Weight Loss Environmental SafetyPosted: Jul 10 in Weight Loss Blog by Staff
How to stay on track by controlling your weight loss environment
Though all patients of bariatric surgery face challenges on the road to successful weight loss, different procedures necessitate different lifestyle changes. Gastric bypass, Lap Band and sleeve gastrectomy all help you lose weight by reducing the amount of food you can eat, but adapting to life after these procedures means carefully adhering to the behaviors that make it possible to lead a healthy life with the unique gastrointestinal changes each surgery makes.
Yet, there are some behaviors that patients of every kind of bariatric surgery can benefit from. Yes, you’ll work to implement big changes in your diet and exercise habits after surgery, but you’ll also need to stay vigilant to keep old, destructive habits from popping back up. This means maintaining control over your life to keep yourself from the slip-ups and moments of weakness that can frustrate you and impede your progress.
When learning how best to keep old habits at bay, the place to start may be your environment. We exercise quite a bit of control over our own environments, particularly at home, but are often swayed into bad habits by environmental factors that prevent healthy eating or exercise. Here are some strategies to make your environment as positive as possible for your weight loss efforts.
The goal of any weight loss diet is, at a basic level, to let the good stuff in while keeping out the bad. Accomplishing this is fairly simple: you need to serve as a nutritional gatekeeper, only allowing positive foods to occupy precious space in your fridge, cupboards and pantry.
Go through your kitchen and conduct a careful search-and-destroy mission. Ice cream, chips, cookies, candy—it all has got to go. This process may be met with some resistance if members of your household regularly indulge in these treats, but eliminating them from the kitchen helps everyone in your home benefit from the healthiness of your bariatric diet. If removing these foods outright isn’t a possibility, just be sure to set up parameters on where they can and can’t be placed within your home. You need to make accessing these foods as inconvenient as possible for yourself during times of temptation.
Then, make a list of the healthy foods that you’ll want to regularly keep around the house. These foods should be made readily accessible—try strategies like keeping a full bowl of fresh fruit on your countertop or table. Put up a mental fence between yourself and the inner aisles of the grocery store where fat-filled, processed foods are kept, sticking instead to the fresh options of the supermarket’s outside edges.
The basic idea is to make the healthiest options the easiest while also creating mental barriers against things that regularly cause problems. If eating out frequently results in you breaking your diet, it might be time to put up a barrier against eating out, or just the fatty appetizers that may be wreaking havoc on your waistline. Giving yourself boundaries will help you avoid the situations that can cause a slip-up.
Making exercise more convenient can be very helpful in staying active. Though it might not seem like the biggest inconvenience to drive to a gym 15 minutes away, even a small inconvenience such as this can be a big part of what causes you to skip exercise.
If you find yourself frequently choosing the couch over the gym after work, think about joining a gym between your job and house and bringing your workout gear with you each day. This will make it easier to stop on the way home and remove the problem of motivating yourself to leave again after arriving home tired from work. You can even keep a set of dumbbells or exercise bands at your desk for convenient on-the-job workouts—anything that helps make workouts easier throughout the day.
At home, try setting up your TV in whatever room you work out in. This will encourage activity while you watch your favorite shows, turning your sedentary TV time into valuable exercise time. Just as you need to set up barriers that keep problem foods away, you need to tear down the barriers that prevent you from getting the activity you need every day.
Staying healthy after weight loss surgery means staying in control, but that can be hard to do if you’re constantly battling an environment that promotes unhealthy habits. Do you have any other advice for keeping your environment ideal for losing weight with bariatric surgery? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below.
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