Tips for Changing Your Eating Habits Before Weight Loss Surgery
Now that you’ve decided to have weight loss surgery, it’s time to test drive your new diet and get used to eating differently. Easing your way into new eating habits before surgery will help you focus on healing after your procedure and give your body the chance to lose weight safely.
Step 1. Shopping & Cooking
Read food labels.
Before driving to the grocery store, clean out your pantry and cabinets by getting rid of products containing high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat (saturated fat), trans fat, or bleached white flour. These unhealthy ingredients contribute to heart disease, degenerative diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Fatty and sugary foods also travel quickly through your digestive system and can cause dumping syndrome. The good news is that many healthy substitutes have excellent – if not better – flavor.
Look for whole grain ingredients.
Whole grain products are much healthier and have a higher fiber content than food with bleached white flour and partially processed grains. Be on the lookout for food packaging stamped with the golden-yellow Whole Grains Council’s logo that indicates at least a half serving of whole grains.
Choose organic when possible.
The secret is out. Organic food has more nutrients and fewer pesticides and toxins than the non-organic equivalents. However, buying organic can be expensive. If possible, consider choosing organic meat, eggs, and dairy as well as organic apples, peppers, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, and strawberries. If you choose non-organic products, be sure to wash all food before eating and cook it thoroughly.
Throw out the fryer.
Fried foods add fat to your diet. Healthier cooking options such as steaming, baking, and grilling with a nonstick cooking spray can significantly reduce your fat intake.
Plan menus ahead of time.
Try to sit down during the weekend and plan what you will eat during the week. Then, make a shopping list and buy the ingredients to make your meals. Being prepared will help you avoid spur-of-the-moment poor food choices.
Store tempting foods out of reach and out of sight.
Make use of high cabinet shelves or bottom refrigerator shelves so tempting food will be harder to reach and less obvious.
Step 2. Eating Tips
Choose smaller plates.
Trick your mind by arranging the right portion of food on a smaller plate, so it looks fuller. Furthermore, keep food in the kitchen instead of serving it on the dining room table to prevent yourself from reaching for second helpings.
Take bite-sized pieces.
Take small bites of food, set down your fork or spoon between bites, and chew food completely before swallowing. As a rule of thumb, try chewing each mouthful 30 times to applesauce consistency before swallowing. This will help slow down your eating and prevent food from getting stuck.
Savor your meals.
After weight loss surgery, you will need to get used to the new size of your stomach and how much it will hold. Try taking 30 minutes to eat your meal. By slowing down and savoring what you eat, your brain has time to register how full your stomach is. Also, keep your attention on your food by not watching TV, reading, or talking on the phone while you eat.
Sip your drinks.
Drink smaller mouthfuls (15 cc or ½ oz) to prevent overfilling your pouch. Also, some programs recommend not to drink during your meal as well as 30 minutes before up to 30 minutes after your meals to help feel fuller and consume fewer calories. Be sure to follow your program’s guidelines.
Don’t fear food.
Food fuels your body and is necessary to keep it functioning at optimal levels. By eating smaller meals more frequently, you help prevent your metabolism from slowing down which aids weight loss.
Step 3. Exercise & Physical Activity
Make time for daily activity.
Healthy lifestyles and being active go hand in hand. To promote safe weight loss try getting 30 minutes of exercise/activity per day. You can break the 30 minutes into smaller segments throughout the day. Try taking a 10-minute walk before breakfast, a 10-minute walk at lunch, and another 10-minute walk after work. Think about skipping the elevator and taking the stairs. If you are coming off a sedentary lifestyle, start slowly and increase activity as your body becomes used to moving. Remember your weight loss journey isn’t a race.
Step 4. Take Your Vitamins
Don’t forget your vitamins!
If you have a hard time remembering to take your daily vitamins, try setting the alarm so you won’t forget. You might also consider leaving your vitamins out on a counter, so they are in plain sight.
Our Once Daily vitamins address the five complaints most people have about bariatric supplements: size, taste, texture, cost, and dose.
Not a fan of chalky chewables or pills?
Try taking your vitamin with a teaspoon of applesauce or yogurt. You might also find it helpful to rinse your mouth with a small sip of water before chewing a supplement.
Want to try different supplements forms?
Take your multivitamin in a capsule form and your calcium in a chewable form or vice versa. However, don’t rely on vitamin waters and drinks to get your daily supplements. These liquids are loaded with extra calories and do not have the essential nutrients provided by bariatric specific vitamins.
Step 4. Ask Questions
ProCare is committed to customer service.
Weight-loss surgery patients are on a journey to optimal health, and we want to help make the path easier. Our customer service team is eager to answer questions, and guide patients to the right products, while making the buying process easy, affordable and stress-free.
If you’d like to learn more about the full range of our bariatric vitamin products, please visit our full product listing.