24 Mar Eating Your Way to a Healthier You: 4 Tips from a Bariatric Surgeon
Many people believe that bariatric surgery is the end-all for patients dealing with obesity. Once they have the surgery, they’ll lose weight quickly and never have to worry about their weight again. Really, though, this is far from the truth.
There are many lifestyle changes that need to take place before and after bariatric surgery in order to achieve long-lasting results. One such change revolves around a patient’s diet. There are multiple changes that need to take place, but as anyone who has ever been on a diet will tell you: dietary changes aren’t easy.
That’s why Dr. Marvin and his bariatric team work diligently to educate and support their patients around this topic. How do they do this?
4 Tips from a Bariatric Surgeon to Transition to a Healthier, More Nutritious Way of Life
To achieve a healthier lifestyle, patients need to change their relationship with food. This is a major transition for most people. That’s why Dr. Marvin and his team offer the following four tips.
Seek Support Whenever it is Needed
One of the number one reasons why people fail to lose weight or end up regaining weight is because they tried to do everything on their own. Most goals—including health and weight loss goals—are met with success only when a person has received support and encouragement. Going to regular appointments at their obesity clinic, discussing their feelings with a therapist, counselor, coach, good friend, or family member is helpful, too.
Learn to Re-Think Rewards
Whenever someone does something good, a reward is always nice to get. Unfortunately, for most people, rewards have often come in the form of food. This typically starts in early childhood, with parents giving their kids some sort of sweet treat because they did good on a test or finished their chores. Trying to break this life-long habit can be really difficult.
Besides getting the support necessary, many people have found that they need to change the way they reward themselves for reaching their goals. US News recommends re-thinking both rewards and punishments: food isn’t a reward and working out shouldn’t be viewed as a punishment. They are both necessary in reaching one’s goals.
Food is Fuel
A great way to avoid looking at food simply as a reward is to look at it as it truly is: fuel. The body needs the vitamins, minerals, and energy found in food. Those things help people live life and gain the energy they need to achieve what they want in life. Patients can think of it this way: a responsible vehicle owner would never put cheap, junky gasoline into their tank. If they did, their car wouldn’t run for very long. In fact, they will probably end up doing a lot of damage.
Similarly, patients need to think of their body as a machine. In order to keep it in good working order they need to fuel it properly. And, the best fuel out there are nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and quality protein sources.
Create Sacred Meal Occasions
Most people eat on the run. This is just asking for trouble. When people eat distractedly, their brain doesn’t recognize when they’re full. The result: they eat more because they still feel hungry.
Instead of rushing through meals, bariatric patients should view mealtime as a special, even sacred, time. They can think about the sun, water, and soil adding nutrients to their food; the care that went into the preparation of it; and express gratitude that they have this food in the first place.
Some people even light candles, play soft music, and create an atmosphere that is conducive to enjoying a meal, good digestion, and recognizing feelings of satiation.
Bariatric Surgery & Nutritional Changes—the Key to a Happier, Healthier You!
Once a patient has bariatric surgery, it is important for them to meet with their doctor and his team at their obesity clinic. Doing so on a regular basis will help patients meet their nutritional needs, stay motivated to stick to a healthier lifestyle, and be a basis for support. Lifestyle changes aren’t always easy, but with the help of Dr. Marvin and his bariatric team, patients have a better chance of success.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our obesity clinic, please contact us. We would be happy to schedule a consultation, discuss your individual needs, and create a treatment plan that will create a happier, healthier you.