Healthy Habits for Life After Weight Loss Surgery

Habits are the activities we choose to engage in on a daily basis. They are part of our lifestyle and determine how we interact with the world around us. Our daily habits have a profound effect on our lives and can either be destructive or constructive to our minds and bodies.

That is why developing healthy habits after weight loss surgery is instrumental to long-term health and weight loss success. The following are some nutritional, exercise, and behavioral habits that will help propel you towards your weight loss goals.

Nutritional Habits

A healthy diet is one of the most important variables in losing weight and keeping it off post-WLS. Here are some dietary habits to incorporate into your life after WLS:

Follow your post-op diet. After WLS, your body will not be able to process foods the same way. That is why it is crucial to follow the dietary guidelines provided by your doctor.

Keep a food journal. This will help you track the foods you eat and your calorie intake. There are various smartphone applications that help simplify logging foods and tracking calories.

Eat slowly. This will not only help you enjoy your meal, but will also allow your brain time to send fullness signals.

Recognize hunger cues. It is common to confuse appetite for hunger. That is why it is important to become in tune with your body and eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. The Bariatric Center of Kansas City explains the physical signs of hunger to follow: “The stomach starts to ache and rumble in early signs of hunger. You start feeling tired and weak, while finding it harder to concentrate and work.”

Drink up. Staying hydrated is essential for every system in your body as well as for weight loss. Try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Exercise Habits

Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day is important post-WLS, but there are also behavioral habits that you can incorporate into your day-to-day life to keep your body moving and burning calories. Here are some you should try:

Get moving. These can be small actions like parking farther away from your destination, taking the stairs or doing more chores around the house. These small actions add up to increased calorie burning.

Replace sitting with walking or standing. The more your body is moving, the more calories it is burning.

Pick up a new hobby. Find something you like to do that will also keep you active. These can be activities like golf or swimming or even as simple as gardening.

Behavioral Habits

Besides dietary and exercise habits, there are other behaviors you can routinely practice that will help keep your mind focused and body ready to achieve your weight loss goals. These include:

Get your sleep. Sleeping approximately 8 hours each night will help you avoid over-eating, make healthier decisions, and increase your metabolism. “On average, adults who get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night are more likely to lose weight,” explains Penn Medicine.

Manage your stress. Healthy stress management skills are essential for your overall life, but when it comes to weight loss, reducing stress will help prevent falling back into bad habits.

Find support. Whether this is from your family, friends, or bariatric support groups, sharing your goals and journey with others will create an environment of supportive accountability.

In your life after weight loss surgery, you will experience both positive physical and emotional changes. It is important to incorporate healthy nutritional, exercise, and behavioral habits into your daily routine to help you achieve long-term weight loss success. These habits may be difficult and happen slowly over time, but will help in improving your health and overall quality of life.

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