January seemed like a long, long month! ‘Dry’ for some and challenging for so many others in different ways. But here we are … February … and a new opportunity to make this month count in terms of fitness, health and weight-loss or maintenance.
Have your resolutions held firm since the New Year? Have they got the wobbles and shakes, or did you abandon?
Well never fear because it’s never too late to make changes and by doing so, make a difference. But please remember there’s much more to a healthy bariatric lifestyle than losing weight, eating well and exercising (although they are pretty well up there). We’ve gone over the basics before (see here) and they are well worth re-reading since it is so easy to move away from these and in doing so put the brakes on our new post-surgery life. But there are some other things to consider too. The quality of sleep you get each night and how you cope with stress,for example, can affect your quality of life pre- and post-op.
Your 2016 New Year resolutions may well have been geared to adopting such positive habits to keep the weight off for good and turn the bariatric regime into a new lifestyle but sometimes it takes one or two times to get and keep on track.
Have your resolutions held firm or are they starting to look a little shaky? Sometimes they just need a little re-boot. Here’s my 8 ways to
resolve and restore those resolutions to the fore and kick the shakes back into touch!
1. BACK TO BASICS
Check and re-check your eating regime. Go back to your bariatric team’s notes and check in our ‘Return to Slender’ books or on the website for the basics (see here). Confirm that you are following the 20:20:20 rule (see here); not drinking with meals (see here); not grazing; checking your portions (see here); and focussing on protein first.
2. MINDLESS EATING
Unhealthy habits like mindless eating at home or away at work (see here) can prevent you from reaching your weight-loss goals. Take some time to evaluate your unconscious eating habits and create some strategies to keep you mindful of what you are eating. Research says that keeping a journal helps (see here) with this and planning meals away from home can also lessen this risk. This might mean finally removing those holiday treats from the house if you haven’t already done so and stocking up with some healthy snacks instead.
3. CHECK YOUR VITAMINS
Resolve that this will be the year to really improve your overall health, not just your weight. Check and restock your vital vitamins and supplements (see here), book your blood tests or assessment and, knowing that exercising regularly helps with weight management, strive and put in place some ways of getting out and about and moving more.
4. STEP UP THE EXERCISE
If your regime has slowed or even stopped because it’s cold, it’s winter, you’re tired, or too busy … then find something different that copes with these set-backs (see here). Look for a new class, a different way to move, something at a different time of day or, something you actually ENJOY! And if you’re doing ok then why not resolve to take it to up to the next level and challenge yourself?
5. GO TO SLEEP!
Sleep affects our ability to lose weight. In fact studies show people who are sleep deprived weight more than those who get a regular 8 hours of quality sleep a night. Focus on a good night-time regime and routine that will help you to get ready for bed each night.
6. STRESS LESS
Since stress can lead to emotional eating (see here), strive to keep it to the minimum. Enjoy some ‘time alone’ each and every day to allow your body to relax and unwind. Enjoy a good book, listen to some good music, flick through a few photo albums or take up a new absorbing hobby.
7. COOK MORE
Weight loss really does begin and end on the fork and you simply can’t outrun a poor diet, so why not plan to cook an extra meal a week from scratch. It doesn’t have to be fancy, labour-intensive or costly. We have recipes here that are budget busters, vegetarian, quick and easy, from the store cupboard, portion-controlled and delicious. Choose one a week, perhaps with an ingredient you have tried before, to bring some more variety to your bariatric regime?
8. CHALLENGE YOURSELF
If your resolutions have been too vague and non-specific then why not reconsider them and sign up for something new that will motivate you more? Re-ignite your commitment to lose weight by all means, but take it to a more specific level by eating better and tracking your portions, moving more by perhaps using a pedometer or digital device, and most important loving yourself daily!