Bariatric Success Habits: Aim for These 3 Daily Wins

Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN

Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, and owner of Level Up Bariatrics, LLC, a bariatric lifestyle coaching program that provides pre and post-op support for weight loss surgery patients. Learn more on Instagram (@level_up_bariatrics).

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure, not just physically but also emotionally and mentally. It's a fresh start, an opportunity to reclaim your health, and a commitment to a new lifestyle. To maximize the benefits of bariatric surgery and ensure long-term success, it's essential to develop daily habits that support your goals. Here, we explore three crucial daily habits, each targeting a primary area of post-bariatric life — nutrition, mindset, and exercise — to help you win every day on your bariatric journey.

1) Nutrition habit: prioritize protein & balance your meals.

After bariatric surgery, your stomach's capacity is significantly reduced, making it critical to select quality foods that provide the nutrients your body needs without unnecessary calories. One key habit you can adopt is ensuring every meal is high in protein. Why focus on protein, you might ask?

Protein is vital post-surgery for several reasons:

  • It helps preserve lean muscle mass, especially when you're losing weight rapidly.
  • It contributes to satiety, helping you feel full for a longer period of time after eating only a small portion.
  • It's essential for the repair and recovery of tissues after surgery.

Here's what you can do daily to integrate this habit:

  • Build your meals around a protein source: Aim for lean options like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, or plant-based proteins such as beans and lentils.
  • Keep protein-rich snacks handy: Options like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or a small handful of nuts can help meet your protein requirements between meals.
  • Balance is key: Accompany your protein with a variety of vegetables to provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This will not only enrich your diet and keep you feeling more satisfied and energized, but also aid digestion.

By focusing on balanced, protein-centric meals, you're equipping your body with the tools it needs to support a successful post-surgery outcome.

2) Mindset habit: celebrate every victory, scale or no scale.

Your mindset can be just as important as physical changes in your post-bariatric success. The scales can be a significant source of stress, suffering, and even self-sabotage if you rely solely on them to measure your progress. Instead, incorporate a powerful mindset habit: celebrate your non-scale victories every day.

Non-scale victories (NSVs) can include things like:

  • Seeing your clothes fit better or noticing you've gone down a size.
  • Receiving compliments from friends and family.
  • Having more energy to perform daily tasks.
  • Measuring improvements in health markers, like blood pressure or glucose levels.

To solidify this habit daily:

  • Keep a victory journal: Jot down one thing every day that feels like an achievement, irrespective of what the scale says. This can be counted as gratitude!
  • Acknowledge and share your successes: Tell a friend, a support group, or simply give yourself a pat on the back.
  • Set small, achievable goals: Acknowledge each goal you reach as a victory in its own right.

By shifting your focus from the scale to how you feel and what you can do, you maintain motivation and perspective on your overall wellness progression.

3) Exercise habit: establish a consistent, daily movement routine.

Exercise is an integral part of maintaining weight loss and improving your health after bariatric surgery. Implementing a consistent daily exercise routine, tailored to your abilities and interests, can do wonders for your recovery and weight management.

This doesn't mean you need to engage in strenuous workouts immediately after surgery.

Instead, consider these steps to make movement a natural part of your life:

  • Start small: Begin with activities like walking or gentle stretches, gradually building up intensity and duration as your fitness improves.
  • Make it a ritual: Schedule a consistent time for exercise, turning it into a regular part of your routine (just like brushing your teeth).
  • Find activities you enjoy: Exercise doesn't have to be a chore. Whether it's dancing, swimming, or yoga, engaging in activities that you love can help ensure you stick with them.

Consistent daily exercise will help improve your cardiovascular health, boost your mood, and encourage continued weight loss by increasing your metabolism.

Looking to support your bone health after bariatric surgery? BariMelts Calcium Citrate comes in a great-tasting, smooth-dissolving tablet with the optimal ratio of D3 & Magnesium to maximize the Calcium benefits.

Building healthy habits after bariatric surgery is a marathon, not a sprint. By focusing on high-quality, balanced nutrition, fostering a positive mindset that cherishes every form of progress, and adopting a consistent exercise routine, you'll be well on your way to maintaining the success of your bariatric surgery. With patience, persistence, and daily action, you can achieve and sustain the results you desire.

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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