Have you been overweight or obese for too long? You have to be mentally ready to make some permanent lifestyle changes to shed the pounds. You may even be thinking of weight loss surgery.
At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, our board-certified general and bariatric surgeons, Dexter Turnquest, MD, and Victoria C. Chang, MD, are ready to help you.
If you do go through with weight loss surgery, you need to eat differently than you’re eating now. Your stomach is going to be a lot smaller, and your body won’t be able to handle food in the quantities that it does now.
Behavior modification techniques have been proven to help with weight loss. Following are some research-based strategies to help you as you move forward with a weight loss plan.
Food journal: self-monitoring
If you’re serious about losing weight, keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat and drink during the day.
If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, make the diary a long-term plan. Include what you eat, how much of it you eat, the time you ate, and where you were. Include what triggered your eating if it was not part of needed nutrition.
You’ll notice ingrained habits that keep you from losing weight. For example, you may sit down to watch TV after dinner with a bowl of chips. You can target that habit as one you need to change. Rather than eating, stay hydrated while watching TV.
Remove unhealthy foods from the house
Have a friend or your partner help empty the house of unhealthy, high-calorie, sugary foods such as sweet desserts. You know self-control is a problem, so help yourself by removing the triggers.
Eat at a table with no distractions
If you eat while sitting on the couch reading what’s on your phone, change the habit. Instead, eat your meals sitting at a table with no distractions. Make sure the table isn’t in front of your TV, and eat without looking at your phone or the television. Focus on the food.
Eat more slowly
Do you eat so fast that your body doesn’t have time to tell you when you’re full? Slow down your eating. Use a timer, and gradually increase the number of minutes it takes to eat your meal. Enjoy the different tastes of the foods. Drink water during the meal.
You know how important physical activity is for your health. Write down what’s been stopping you from being more active. Then find a physical activity that you like to do, and the chances are greater that you’ll stick with it.
Walking in your neighborhood is a great way to start a fitness plan. Aim for walking 30-45 minutes three to five days per week. If you can only walk to the end of your driveway now, start doing that. Walk a little bit farther each day until you reach your goal.
A supportive partner or friend can help you on your weight loss journey. It’s hard to lose weight if your partner brings home tubs of ice cream or cooks high-calorie meals.
Tell friends and family the type of support you need, whether it’s a daily check-in with you or something else.
Group support is helpful, too. If you’re in a weight loss group, ask a designated person to be your accountability partner in losing weight.
Build in rewards
Develop rewards for yourself other than food. Maybe it’s listening to some favorite music, texting a friend, reading a book, or going on a trip. Keep your hands occupied. Knitting, crocheting, woodworking, or making crafts can distract you from eating. If you don’t have hobbies, it’s time to develop some.
These behavior modification techniques will help you whether you decide to have weight loss surgery or not. Call or book an appointment online at one of our two Houston, Texas, locations. We have weight loss solutions that can change your life.