working to lose over 100 pounds with the help of a bariatric surgery like the gastric sleeve, or a non-surgical procedure like the weight loss balloon. Many patients find that they need to work through challenges like extra treats around the office, events that revolve around food, and pressure from friends and family to indulge in holiday favorites. There is another aspect to the holidays which can be intimidating for some people who are working towards losing weight: traveling. Today we’ll review some travel tips for managing weight loss after weight loss surgery or the balloon.
Don’t Make Spontaneous Decisions
When you’re managing hunger and trying to stick to your eating plan, one of the worst things you can do is to wait until you are very hungry to figure out what to eat. That leaves you vulnerable to making poor choices, especially without familiar resources at your disposal. Many people find that as long as they plan ahead, they are able to stick to their plans for the most part. When you travel this is even more difficult because you will not have your usual grocery stores or you well-stocked kitchen at your disposal. Instead, bring healthy snacks with you so you’re not caught hungry and without food you should eat. Small packs of almonds, sliced apple, string cheese, and veggies with hummus are easy to carry with you and can tide you over when you get hungry on the road. They are also all foods that you can bring through security at an airport.
Ask for Support
Unfortunately you cannot always rely on all of your friend and family to be positive influences while you work on losing weight. Additionally, plenty of people who have a procedure to help them lose weight do not tell the people they’ll be seeing when they travel. The key in these situations is to ask for support from those you can trust. For some, their partner is their best source of support. For others, they may find that they have one close friend they can talk to, or they feel most supported by a group of people in an online support group. It can be very helpful to know that you have someone to turn to when you want to vent about pressure to eat foods you’re avoiding, ask for advice on getting in some fitness while you’re away, or share your victories as you’re on a trip. Understand that there will be people who are not supportive of your weight loss journey, and find those who will have your back.
Depending on where you travel to, you may be able to up your walking quota during your trip. Try getting an extra 1000-2000 steps in while you’re waiting for a flight, stop regularly on a road trip for brisk walks, or spend some time exploring a new neighborhood by foot. In some cases, you will be consuming more calories than usual when you travel. Doing extra walking can not only help to offset these calories, but can help you feel good about yourself and your progress towards better health.
If you do not eat as well as you hope while you travel, do not let that derail your entire weight loss journey. If you have more carbs than you meant to, a dessert that you did not plan on, or a few cocktails with your friends – none of these individual choices will cancel out all the rest of your hard work. The important mindset is to remember that what you do MOST of the time is more important than the occasional break from your plan.
Traveling over the holidays should be fun, so we do not want you to let your weight loss efforts get in the way of your enjoyment. Focus on non-food celebrations and quality time as much as possible, plan your meals, and find a support system that you can rely on. If you have any questions about how to best manage your weight loss journey after bariatric surgery, ask the team at West Medical. Our supportive experts are not only there for you on the day of your procedure, but also for the months and years after it, when you are finding your way to weight loss success. If you are hoping to start a journey with weight loss surgery or a balloon, we’re happy to speak to you. You can reach us at (855) 690-0565.