You'll need a "weight loss surgery toolbox" stocked with a variety of tools.
You need this variety of tools in one box, because sometimes it takes more than one tool to complete a job.
The same goes for lap-band success.
Of course the gastric band itself is a "tool," but you may require the help of a few other tools along the way as well, so let's get your weight loss surgery tool box stocked!
I'm going to tell you about some of the things I recommend to improve the chance of lap-band success. You may not like all of my suggestions. That's ok! Just pay special attention to the things that could help you.
Food Scale: This isn't any old scale! This is a dietitian's dream scale. Not only does it weigh and measure your food, it will tell you how many calories, carbs, fat, fiber, sodium, etc...are in your portion!
Lap-Band Journal: No one records in a food journal every day for their entire lives. However, after gastric lap-band surgery, there are certain times that keeping a food log can be very useful.
Body Fat Model: Nothing like a blob of fat sitting around on the kitchen counter as a blatant reminder that you shouldn't dig into the snack drawer after dinner and hinder your lap-band success.
Portion Control Serving Spoons: These take all the guesswork out of proper portioning. Use them to dish out the perfect amount.
A Sassy Lunch Bag: Eating properly requires having the right foods around to eat when you're hungry. "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Pack lunch and/or multiple healthy snacks if you're going to be away from home for more than a few hours.
Pedometer: If you're having trouble with the "move more" component of weight loss equation, or just require a little extra motivation, a step counter may be just what you need. It keeps track of the number of steps you take on a daily basis. 1000 steps = 1 mile. Walking 1 mile burns 100 calories. Set goals regarding the number of steps you'll take every day and watch your weight loss skyrocket!
Heart Rate Monitor: When you're trying to lose weight, a heart rate monitor is an excellent way to monitor your intensity and see how many calories you're burning. I personally never exercise without one and neither should you!
A personal nutritionist: Even the best athletes need a coach! Think of your personal dietitian as just that...your personal eating coach who will keep you accountable and help you become your best you.
Baby Utensils: Taking small, pea size/eraser size bites is easy when you eat from small utensils. You can only fit a small amount on a baby fork or spoon. Placing a small bite of food in your mouth means a small bite and only a small bite of food will find its way down to your stomach. Having a small amount of food trying to pass the band will lessen your chances of causing an obstruction. Remember, HOW you'll eat after gastric lap-band surgery is just as important to your lap-band success as what you'll eat!
Sand Timer: Slow down your pace of eating with the help of a sandtimer! This will prevent you from overeating which can cause you to vomit and/or cause your pouch to stretch. Here's a fun way to train yourself to slow down:
(If you have kids this is especially fun!)
A-Z Alternative List: Gastric lap-band surgery doesn't "cure" emotional overeating because the surgery is performed on your stomach not on your head. Use this A-Z list of things to do when you want to eat but you're not really hungry.
Unfortunately bariatric surgery itself doesn't guarantee you'll lose weight. However, having a well stocked weight loss surgery toolbox will certainly improve your odds of lap-band success. That way, if/when one tool isn't working for you...
...you can try another.