9 Tips Entering Lockdown after Weight Loss Surgery
9 Tips to negotiate an unknown journey.
The past few months have been unprecedented. The new norm is still unusual and uncertain. It is also an emotionally challenging time for many bariatric surgery patients as some have had to reschedule or cancel their surgeries (those booked in May onwards) whilst others who have had surgery are reported to be snacking more due to spending more time at indoors.
Here are my 9 favourite tips
1. Look after your mental health
I’ve been directing a lot of my patients to the Health.gov.au website which has some fantastic resources for managing both stress and anxiety, as well as issues with sleep (as adults we need around 7-8 hours a night). The information on this website applies to patients who are both pre and post weight loss surgery, as well as friends and family who aren’t weight loss patients too.
And if you’re super motivated you could consider joining me for a Yoga and Meditation session at my Radical Wellness class on Sunday mornings.
2. Structure your day
Try to structure your day i.e. have set times for meals, snacks, a walk/workout, face-time with loved ones and work! A structure helps to reinforce positive habits which in time will be carried out with minimal thought and effort. And if you find yourself with more ‘down time’ than usual, make yourself a to-do list, I often recommend that people divide tasks up into: MUST (important tasks with an imminent deadline), SHOULD (important tasks with a longer deadline), COULD (unimportant tasks that need to be done in time) and WANT (desirable tasks e.g. having a bubble bath). Journaling is a great habit here. You might be interested in checking out my journal “Creating a New You”
3. Remain accountable
You are unlikely to be coming for as many face to face consultations during this time, which is why I encourage you to reach out to online support groups. There are group activities like Webinars and Hangouts that happen on a regular basis and can be a great means to stay connected during these times.
4. Track what you eat
As well as writing down weekly weights, you may also find it useful to write down what you are eating. Have a go at doing this for a week and then be your own diet-detective; go back through as ask yourself ‘why’ were you eating foods such as biscuits; was it because you missed a meal or because they are kept in easy reach next to the kettle? Plan to prevent the same slip up from happening again the following week. A good app to have on your phone is Baritastic – Bariatric Tracker
5. Eat colour
Eat your 5 portions of fruits, salad and vegetables a day! Also try and eat a “rainbow”. More the colour, better it is for you. Add image of a salad plate here. Three of the nutrients that help to support your immune system during this time include Vitamin A, which is found in carrots and spinach, Vitamin C, which is abundant in berries, tomatoes and peppers, as well as Vit D which can be got from mushrooms, soy milk and of course sunshine.
6. Get outside daily
This is essential. Being out in the open (in nature ideally) does wonders for our mental health and also helps with our vitamin D levels – and don’t forget that you still need your vitamin D and calcium supplements, as well as your multivitamin, iron tablet and vitamin B12 injections too*.
Drinking an at least 1.5 liters of water is essential in order for you to feel and function at your best. Water, squash, tea, coffee and milk count towards our fluid needs but try to make sure that they are sugar free (use sweetener if needed!) and kept to 30 minutes either side of a meal or snack.
8. Snack Time Savvy
Make your snacks not only interesting but nutritious too. Think protein and plant base fibre when it comes to snacks e.g. cheese and apple, yoghurt and berries, nuts and dried fruit or even hummus and carrots!
9. Indulge occasionally
A little bit of what you fancy does you good! Now is certainly not the time for restriction (you crave more what you ban from your diet!). The key is balance, think 80/20 – as long as you are eating and drinking well 80% of the time, you can afford to indulge for 20% of the time.
In case you are interested in knowing more about how to look after your Gut Health, you might want to get my book – Happy Gut, Healthy Weight: Discover How a Happy Gut Holds the Key to Achieving and Maintaining Your Healthy
I really hope these tips help you to get back on track –
I know if you believe in it, you can do it!
Please share these details with others who you feel might benefit.