Making a resolution for the New Year is easy, but actually setting your goals and working toward them can take more effort than anticipated. Early into your resolution, you’re feeling motivated and ready to lose the weight, but once that excitement starts to fade, it’s easy to lose sight of your weight loss surgery goals. While weight loss surgery can make it easier to lose weight, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You’ll be much more likely to achieve weight loss success and see results faster by making a plan and sticking to it!
Set realistic goals. Start off by writing down your weight as it is now, along with your target weight. Do the math and give yourself a realistic timeframe to lose the weight. Setting a deadline after bariatric surgery is extremely important for keeping yourself motivated and on track. If you don’t, you run the risk of saying “It can wait until tomorrow.” As you’re considering your deadline, you also need to be honest with yourself. Keep in mind when you’re setting your deadline, to give yourself enough time to lose weight the healthy way--don’t expect to lose 20 pounds in a week.
As you’re taking your time frame and weight loss goals into consideration, you also need to set realistic rules for yourself. Deciding that you’ll avoid desserts entirely or will never go out to eat is admirable, but you could be setting yourself up for failure if you’re too strict on yourself. Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, stay focused on all of the healthy foods and meal options you do have in your post bariatric diet. Choosing to think about food in this way will help you avoid temptation. And, if you do want to indulge in a food that’s not in your diet, just remember--everything in moderation! As long as you’re keeping your goals in mind, you’re on the right track.
Track your progress. Tracking your activity and the foods you eat can help you reach your weight loss surgery goals faster since it can help you identify what’s working and what’s not. You can start off by keeping a diary of the foods you eat. In it, you should record what you ate and should total up your daily caloric intake. This will make you take a good look at what you’re eating so you be more honest with yourself about whether or not these foods are helping, or hurting, your goal.
To track your physical activity, you can use a pedometer to track how many steps you take and you can also stick to a gym schedule. If you skip on a day you’d planned to be a gym day, write it down so you can make it up another time.
It’s also important to periodically check your weight. While you shouldn’t do this every day, doing it weekly or biweekly can help you determine if the steps you’re taking are getting you to your goal within your timeframe.
Be honest with yourself. As you’re making diet and exercise choices to start losing weight after bariatric surgery, it’s important to be honest with yourself. It’s easy to say you’ll make it to the gym 4 times a week, but if you know your schedule will only allow for 2-3, chances are you’ll only make it that many times.
The same idea applies to your post bariatric diet. Getting in enough protein everyday and following that up with vegetables and or fruit will not leave much room for carbohydrates.
Create some incentives. Rewards are a fun way to keep your motivation and excitement up. They can be small, like having a weekly movie night with a significant other or your friends, or bigger, like a family vacation. Whatever your incentive is, make it one that will allow you to celebrate how far you have come.
Most importantly, if you do make some slip ups don’t beat yourself up about them! There are bound to be times when you can’t make it to the gym because you’re sick, or you want to go out to dinner with your loved ones and they don’t have ideal meal options. Taking a few days off or making a questionable meal choice can make you feel like you’ve failed, but the important part is getting back on track. If you need help or advice to reach your weight loss surgery goals, Riverside Surgical and Weight Loss Center is here for you.