Thursday, July 09, 2009

7 Steps to Get Back to Basics

We hear it often -- "Back to Basics" -- but what does it really mean? Sometimes folks get off track with eating and exercise after WLS or during any weight loss plan and we need to get ourselves back on track with some basic rules and guidelines. Sometimes we find ourselves just eating poorly, or ignoring exercise or even seeing a slight weight gain... so getting back on track is important when we find ourselves lost a bit.

7 Steps to Get "Back to Basics"

1. Find a good in-person LOCAL SUPPORT GROUP and then … never miss a meeting. Make it a priority, put it on the calendar and don't let other stuff interfere with this important part of being successful. Statistics show that patients who attend in-person support group meetings lost more weight than those who don't attend and also have a higher rate of long term success in maintaining their weight loss.

2. BACK TO BASICS -- you know the rules, you know how to use your tool, so do it.
  • Protein first and always (80-100g/day). 
  • Moderation with carbs (no white stuff - focus on veggies, fruit and whole grains to get your carbohydrate needs of about 40% of your total daily calories ... and remember to get enough fiber to keep the digestive tract working properly)
  • Get enough good fats in your diet.
  • Be sure your meals are dense, not sliders. Soft foods will slide straight through your pouch and leave you hungry sooner. Dense food can stay in your pouch for up to 2 hours or until you start drinking water again. Try a meal with 5oz grilled chicken breast and a side salad. 
  • Get all your water each day - 64oz min
  • No drinking with meals or for 30-90 minutes after meals
  • Track every morsel of food that passes your lips. You can't know how to adjust your intake unless you know where you are starting from. Figure out where your calories need to be and stick to it 90% of the time. Studies show that people who track calories lose twice as much as those who don't. 
  • Plan your meals and eat on a schedule. I still follow the hour-by-hour schedule that I received in pre-op nutrition class before surgery. 3 meals, 3 snacks pre-planned and eaten at specific times during the day and water intake between to curb hunger and grazing tendencies. 
  • Be a religious fanatic about your vitamins and supplements.
  • Exercise your butt off. If you're not sweating like a pig, you're not working hard enough.
3. BREAK THE STALL -- If the scale has stopped moving - if you're in the midst of a plateau - make sure you review the list of questions to ask yourself to "Break a Stall".

4. BE SURE YOU'RE HEALTHY -- If you haven't had labs drawn recently then get that done. Here's a list. Some vitamin deficiencies can actually cause weight gain or make the scale stop moving, so eliminating that as a culprit is important.  And most importantly, make sure you're taking your vitamins. If you're not sure what to take, check out page 7 of the ASMBS Bariatric Nutrition report - this is where you need to start with the base vitamins, and adjust your doses once you get your lab results back. Also take a close look at your medications list - might any of those be causing weight problems?

5. LEAN ON OTHERS for support when you're not strong enough to do it on your own. Eventually you will become strong enough and then you can be the support person that someone else relies on down the road. Find inspiration where ever you can and hold onto it as you grow stronger. The Nike "I Can" commercial is a good place to start for inspiration.

6. GET HELP -- if you need to deal with the "mental crap" (as I call it) -- the emotional struggles that we all face of food addiction and disordered eating and figuring out how to create a healthy relationship with food, then make an appointment with a therapist. A psychologist recommended by your surgeon's office is often the best resource - someone trained to work with weight loss surgery patients. You don't have to do it on your own.

7. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS -- you're worth the effort it takes to be healthy, happy and strong. Believe in yourself.  And remember the words of Winston Churchill:  "Never ever ever give in. Never give up."  You CAN do this. You can do hard things.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this! I had WLS in 2000. I started at 370 pounds, got down to 170. I'm now at 303. I found your blog while searching WLS and Adipex. I was diagnosed with a severe Vitamin D and Iron deficiency in 2011. Now that I've got that back on track as well as my eating, I'm hoping to get a jumpstart into being healthier again. (I gained 30 pounds in the last 6 months while trying to follow the GI Diet Clinic)

    You have so much valuable information on this site! Do you know if there are any support groups near Oxford/Lapeer?


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