Anyone who has struggled with their weight knows how frustrating and even devastating it can feel when you regain weight after working so hard to lose it. Losing weight is hard enough for people who are overweight or obese, but keeping it off over time can be even more challenging.
Weight loss surgery is a proven way to help those who are seriously overweight or obese lose weight, improve their health and reduce dependence on medications for weight-related health conditions. But maintaining weight loss after weight loss surgery is a real concern for many bariatric patients.
Here are some effective ways to help you keep the weight off once you’ve lost it.
Losing weight, even with the help of weight loss surgery, requires a change in mindset and a change of habits. These new habits aren’t just temporary — they should be permanent changes in behavior. Consider these habits your new way of life. Returning to old habits once you reach your weight loss goal is a surefire way to start gaining weight again after weight loss surgery.
Keep those measuring cups handy and never stop measuring out your food before you eat it. Measuring your food is crucial to ensuring that you consistently eat the right portion sizes. A portion control plate can also be helpful. After a while, it may become easier to “eyeball” the measurements, but it’s also easy to start gradually increasing your portion sizes without realizing it.
Evaluate your relationship with food. Many people who are overweight have an unhealthy relationship with food and eat for comfort, entertainment or simply because they are bored. Practice mindful eating, eat only when you are truly hungry, and find other ways, such as a new hobby, to fill the emotional voids you once filled with food.
Lifelong change and healthy new habits are best made by making small changes. If you’re a soda or sweet tea drinker, don’t try to quit cold turkey. Instead, start cutting back and replacing one soda a day with a glass of water or swapping out a glass of sweet tea with unsweetened tea. Gradually increase your water intake and decrease your intake of soda and other sugary drinks until you’re able to kick the habit altogether.
What factors in your life contributed to your weight gain? Think about foods you have access to (what you buy at the store, order in restaurants and keep in your home) and how easily you are able to access an exercise or fitness program.
When you grocery shop, avoid the inner aisles of the store, where the processed foods are found, and stick to the outer aisles, where you’ll find whole foods like fresh produce and meat. Purchase a gym membership or buy exercise equipment for your home.
Evaluate your friendships and relationships and take a step back from any that may cause you stress or anxiety, or that encourage bad habits, such as overconsumption of unhealthy foods or alcohol. Focus on giving yourself easy access to the things that can help you maintain your new healthy lifestyle and cutting out the factors that contribute to unhealthy habits.
Maintaining a strong support system can make losing weight and keeping it off much easier to achieve. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your new habits and lifestyle changes. Take advantage of support groups and psychological support offered by your Nobilis Health doctor. Find someone who will hold you accountable to your new lifestyle, such as a family member or friend you can really trust to be honest with you.
Exercise isn’t always enjoyable, but it can be if you find the right workout. Try new forms of weight loss exercise until you find one you enjoy. When exercise becomes fun, you’re more likely to make it a lifelong habit. From fitness classes and boot camps to working out with a personal trainer or with exercise videos at home, the fitness world is full of variety. With a little exploration, you’re sure to discover a workout you can learn to love.
We all have a slip-up now and then. Don’t let a minor infraction in your weight loss diet or fitness plan turn into a landslide that throws you completely off track. When you do take a step back, look at what’s happening in your life that may have lead you to make less-than-healthy choices. Focus on fixing those things and give yourself forgiveness and grace rather than falling into a depression that leads to more unhealthy choices. Remember that tomorrow is always a new day full of new chances.
Are you ready to lose weight and keep it off for good? Contact your Nobilis Health weight loss doctor today to learn more about how we can help.