It takes so much determination and courage on your part to make and follow-through with your decision to have weight loss surgery. Remember that the surgery you will have provides only a powerful tool for weight loss, and will help you implement a healthy lifestyle, but the real key to your success relies on YOU.
The basic principles of a healthy lifestyle address both the physical and emotional components of weight loss and maintenance. As you establish a lifestyle of health, this process will impact your spouse or significant other, family members, and extended support system. We will provide you with as much information and materials as possible to make the transition.
You will be losing weight at a very rapid rate. Therefore, you must be away of the critical elements that are essential for long-term success. These elements include:
- Medical Follow-up
- Vitamins & Minerals
The pursuit of a healthy lifestyle is an investment in life long well-being. It’s a conscious process of change that should be continuous, sustained, and integrated into all areas of your life. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle grow over time and empower you with the physical and emotional resources that you desire.
Preparing for Change
Typically Gastric Bypass patients will lose on average 60-80% of their excess body weight or more during the first year following weight loss surgery. Sleeve Gastrectomy will lose an average of 60-70%, and Duodenal Switch patients will lose on average 80% or greater. Excess body weight (EBW) is defined as the amount of weight above an individual’s ideal body weight. You may lose more or less weight based on your compliance with dietary recommendations and ability to exercise. Along with having a positive impact on your physical well-being, you can become more active, emotionally healthier, and enjoy a better quality of life.
Every one is different. If you have a higher starting weight, you could possibly lose more than the average. Other patients, because of metabolic factors—age, sex, or co-morbidities—may lose less than the average. With persistence, practice, and patience you can establish and reach a realistic weight loss goal.
There are two major objectives following weight loss surgery, and they are:
- Weight loss
- Healthy lifestyle with long-term improvement of health
Your preferences and overall sense of health and well-being will help you customize your final body weight. Your doctor will encourage you to reach a BMI (body mass index) that places you as close to a healthy BMI as possible.
Weight loss surgery is a tool that will help reduce hunger and improve fullness after small meals. However, long-term success depends upon your willingness to implement the required lifestyle changes that include:
- Nutritious eating
- Vitamin and mineral supplementation
- Exercising regularly
- Restricting caloric fluids
- Deleting carbonated beverages
- Refraining from grazing
- Medical follow-up
Making these changes will assure that you achieve weight loss and health goals in a timely manner.
Enjoy the Journey
Weight gain did not occur over night. Initially after weight loss surgery the weight loss is rapid. Reaching your desired goal will require patience and adherence to a healthy lifestyle. Celebrate your progress! Set incremental goals every 10-20 pounds. Reward yourself with something of value for each incremental goal you meet.
Avoid using clothing or food related rewards. Clothing rewards will be short-lived until you reach maintenance as you will be dropping several clothing sizes each month. Your style preferences may change several times during your weight loss, too. Check online or with your support groups as many patients share clothing during different stages of weight loss.
Consume food only for nutrition. Do not use food as a reward for your weight loss accomplishments or to soothe yourself if you have had an exceptionally hard day. Some suggestions of healthy productive rewards are:
- Get a massage
- Purchase that electronic item that you have been wanting
- Splurge on a new piece of exercise equipment or sports item
- Attend a concert or theatrical presentation
- Take a vacation
- Spend quality time with a loved one
Take the time to identify what motivates you. Identify non-food related rewards to give yourself as you achieve your incremental goals.
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers, Humorist
For helpful hints on how to curb hunger between meals click here.
For helpful hints on meal planning made simple click here.
For helpful tips on carbonated beverages, caffeine and alcohol click here.
For helpful hints on a lifetime of eating healthy click here.
Find more answers to Frequently Answered Questions here.