Weight loss surgery is the first step to in your weight loss journey. Whether you opt for the Lap Band, sleeve gastrectomy or a gastric bypass procedure, weight loss surgery can reduce your struggles with hunger and set you up for long-term weight loss success.
To make the most out of your weight loss operation it helps to develop positive strategies that will propel your success even further, helping you to create and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle for years to come.
Here are six strategies that you may find useful in your journey to a healthier lifestyle:
1. Make a Commitment
Weight loss surgery is a big commitment to make, but even beyond your surgery you need to commit to living a healthier lifestyle. This includes things like:
- Following the post-bariatric diet plan your weight loss surgeon outlined for you
- Making an effort to exercise every day
- Letting go of former habits that might be counteractive in your efforts to become healthier
- Developing and using healthy coping mechanisms to power through stressful situations
2. Find Internal Sources of Motivation
What are the reasons you want to lose weight most? Consider your most personal, inner desires and why losing weight is important to you. Try to find a positive source of motivation that encourages you to push through challenges you may encounter during the process.
To find your internal sources of motivation, make a list of what is important to you and determine which of those factors influences your desire to lose weight. This may include:
- Family members or other relationships
- Pursuing hobbies
- Reaching physical goals, such as climbing a trail or running a race
3. Set SMART Goals
A good goal can be the cornerstone of a successful weight loss plan. As you reach milestones your goals may change slightly, and this is okay. You still want to create an overarching goal that you can progressively work towards.
Good goals are SMART. This means they are:
4. Find Enjoyment
As you move forward through your weight loss program you are likely to encounter new exercises, new foods and new friends. Do your best to find enjoyment in these new areas of your life.
There are probably relationships, habits and other aspects of your life that you enjoyed before surgery, and you don’t have to eliminate all of those to become healthier. However, it is wise to evaluate what habits and relationships are going to help you become healthier and which may be holding you back.
Let go of what might hurt your weight loss process and be open to new opportunities as they are presented.
5. Be Active
An active lifestyle goes beyond meeting the minimal exercise guidelines set by your weight loss surgeon. You can find ways to be more active in everything you do. This includes making adjustments to simple habits like taking the stairs instead of the elevator as well as discovering ways to move more in everything you do.
Here are several ways you can add more activity to your lifestyle:
- Make a habit of standing instead of sitting wherever possible, such as in waiting rooms, at home or at your work place.
- Wear a pedometer and challenge yourself to reach a certain amount of steps in a day. Wear your pedometer to measure how many steps you are taking now and gradually raise this number over time.
- Find active hobbies you find interesting and make time in your schedule for them. This may include hiking, bird watching or gardening.
Healthy strategies like these can help you develop a lifestyle more suited to weight loss after your bariatric procedure. Remember that big changes often start with small steps. Seemingly small changes like these can help you a great deal as you strive to overcome obesity after weight loss surgery.