Are you considering or have you undergone weight loss surgery? If so, then it’s likely you’ve thought about personal milestones or goals you would like to achieve on your journey to living a healthier you.
During our bariatric support groups, we often talk about realistic goals and tips as we cheer each other on during this life changing experience. Below are a few goals that will have you thinking beyond the number on the scale and directly impact your health!
Eat Enough Protein
When it comes to your diet, Rule #1 is “eating enough protein.” Eating a diet rich in protein can help reduce hunger, improve your immune system and build strength. Your provider or dietitian can work with you to determine how much protein you should consume daily. Even if your bariatric surgery is long behind you, it’s a good idea to be aware of your protein intake to be sure you’re reaching your daily goal.
Drink More Fluids
Lose more weight, stay fuller and prevent dehydration fatigue and headaches by getting enough fluids. The goal for most adults is to drink at least 64 ounces of water, or rather fluids, each day. If you find yourself struggling to reach this goal, here are a few tips:
- Create a visual reminder of how close you are to reaching your daily goal by filling up four, 16-ounce water bottles (or a 64-ounce pitcher) and make sure you finish them by the end of the day.
- Get high-tech and set up a hydration reminder that syncs to your smartphone.
- If plain water is too boring, try adding lemon or mint for a little flavor without the added sugar. Low-calorie flavored water, decaf tea and coffee can also be good choices when it comes to reaching your 64-ounces-a-day goal.
Find a Friend
Make it one of your goals to not go it alone. A friend can provide that extra encouragement and motivation that we all need some days. If one friend is good, more friends are better – the more the merrier when it comes to finding help and support with eating right, exercising and reducing stress.
Go to the Doctor
If you are considering weight loss surgery, it’s easy to see why going to a doctor is necessary. But you shouldn’t only be scheduling an appointment with your surgeon. Whether pre-op or post-op, seeing your primary care provider and any other of your regular doctors can help you get healthy and stay healthy. By routinely going to your doctor, you can actively monitor important health and wellness measures, like blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Together with your physician, you can also create action plans for any other conditions, such as knee pain or sleep apnea.
Take Your Vitamins
There is no substitute for a healthy diet, but a healthy diet is not always enough. If you’ve had weight loss surgery, a multivitamin may be part of your daily routine. Talk to your surgeon or doctor about any vitamins you should take and then be sure to take them as recommended to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Remember, staying nourished can also help you lose weight by keeping up your energy levels and metabolism.
And finally, make it a goal to smile more. Smile when you greet people. Smile when you say goodbye. Smile when you are talking and listening. Smile for no reason at all. Why? Because the very act of smiling can help convince your mind that you are happier. Plus, smiling at other people will make them more likely to be friendly to you, which in turn will make you happier. All that extra happiness can make it easier to do your daily duties, like eating right and working out!
Jessica is a registered dietitian with KentuckyOne Health Weight Loss & Surgery Associates.