Bariatric Surgery Patients Best Tips for Long-term Weight-Loss
I asked weight-loss surgery graduates what have been their key success tips for maintaining their weight loss after bariatric surgery long term. The following best practices are what they shared with me.
Protein first. Make protein 40%-50% of your daily food intake.
Don’t drink with meals. Seriously, you can eat more that way and it gets a lot easier the further out you get. It’s not even uncomfortable when I do it but I personally worry what it could do to my intestines to wash down food like that. They’re really pretty important to me. I don’t think my stoma is stretched from it, I still have about 6-8oz of restriction and stay full for about an hour (and satiated a couple more after that) after eating. I even got "foamies" the other day I am 6 YEARS out!
Don’t eat the white stuff: sugar and flour products.
Don’t stop exercising. Find something you like. Lots of somethings, if you can! Make it enjoyable. You’ll be doing it for life. When I just can’t do anything else, I walk for 30 minutes. I usually get such an endorphin high, my leisurely stroll becomes a power walk. I do it to myself all the time, tell myself I’m too tired, I’ll take a short stroll and before you know it, I’m heading up the side of the mountain behind my house. It feels good!
Drink your water and water load before meals.
Plan your meals. Always carry healthy meals and snacks if you’re out a lot. It’s very, very, very, VERY easy to pick up convenience foods and tell yourself it’s “just this once” and “it won’t hurt.” We used those lines on ourselves before surgery and they were lies then, too. Worse yet, anything I pick up somewhere always has more calories, fat and sodium than if I had made it myself. I do enjoy restaurants, but whatever you get, it’s not going to have the nutritional content of something you make a home. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how they manage to inject like 60 grams of fat into a burger. I can make a cheeseburger with a quarter pound beef patty at home and wind up eating only 12 grams of fat. They can even make a grilled chicken breast somehow double the calories. It doesn’t make mathematical sense to me.
"I had gastric bypass three years ago in August-- I am on maintenance – lost 170 pounds. Over the winter months I regain 25 pounds. I realize that I had quit working out (I do not like cold weather) LOL. So in January I started back to working out 6 days a week and stopped eating bad carbs. I have lost the 25 pounds. So for me I have to work out and really watch my carbs. When I do that I can maintain my weight much better."
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I grew from fit to fat and became a processed food junkie and couch potato with diabetes, celiac disease, depression, acid reflux, asthma, and hypertension. I was in my 30s, morbidly obese and on ~10 prescription medications. Since 2003 I’ve maintained massive weight loss from gastric bypass surgery and remain free from 9 of the 10 prescriptions. Then in 2013 I underwent body contouring and facial plastic surgeries to remove the last traces of my former obesity. Nowadays I am committed to supporting the online patient community with outstanding resources and by sharing my long-term success in defeating obesity and obesity-related illnesses. Today, I’m a size small (down from a size 24W) and living larger than ever!