How To Maintain Long Term Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery
Weight loss immediately after Gastric Bypass, Lap Band and REALIZE Band surgery is rewarding. Your body is adjusting to its new system, and often times the weight seems to be coming off with little or no effort. However, just like anything else in life, the honeymoon period ends and the real work Ė changing behaviors Ė begins. To assist weight loss surgery patients with long term success, Dr. Ajay Goyal, FACS, Director of Bariatric Surgery at Overlook Hospital and lead surgeon at the New Jersey Bariatric Center, recommends seven ways to maintain weight loss after surgery.
ďWeight loss surgery is not the end of the weight loss process, itís the beginning,Ē says Dr. Ajay Goyal, FACS, New Jersey Bariatric Center. ďGastric Bypass, Lap Band and REALIZE Band surgery is only a tool to jump start weight loss. For long term success and weight maintenance itís important for patients to adopt a healthy lifestyle, full of exercise and nutritious choices for life.Ē
More information on weight loss surgery can be found at http://www.lapbandsurgerynj.com
Below are seven ways people who have undergone Gastric Bypass, Lap Band or REALIZE Band surgery can maintain their weight loss throughout their life:
Thereís no getting out of exercise, itís essential to maintaining weight loss and an important addition to your lifestyle to maintain your health for years to come. Remember to start slow, with a walk, and work your way up to more strenuous exercise Ė jogging and resistance training - as your ability progresses. The key is to do aerobic exercise to get your heart pumping at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes each. It can be intimidating to get started so if you need help, donít be afraid to ask. At the New Jersey Bariatric Center we work with physical therapists to start you out on a program. The key is to find a qualified professional such as a physical therapist to give you the proper instruction so you get started safely and in the right direction.
2. Be a Conscious Consumer
Itís important to know what food your body is taking in, and that means reading the nutritional labels, counting calories and keeping a food diary. There are two web sites that can help you with the process - fitday.com and caloriecount.about.com. You just fill in the food and portion size and they do the counting for you. Many people are unconscious eaters; they donít realize the extent of the amount of food theyíre consuming each day. Reading labels, counting calories and keeping a food diary, will keep you conscious and alert regarding what youíre consuming and allow you to evaluate your progress so there are no surprises.
3. Weigh Yourself Every Week
I hear a lot of patients say they rely on how their clothes fit to determine if theyíre losing, maintaining or gaining weight. But the fact of the matter is your clothes stretch, but the scale doesnít lie. Weighing yourself once a week is the best way to maintain your weight. It allows you to spot weight gain fast, and take the steps immediately to get yourself back on track. It also is a good tool to beat the denial factor. Itís easy to make excuses and deny weight gain when youíre relying on your clothes as your measurement tool, you can say they shrunk in the washer or they never fit right in the first place, but itís harder to make excuses for the numbers you see on the scale each week.
4. Evaluate Weight Gain
Most of my patients who start to gain weight back often say they canít figure out why because theyíre not doing anything wrong. After all that hard work to get the weight off, itís often hard for people to come to terms that their behavior is causing weight gain. Weight loss is hard, and over your lifetime, youíre going to gain a little weight. The key is to not beat yourself up about it and drive yourself to a place of emotional eating where food becomes comfort. You need to admit thereís a problem and figure out why.
When youíre honest with yourself and address the problem, then youíll be able to get yourself back on track. Remember itís a lifestyle change youíre making, and youíll hit some bumps along the road, but itís a journey worth taking to maintain your health.
5. Donít Deprive Yourself
Donít be afraid of food, especially treating yourself once a week. The more you deprive yourself of something the more you crave it. By giving yourself a little treat, youíll be able to fend off the everyday temptations.
6. Follow the Post-Surgery Guidelines
I find itís a good rule of thumb to stick to the guidelines your doctor gave you post-surgery Ė eat slow, no snacking/grazing, eat three times a day, no liquid calories, and no fast food. Not only are they good guidelines post surgery, but they apply to helping you maintain your healthy lifestyle.
7. Visit Your Doctor Once a Year
Itís also key to visit your doctor at least once a year. He/she can help you spot the trouble areas, help you deal with situations early on and perform a nutritional evaluation to make sure youíre maintain the vitamin and protein levels needed to live a healthy life.
New Jersey Bariatric Center
The New Jersey Bariatric Center, led by Dr. Ajay Goyal, has offices in Union and Hoboken, New Jersey. Dr. Goyalís approach to patient care has resulted in zero mortality to date and a complication rate that is lower than the national average. These surgical results stand out as some of the best in New Jersey. If you or someone you love is considering bariatric surgery Ė Gastric Bypass, Lap Band or REALIZE Band procedures - please join us for one of our free educational seminars.
To register, visit us at http://www.njbariatriccenter.com .
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- NJ Bariatric Center
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