Living With Your Gastric Band
Your lifestyle is made up of the actions you make repeatedly. This includes the foods you eat, the amount of activity you engage in, and the choices you make day after day. Like most habits, your lifestyle behaviors become second nature—they are tendencies that are unique to you, but encourage normalcy in your life.
Following gastric band surgery, you’ll have to make a collection of fundamental changes to your lifestyle. This will include changes to:
- How you manage stress
- The way you react to hunger cues and emotional eating triggers
- Level of alcohol consumption and tobacco use
- Where and how often you dine out
- The food choices you make daily and their nutritional values
Lap Band surgery will introduce several additional life-factors that you will have to adjust to. This includes changing relationships, personal changes to your level of self-esteem and most noticeably changes to your body weight.
There are several tools that may help you cope with these changes, and you may choose to make use of them after weight loss surgery. These tools include:
You will also learn to manage your gastric band adjustments by paying close attention to your body and developing a deeper level of awareness concerning your dietary habits.
Developing a Healthier Lifestyle
A lifestyle behavior is something you participate in without a second thought. To lose weight, you’ll have to make some changes to your everyday behaviors. Even after weight loss surgery, the choices you make every day will influence your level of weight loss success.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle requires a full shift to an improved state of being. This requires a combination of:
- Psychological changes
- Nutritional changes
- Activity changes
Developing a healthier lifestyle can happen faster than you may think. There are three primary steps to take:
1. Identify Poor Habits
Poor lifestyle habits can hold you back from achieving an optimal state of wellness. Unfortunately, many of our habits are embed in our daily routine, and you may not even notice when you engage in a behavior that has potentially negative consequences.
Draw awareness to poor habits by:
- Becoming more mindful of your actions and eating behavior
- Journaling your actions, eating habits and daily routine
- Asking a friend or family member to become a source of external accountability
2. Replace the Bad with the Good
Instead of simply erasing a bad habit, consider ways that you can replace it with something positive. When you attempt to stop a negative behavior, you create a void in your routine. Filling that void with something healthy can encourage you to move forward.
Consider swapping negative habits for healthier counterparts:
- Replace unhealthy snacks with fruits and vegetables
- Instead of eating to manage stress, go for a walk
- Refill a water bottle instead of getting soda or juice from a vending machine
The trick to making a new habit stick is repetition. Research suggests that it only takes 21 days to form a new habit. Once a habit is formed, it starts to feel like second nature and breaking it will take some effort.
If you get started today, three weeks from now you may find yourself in a much healthier place.