Your Success Toolkit
By Ronayne Herbert, RNP
If you just had bariatric surgery, you’re still only at the beginning of a journey towards long-term weight management success—and part of how much you achieve is the result of how well you use the tools that are available to you. And if you had bariatric surgery a long time ago, it is never too late to recommit to these success steps.
That’s assuming you can envision the road ahead of you, since some patients have trouble seeing the big picture. Even when some patients see the big picture, they still fail to stay on the right path. That’s because having bariatric surgery is not a weight loss “magic bullet”, it is a tool that can help people lose weight. Like any other tool, you need to use it properly to get the best results.
So what’s a patient do to get the best results from their post-operative toolkit? Well, here are a few instructions to help you put yours to good use.
Step 1: Eat Protein first. Protein will help you feel full and satisfied. Protein should be eaten first, followed by vegetables, fruits or whole grains. Protein should be eaten at every meal and as snacks. Protein food choices should be varied between meat, fish, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.
Step 2: Solid foods; don’t drink your calories. Solid foods will stay in your stomach longer after you eat them and will satisfy your hunger better than a liquid or mushy substance. Bariatric surgery ONLY cause limits on solid foods. Whereas soda, juice, coffee drinks, alcohol and sweetened beverages contain calories and can pass right through your stomach.
Step 3: Don’t eat and drink at the same time. Drinking with meals makes the food soggier and easier to flow through your pouch, which makes it more difficult to satisfy your hunger. You will tend to eat more calories without feeling full.
Step 4: Eat a small amount of good food, slowly. Each bite you take should be about the size of a dime. Take a small bite, chew the food thoroughly, and put your fork down between bites to slow your pace. Think about what you are doing. Experience the flavor of what you are eating and the feeling of fullness as it happens. Allow 20-30 minutes to finish a meal but STOP eating as soon as you feel full.
Step 5: Make yourself a priority. You are important and you deserve a healthy body. Eating healthier, exercising more, attending support groups and keeping in touch with your bariatric program, combine to help you supercharge your bariatric surgery tool kit.