Now that your bariatric surgery is behind you, it’s time to begin tracking the results. You wouldn’t take a car trip without a map, and you should not have bariatric surgery without mapping out exactly how you’ll achieve your ultimate goal(s).
The following tips will give you some things to think about and implement when it’s time to start tracking your success after bariatric surgery.
1. Establish Realistic Goals
While creating goals is very important, it’s equally critical that they be attainable. You can’t begin a jogging program on Monday and expect to run a marathon by the weekend. The same holds true for weight loss—when safely done, it’s a gradual process. Remember, the idea of setting goals is to attain them, not to serve as a success deterrent.
2. Plan Ahead for Success
While eating out is quick and convenient, it’s also a good way to sabotage your short- and long-term goals. To ensure success, it’s best to prepare your own meals as much as possible. Determine a set time when you can plan out your eating for the entire week (Sunday usually works best). Once that’s done, you’ll have a complete list of what to get at the grocery store. Cooking in bulk for the week ahead will prevent you from quickly reaching out for an unhealthy snack when hunger hits. Storing a week’s worth of healthy snacks in your refrigerator means having the right foods always on hand to refuel your body.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who track their dietary intake via a food diary were far more successful in losing weight and keeping it off. It’s simple: write down everything you eat and drink, then review it at the end of the day. You might be surprised how many additional calories you’re taking in without realizing it. Also, there are many free, online resources that can help you track your food consumption online.
4. Why Are You Eating?
While this can be incorporated into your food log, it’s a good idea to write down when you’re eating, and why. You might find there are particular times of the day when you instinctively reach for food, even if you’re not hungry. Maybe it’s a time when you find yourself bored or anxious. If you discover something unique and unhealthy about your eating habits, you can work to combat that in other ways, such as journaling, picking up a good book, or taking a walk around the block.
5. Exercise Logs
Maintaining a log of you daily exercise is very important when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals. While it’s easy to put off exercising until a time when you’re feeling more up to it—physically or emotionally—keeping a consistent, daily log of your activity will help keep you true to yourself and stay on track.
6. Reward Yourself
Set up a reward system once you achieve your goals. It could be a new outfit or shoes, or something simple, like a movie or trip to the museum. But make sure the reward system includes short-term goals, as well. Having only one goal that you’ll enjoy upon achieving your ultimate goal might feel too distant; remember, achieving your goals is a “take it one day at a time” venture. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
7. Join a Support Group
Talking with others who are sharing your same experiences is one of the best ways to keep you motivated during your weight loss journey. There’s safety in numbers, and hearing others’ relatable stories is a tremendous motivator. And knowing that you’re helping others reach their goals will enhance your motivation and self-esteem.
There are many things to consider when tracking your success after Bariatric Surgery These tips will help get your started and heading in the right direction. To answer any of your concerns or questions about bariatric surgery, contact Dr. Malladi. She’ll help you understand what’s involved, what to expect, and assist you in mapping out ways you can safely and effectively achieve your short- and long-term weight loss goals.