As you are preparing for bariatric surgery, there are certain things to keep in mind. You might feel the need to eat everything in sight as you are saying goodbye to food, but it is important to remember this is the time to be training your head for your new lifestyle. I think it is natural to have a few treats, but overall, you should be using this time to adjust the way you look at food. This means learning how to make healthy changes and get used to smaller portion sizes. If you are struggling with binging, now is the time to work on that behavior. You do not need to wait until after surgery to address these issues as you will not be able to be successful if you wait too long.
Many insurance companies require you to be on a 6-month diet prior to surgery, so chances are you have had an opportunity to really work on your new lifestyle. However, as you get about 2-months pre-op, I would recommend that you take it a step further and make a few necessary changes to ensure you are as successful as possible on your journey. The first thing that is critical for you to give up prior to surgery is soda. This was by far the hardest thing for me to say goodbye to, but it is critical if you want to have long-term success. Soda is horrible for bariatric patients, even diet sodas. Use this time prior to surgery to get used to new drinks. The great thing is that the more popular bariatric surgery is getting, the more popular bariatric products are getting. I fell in love with protein drinks that taste like crystal light but have 15 grams of protein in them. They are amazing and really helped me during my transition away from soda. If you are struggling with letting go of high sugar drinks, give these a chance.
Another thing I would recommend that you do prior to surgery is start substituting your unhealthy snack choices for healthier options. Again, there are so many wonderful products out there that can help you during this challenging time. I found that exploring new snacks and protein bars helped me get creative with my food choices. So much of my struggle on my weight loss journey has been because I get bored with eating the same thing every day. By trying new things, it will allow you to learn new ways to treat yourself without feeling guilty. Tasty bites and peanut butter & jelly bars have become some of my favorite snacks. I have worked really hard to train my mind to choose these snacks instead of unhealthy choices. Just remember, be patient with yourself because it takes time to really get used to your new lifestyle.
As you are introducing new foods to your diet, I highly recommend that you track everything. This is a good habit to start while you are pre-op and it will ensure that you are truly embracing your new lifestyle. This is going to be a lifelong journey and it is so important that you start making these changes before your procedure. Make sure you are hitting your protein goals and getting your fruits and vegetables in every day. It will be harder to do this after surgery and if you have spent a few months practicing prior to surgery, you will be more likely to be successful. Remember, this is going to take a lot of effort, but you CAN do this. Get going now before surgery and you will be on the path towards a healthier, happier you. You got this!