Let’s face it, keeping motivated after gastric sleeve surgery to exercise and eat right can be a challenge for a lot of people. I’m sure you can agree that this is something you see all too commonly among friends on Facebook or even in person; they can’t seem to work up the energy do some cardio and continue eating that junk food they know they shouldn’t… We are faced with so many decisions and responsibilities that sometimes we get sloppy in using our bariatric surgery tool effectively.
In this post, we want to share five helpful ways that you can better stay on top of your diet and exercise months and years out after your gastric sleeve surgery. So let’s get started!
1 – Hide or Lose the Junk Food
One nasty habit that needs to be stopped for many people is keeping unhealthy foods within eyesight and easy reach in the kitchen. You get home after a long day at work and conveniently have a bag of chips, crackers, maybe some candy right there for you to grab off the counter and chow down on. So what can you do to remedy this issue? The answer is quite simply to hide or lose the junk food so that you don’t have the temptation staring you in the face. If you can’t get the foods out of your home due to family members or the desire to occasionally treat yourself, that is perfectly fine. Just hide the food where you will not see it easily in a place such as above your fridge or at the top of your pantry above eye level. Then place healthy foods out where you see them immediately and at eye level in the pantry. So instead of grabbing those chips or that candy bar, you can grab some mixed nuts, baby-cut carrots, maybe some apple slices. This will help to keep better your body nourished and since these foods contain vitamins, fiber, and minerals that your body needs.
Crazy fact! You can be malnourished even when you eat a lot if the foods contain no vitamins, minerals, or other nutritional contents your body requires
2 – Set a Goal Range to Keep Your Weight In
Many who lose weight get stuck when it comes to where they want to be and when they should stop after gastric sleeve surgery. The danger that one can put themselves at with this is that of becoming underweight or anorexic. It can become like a race to get down to goal weight but then they don’t know how to stop losing and stick within range. Some simple steps that you can do to ensure you don’t put yourself at risk of being underweight are to calculate your ideal weight range. Stick with about a 10-pound range that you allow yourself to stay between such as 150 to 160 pounds. When you allow yourself a range, you take away a lot of the stress of hitting an exact number, and you know not to drop down below that range as it is healthy to stick with it.
3 – It’s Not a Race, It’s a System
Some get all excited at first and want to lose weight as quickly as they can, and so they drop several pounds until they reach their goal only to find that they don’t know what to do from there. This sometimes leads to getting into bad habits and falling right back to where they were before they underwent gastric sleeve surgery in the first place. The key to solving this problem is to realize that being healthy is a simple system, not a race to be won.
So what does this mean?
It means that you need to have some healthy habits that you have in your head as a mental checklist. Some of these habits include:
- Taking bariatric vitamins daily
- Drinking water regularly
- Being active in some way at least five days a week whether it be jogging around the block, a game of tennis, etc
- Checking in on your calorie consumption and gaining a routine of how much you take in
- Focusing not only on calories but where those calories come from and your macro-nutrients
- Adhere to the post-0p diet recommendations after gastric sleeve surgery related to those macro-nutrients
- Think of what the food is giving your body, not about convenience or branding of the food
A handful of unsalted mixed nuts is going to help keep your skin and organs healthy while a handful of pretzels will load you with sodium and empty carbohydrates.
4 – Hold Yourself Accountable
When you start to slip on what are healthy habits, be hard on yourself, and pep talks yourself into getting back on track. You can’t always have somebody there to take you to the gym, cook your food for you, or remind you to take your vitamins. If you start falling off track, don’t dismiss it and let yourself think it is okay too often, or you’ll slip into a very dangerous cycle of rationalizing poor behaviors. An example of this could be the following:
You haven’t gone to the gym for a couple of weeks due to a lot of stress that has come up. Maybe you had to move to a new place, and all of the packing, the stress of looking for a place, and planning out all of the details have worn you out. It is entirely normal to fall off the horse for a while in instances such as this.
But let’s say you then proceed to take time off for a few more days, which leads to a few more weeks, a month, beyond a month. You are about to go again but then maybe some family issues come up, your back hurts a bit, you have a headache. These things keep coming up, and you let them stop you from getting out and being active. It is important that you develop a healthy mental attitude and do something as simple as jump up, smile into the mirror, and say “I’m gonna go for a jog.” You’ll be surprised at how good you will feel after and how you will surprisingly have the energy you thought you didn’t’ once you get out and on your feet.
This same mindset comes into play with diet and other areas of life as well. Remember that gastric sleeve surgery is more a tool than a complete weight loss solution.
When you hit a bump in the road to a healthy lifestyle, don’t just sit or stand there, get active again :)
5 – Get Creative and Mix it Up
After undergoing gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico with our company, many patients find that it gets boring to eat the same stuff, drink the same protein drinks, go on the same walk or do the same workout routine. Redundancy has it’s placed regarding continuously being active and eating healthy, but it doesn’t mean you need to eat the same foods or do the same exercises all the time. Change it up by coming up with new recipes to try through some helpful websites. We offer a support group on Facebook for our patients including those who underwent gastric sleeve surgery. In our support group, you can share your recipes as well as get suggestions from others.
The same goes for exercises you do to keep active day-to-day. You don’t have to lift weights or jog to be active as those are just some popularly publicized methods of keeping physically active. You can do yoga, pilates, tennis, basketball, swimming, full-body cardio, and much more. If you can’t get out of the house to go exercise, you can even go to YouTube and type in-home full-body cardio, gastric sleeve exercises, and so on.
If you are getting bored and don’t feel motivated, it’s because you aren’t making it fun enough for yourself.
And there you have it! Five steps to keeping motivated after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery with Mexico Bariatric Center. Not so hard once you get into the swing of things, and just think about how much it will benefit you in the long run!
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