New Week, New You, New Challenge: 10 Tips for WLS Success
Congratulations! You have made it through the holidays and the early January crazy-diet and madness hype! It’s possible during that time that you gained a couple of pounds and/or indulged in a little too much. But that’s OK, because now is the time to set some new goals for yourself, now that the silliness is over, so that this is your best year yet for your body, your health and your life, post-WLS. So how about challenging yourself?
It will mean change, because if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results. Ready for a change and a challenge, to bring about better results? Here’s how to get started:
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. resolutions. “Lose weight” may be one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions out there. Make sure your “lose weight” resolution is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Here’s an example: I want to lose 24 pounds in three months. I will track my progress by weighing myself, checking my portion sizes of foods and taking my measurements. I will eat well and nourish my body by focussing on protein. I will increase my activity by doing 30 minutes of planned exercise 3 times a week.
2. Focus on the process. As you follow your bariatric eating regime, remember that weight loss is a process and that hitting your goals will not happen instantly. Whenever you get frustrated or impatient, remind yourself that by sticking to your goals, you will see positive results in the long run. There is no race to the tape and no finishing line after WLS.
3. Plan ahead and stick to a schedule. Planning your meals and snacks ahead of time is an effective way to ensure that you stick to your regime. Additionally, it’s a good idea to plan a schedule every day to help your body adjust to your diet changes. Why not log them into a journal or record on a visual reminder (see our bariatric gift box)
4. Track your progress. Keep track of your progress as you go. Not only will this allow you to acknowledge positive progress and visualize how far you’ve come from your starting point, but it will also allow you to identify any areas or habits to improve. Don’t obsess over that number on the scale. Stick to weighing yourself only once a week (twice at the most). Use a measuring tape to keep track of inches you may be losing (keep in mind you may be losing inches even if the numbers on your scale aren’t decreasing every week), and keep an old pair of trousers/pants or set of clothes on hand to try on occasionally, so that you can see if they are getting looser.
5. Reward small accomplishments. Don’t wait until you reach your ultimate goal to celebrate and reward yourself! Rewarding small accomplishments along the way, whether it’s getting through the liquids and soft foods stage or moving more, why not try cooking a new favourite dish that will help keep you motivated and feeling good about your weight loss process. Or buy yourself a special non-food treat.
6. Get support. Share your progress with friends and family to get additional support in accomplishing your weight loss goals. Look at joining a good online forum or support group – it is an excellent way to get support throughout your weight loss journey.
7. Start slow and be realistic. Starting slow whilst your body is healing after surgery goes hand-in-hand with being realistic. Read your bariatric plan from your professional team and don’t be eager to progress too quickly. Don’t also compare yourself to others – this is your journey and individual to you.
8. Don’t give up. Even if you gained some weight over the holidays and are a long-term post-op, don’t use that as an excuse to give up on the tool that WLS has given you.. WLS is not a quick-fix diet, but a lifestyle tool. It is a tool supported with a programme of eating that will be with you through thick and thin, literally.
9. Spice up your bariatric-friendly cooking. It’s much easier (and fun) to stick with your regime when you have plenty of delicious recipes at your fingertips. Check them out here. Try some new foods or re-try some of those that have been tricky to tolerate – cook in a different way perhaps? And don’t forget to portion them – in doubt, use our bariatric portion plate and bariatric portion, cook and serve measuring cups
10. Expect the unexpected. It’s inevitable that there will be a time when life gets crazy, and the vending machine or fast food drive-thru is tempting you. Fortunately, there are strategies to deal with this and we have covered most of them to help along the way on this website. Accept that sometimes you might mess up – do that and move on – forgiving and loving yourself along the way. Today and tomorrow are new days …