If you’ve had weight-loss surgery, you’ll know that the procedure is just one part of the process.
A healthy diet and regular exercise also form an important part of achieving and maintaining your ideal body weight. Every patient’s journey is different, but we’ve put together some tips that may help you stay on track with your weight-loss goals after surgery.
Get plenty of protein
It’s essential that you consume enough protein, so try and incorporate it into all of your meals. Chat with your doctor about your recommended daily intake, and base your meals around good-quality protein that will keep you full for longer and nourish your body. Some healthy protein sources include seafood, white meat poultry, dairy products, eggs and lean beef.
Make good snack choices
If you choose to snack in between meals, really try and opt for healthy choices. Try and avoid processed foods like chips, crackers and biscuits and opt instead for protein-rich options like a small piece of cheese, or some natural unsweetened yoghurt that will keep you fuller for longer and reduce the chance that you’ll want to overeat at your next meal. Fresh fruits and chopped up crunchy vegetables also make good snack foods. If you find yourself tempted by junk food, simply keep it out of the house so that it’s not easy to get to when the craving strikes.
Plan your meals
It might seem like a lot of effort, but planning your meals can be very helpful in ensuring that your daily intake of calories is correct and that you are getting all of the nutrients you need. Setting out and sticking to an eating plan will also help you to make sure that you enjoy foods from all of the food groups, and that you have some variety in your diet. When you don’t plan ahead, it can be very easy to grab high-calorie foods on the go, and to snack on unhealthy bits and pieces when you’re in a rush.
Being mindful of what you eat can help you avoid some common mistakes, like snacking on unnecessary calories and eating more than you really need. Many people find that keeping a food journal is very helpful when it comes to staying on track with what they eat in a day. It might sound like just another chore to add your day, but when you take the time to actively write down exactly what you have eaten, you are much less likely to forget about all the little snacks and quick bites you might have indulged in. Keeping a food journal is also a great way of seeing what you can improve on when it comes to your regular food choices.
Learn to manage social eating
One of the challenges that many people face after weight-loss surgery is how to manage social events that revolve around eating. If you are dining out at a restaurant, take a little time to research the menu so you can see what your options are beforehand — try and choose items that are grilled rather than fried, and look out for lean proteins that suit your eating plan. Try and avoid rich, creamy sauces as much as possible and, where possible, opt for vegetables instead of fries. If the portions are large, don’t feel pressurised to finish your meal. Rather, listen to your body and eat what you can.
If you’re at a party, try and fill up on lean protein and vegetables, rather than desserts, cakes, and other snacks that are high in sugar or fats. Also, try and avoid bingeing — focus instead on catching up with friends and family, rather than standing around the food table!
Try and drink around 2 litres of water every day to stay adequately hydrated. This can be difficult if sipping on water is not a part of your normal routine, but it’s something that can easily become a habit with a bit of practice. Remember to avoid drinks that are high in calories, like soft drinks and sweet fruit juices, as these tend to slow down weight loss.
If you are interested in finding out more about weight-loss surgery, please get in touch to arrange a consultation with Dr Kevin Dolan. Dr Dolan has been performing weight-loss surgery for over 15 years and will help you choose the best treatment option for your individual situation.