Want to improve your odds of success after bariatric surgery?
You'll need a "weight loss surgery toolbox" stocked with a variety of tools.
Chances are you have a toolbox around your house that has hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc., in it.
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 weight loss.
Of course bariatric surgery 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 "tool box" stocked!
My Favorite Weight Loss Surgery Tools
I'm going to tell you about some of the things I recommend to improve the chance of success after weight loss surgery.
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 bariatric 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 weight loss 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.
: 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. HOW you eat after surgery is just as important to your success as what you'll eat!
: 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: Weight loss 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 success. That way, if/when one tool isn't working for you...
...you can try another.