How to Get Back on Track
By Kathy Scott, RN
I often have patients who come into the office after being away… sometimes for a long while. They usually start by just missing one follow-up appointment and in spite of this, their weight loss continues. They promise themselves that they will reschedule, and then… life happens. Before they know it, 3, 4, 6 months have gone by and they have gained 5, 10, 15 pounds. They have returned to old habits and can’t muster the energy to come back in because they are embarrassed, ashamed, or just too tired. How do you fix this? Call your doctor and make an appointment. Right now is the time to reconnect.
The first step is to let your provider do what we are here to do … help. When a patient comes in and they need to “restart” their program, I have a few tips that I always give them.
Measure your food. What started as 4 ounces after surgery, when not measured, can quickly become 6 or even 8 ounces. Get out those measuring cups and food scale to be sure your portions are not creeping!!
Keep a food diary. When a patient is going to return to see our office, I tell them to keep a totally honest food diary for at least 5 days and bring it with them to their appointment. With this information, the dietitian can not only see what you have been eating and give you tips to help with food choices, but they can also see if you are reverting to old habits like grazing. According to the National Institutes of Health, record keeping is one of the most successful behavior techniques for weight loss and maintenance.
Protein-Protein-Protein. This is something that surgical weight loss patients often overlook. Make sure you are getting your prescribed amount of quality protein every day.
Water-Water-Water. Water is essential for your body to function on the cellular level. It assists in digestion and clearing the body of waste. Water is essential for hydration so that your body can function properly. It also helps improve the texture, look, feel and elasticity of your skin which is very important when you are losing either pounds or inches.
Activity. According to the American Heart Association guidelines, healthy adults should get 30 minutes of moderate intensity (breaking a sweat) activity 5 times per week. This is essential for the weight loss surgery patient to help burn fat and tone muscles.
And finally remember this is a journey and the road will be full of twists and turns, ups and downs… so hang on and enjoy the ride! Your bariatric program is here for you.