How to Keep Weight Off After Weight Loss Procedures

How to Keep Weight Off After Weight Loss Procedures

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Bariatric surgery is considered the most effective treatment for obesity and for reducing associated health risk. 

The basic idea behind surgical weight loss is to limit the amount of food that can be absorbed by the body by making the stomach smaller. The three most often performed bariatric procedures are the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, and the sleeve gastrectomy.

Research shows that weight loss surgery has been successful in helping millions shed more weight than diet and exercise alone. But long-term, there’s more to keeping the weight off than procedures alone.  Here’s what you need to know:

Stay Physically Active

Exercise and movement can help you keep the pounds off, and it will tone and strengthen your muscles. By engaging in regular exercise, you will help regulate your mood and boost self-esteem, which will encourage you to maintain your new healthy weight and lifestyle.

Talk About the New You

Getting used to being a fraction of your size, buying new clothes, and having people see you in a whole new light can affect your psyche and self image.  Some people bask in their new bodies, while others find it uncomfortable with all the newfound attention.  This is very normal, and therapy might help you o achieve a healthy body image to go along with your healthy new body. If you prefer, many hospitals – or your doctor – offer encounter groups where you can address your concerns with others who have undergone the same procedures and are struggling themselves.

Know Your Food

You may think that now that your stomach is smaller, you can eat whatever you want, just smaller portions. Not necessarily. Food with empty calories fill the same space as healthy foods. And of course, you will want to fill your tummy with simple proteins such as lean chicken and protein shots made of whey or similar ingredients.

The Very Real Phenomenon of Dumping

Speaking of foods, be very careful of sugar overload, which can cause a horrible reaction called “dumping” – a sudden urge to go to the bathroom to dump everything out of your system.  That first slice of birthday cake or an ice cream cone after surgery may teach you a lesson you won’t soon forget.  Over time you will be able to enjoy more foods but remember – moderation.

Avoid Alcohol. Entirely.

Talk about empty calories! But more importantly, remember that you only have a portion of your stomach to process whatever comes in. That means that alcohol has a fast pass to get into your blood stream.  Studies have shown those who have had bariatric surgery and decide to drink have a higher propensity to become alcoholics than those who don’t. Bottom line:  you promised your doctor you would not drink. Don’t.

Snacks and Lots of Them

Bariatric patients require constant snacking, but not chips and chocolate like most people.  Rather, they will require small doses of protein to keep going.  Keeping cheese sticks or protein shots available will help get you through a snack attack and avoid that bag of chips you may be craving.

Food Shopping – A Family Affair

When your family does its weekly food shopping, go along; present a very detailed list of foods that either the whole family (including you) can enjoy; or prepare a separate list of foods just for you.  This will make it easier to sit with the family during meals, and it might make them eat healthier too!

Don’t Forget Your A-B-Cs!

Your body is working quickly to process everything that comes in.  That means that many vitamins may not get absorbed as they should.  Your doctor will recommend a lifelong regimen of bariatric-specific vitamins especially for you.  Many of these vitamins are only available through specialty providers and may include a unique multi-vitamin, sublingual B12, and papaya (for heartburn).

Sculpt or Scalpel

Along with exercise that can help tone your muscles, cosmetic treatments, such as body sculpting, can improve the way you feel about the way you look, as can surgery to remove excess skin after weight loss.

Remember, you are not alone in your quest to maintain a healthy weight

The friendly staff at Physicians Weight Loss in Columbia, Maryland welcomes your call and looks forward to providing you with the support you need to meet your weight loss goals. You can come in as often as you like to meet with a nutrition counselor to discuss your calorie intake, diet balance, and exercise. We will continue to offer strategies to prevent weight gain and boost the self-confidence you acquire by being in control of your eating habits. You will also learn self-monitoring techniques during your weight loss maintenance phase. Our team will continue to provide the support you need.

We serve patients living and working in the Columbia and Howard County area. We also serve the surrounding areas of Baltimore, Cantonsville, and the DC metro area. If you have any questions about our weight loss services, please call our office at (410) 309-6570. To schedule an appointment, you can call us or request a consultation online.