Ensuring Long-Term Weight Loss Success
By Evgeniya Larionova, MSN, MA, RN, FNP-BC
The journey doesn’t stop after weight loss surgery – in fact, it’s only just beginning. In order to lose additional weight and keep it off, patients must dedicate themselves to healthy eating and exercise. Throughout the entire journey, our weight loss surgery team offers support and guidance. Attending our post-operative support groups is a great way to discuss challenges and get inspired by others. If you’re unable to attend the support groups, or just looking for extra motivation to stay on course, here are some tips to ensure long-term success.
- Attend your recommended follow-up visits with your surgeon and dietitian. They’ll help to keep you on track and address concerns you may have.
- Create a support system. Find a partner, co-worker, friend, relative or community peer who can support you to focus on healthy living.
- Think positively. Know that there may be ups and downs, but continuing to believe in yourself.
- Go food shopping with a grocery list and try not to deviate from the list. And as we all know, never go to the grocery store on an empty stomach.
- Eat healthy and balanced meals. Eat the meals and snacks recommended by your dietitian.
- Plan your meals and snacks. Meal planning can keep you on track and can save you time and money.
- Be mindful of what and when you are eating. Pay attention to the size of your portions and eat slowly so you give your body a chance to recognize when it’s full.
- Stay hydrated. Not only is water good for you, but it also makes you feel fuller. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
- Keep a food diary. Sometimes, seeing your daily food intake written down gives you a better sense of what you consume throughout the day.
- Have a game plan for dining out. It’s ok to ask the server at a restaurant to hold half of your meal in a take-home container before serving the meal.
- Find exercises you enjoy and make them part of your daily routine. Zumba, yoga, swimming and water aerobics not only help you with weight loss, but also are very therapeutic.
- Take active breaks at work. If you have a desk job, get up and walk around the office a few times each day and take a walk outside during lunch.
- Be your own health advocate. Make sure that any chronic health conditions are being addressed and keep appointments with all your clinicians.
- Get plenty of sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, try reading a book a book in bed or practice yoga or meditation.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Patients vary greatly in how they progress after surgery.
- Reach out for help if you need it. Attend our post-operative support groups or talk to your surgeon or primary care physician if you feel you may benefit from professional counseling.
Having weight loss surgery is a major milestone in your life. Be proud of all you’ve accomplished so far. If you follow your clinicians' orders and keep the above tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to achieving your long-term weight loss and health goals.
Subscribe to Weight Loss & Well-Being