Don’t expect change without making one! There is no long term “diet” to follow to lose weight and maintain your loss. However, there are some general guidelines for long term success.
Video: Simple Meal Planning after WLS
Make vegetables and fresh fruit the foundation of your meal plan.
- Have half of your plate include non-starchy vegetables.
- Have at least 3-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables each day and 2-3 servings of fresh fruit.
- A serving is 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked.
Include lean protein choices regularly, such as fish (especially fatty fish like salmon and mackerel), chicken, turkey, eggs, soy/tofu, nuts/seeds, nut butter, and occasionally lean cuts of beef or pork.
These are the foods that are also commonly consumed mindlessly in front of the television or doing other activities. These foods can be included in a healthy lifestyle, but need to be consumed thoughtfully.
Include complex whole-grain carbohydrates like 100% whole wheat bread, quinoa, brown rice, oats, barley, roasted potatoes, winter squash, beans, legumes, and lentils.
Do not shy away from fat, but do look at labels and limit saturated and trans fats. Include heart-healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, canola oil, peanut or walnut oil, avocado, nuts/seeds, and nut butter.
Limit simple carbohydrates like chips, pretzels, crackers, granola bars, popcorn, etc. and keep foods with added sugar to a minimum.
One of the best recommendations to maintain your weight loss long term is to avoid drinking your calories.
- High-calorie beverages like specialized coffee drinks can add 300+ calories in a 12oz serving. You would have to jog 3 miles to make up for that one beverage. . . is it really worth it?
- Coffee drinks are not the only beverages with excessive calories. Regular soda, some protein drinks, and even juices and smoothies can be extremely high in added sugars.
It is best to eat whole foods for maximum nutrient absorption and satiety.
Exercise is important for long term weight maintenance, increasing your metabolic rate, and cardiac health, but did you ever think of exercise for stress reduction?
When you look back at life before surgery, how much of your struggle with weight was related to stressful situations in your life? Now think about how you feel when you get done with a workout.
Do you ever regret going to the gym or taking a walk? Do you ever feel more stressed out, anxious, or upset when you’re done? Or, do you feel a sense of accomplishment, have more energy for other activities in your day, or literally and figuratively feel “lighter?”
One of the best side effects of regularly activity and exercise is not only how your jeans fit, but the mental boost you feel for the next few hours to even days.
The next time life seems to be throwing too much at you, stop and sweat it out doing your favorite physical activity.
Tip of the Month
Take a moment to assess if you’re really feeling hungry. Avoid mindless eating in front of the TV and while working.
If you do decide you are truly hungry, go into the kitchen, pick your snack, and eat it at the kitchen table; all while avoiding the distraction of a screen.
Eat your food mindfully, meaning, be fully present to taste each bite and truly savor what you are consuming.