Top 10 Bariatric Mistakes, are you being responsible?
Leslie Albers, Bariatric Coordinator
Many post op patients struggle with making the changes necessary to be successful long term. Many say that the surgery “failed them” and yet they are not taking vitamins, drinking water, and avoiding carbs.
Even if you have early success, down the road these 10 things will derail you:
- Drinking with meals: This washes food out of your pouch and then enables you to refill your pouch and overeat. This is critical to long term success. No drinking with meals.
- Drinking soda: The biggest problem with drinking soda is that it is something many did before surgery. Some of our patients were drinking liters, 6 packs, or 12 packs of soda before surgery. The mindset change is the most important thing along with the temptation to drink soda with meals (see # 1), the possibility that it will stretch your pouch, not to mention that you do not need sugar, aspartame, or caffeine.
- Not making good food choices: Your mantra should be Protein first followed by lower carb vegetables. Wash, rinse, repeat. Do not reward yourself with food. Do not return to making the bad choices that got you to where you were when you needed weight loss surgery. You knew we would say that, you knew this was the deal. It is worth it to stick with it.
- Not understanding alcohol: After surgery alcohol is directly deposited into the small intestine and sucked into the bloodstream and can cause you to be dangerously intoxicated very quickly. Never have a drink unless you are with someone you can trust with your life. The load on your liver and other organs is substantially increased as well. Some cocktails can have up to 50 grams of sugar which is something you need to steer clear of as well.
- Not taking your vitamins and supplements: After having most of your stomach removed along with some of your intestines bypassed, it is silly to think you would not need vitamins. Most Americans who have not had the surgery are undernourished and should be on a vitamin regimen but for post op patients, it could mean your health, or your life. There are serious conditions that can occur when you are deficient in vitamins, protein, and or minerals. Also, there are neurological conditions caused by not taking vitamins (especially the B12) that are irreversible and can even lead to death. If you have questions about a post op vitamin regimen, visit our website or call us today.
- Not drinking enough water: Dehydration is one of the biggest causes for hospital admission and is preventable. We were not kidding when we told you to “keep sipping.” If you get dehydrated you may get dizzy, nauseated, have a headache, lose focus, and feel sleepy. Stay ahead of the problem and drink! Keep a log if you have to in order to ensure that you are drinking enough quality H2O.
- Grazing: You need to plan and eat actual meals. If you graze, eating a bite here and there and never really filling up, you consume many more calories and you are not using the “tool” of your pouch in order to feel full and satisfied. If your grazing is due to “head hunger” then find something else to occupy you until it is meal time.
- Not exercising: Eat less and burn more still is the mathematical formula that works for post op patients. Even exercising 10 minutes a day will help with your weight loss. Not only does exercising help you lose more weight faster, it can help you KEEP it off, make you LIVE longer, and help you FEEL better. All of those things create a cycle of you being a healthier and happier you living a higher quality life. So, get moving!
- Eating too many carbs: Carbs add to weight gain and create more hunger. Protein will crowd out the carbs and assists with weight loss. Carbs will burn off quickly and leave you hungry and processed food is “dead food” and has no nutritional value. Pick foods that nourish your body, keep your blood sugar steady, and fill you up for a while!
- Assuming surgery cured your morbid obesity: There is definitely a “honeymoon” period. The first weeks and months after surgery may make you feel that all is right with the world and you could never struggle again. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and after the honeymoon, the work begins. If you do not stay on track, do the things you know you should do, and avoid the other 9 things we have just talked about, you may find yourself gaining some or all of your weight back. It can happen. Create a long term plan and follow it. This is a marathon after the sprint. Create a new you and a new life filled with choices that help you keep your weight steady, your health good, and your quality of life AMAZING.