A Healthy Way of Thinking
“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier”—Tom Stoppard
After Lap Band surgery, it’s up to you to change what and how you eat, as well as the way you think about eating. Transitioning from what may have been an anything-goes attitude towards diet into a strict mindset regarding food after gastric band surgery is challenging. One of the first steps you’ll take along your weight loss journey is mentally accepting new dietary changes.
Letting Go of the Past
To change your attitude towards food today, it helps to reflect and accept your attitude towards food in the past. Perhaps you saw food as an escape from the stresses of everyday life. Perhaps food replaced something that was missing in your life, or perhaps food was an addiction. Despite food’s control over you, now is the time to recognize and correct your past eating habits. Following Lap Band surgery, you will leave your past relationship with food behind and develop new eating habits that are conducive for weight loss.
As you encounter mental challenges with changing your attitude towards diet, use these coping strategies as reinforcements.
- Be accountable. The first step in changing your attitude towards your new diet is realizing that food is not the enemy. It’s up to you to stay cognizant of the foods you eat and the outcomes (good or bad) of eating those foods.
- Be strategic. Gastric banding helps you lose weight by making you feel fuller faster. Replace small portions of less-filling foods like soup with an equivalent piece of protein-packed fish or chicken to keep you fuller longer.
- Be aware. Gastric band surgery requires you to eat several, small-portioned meals throughout the day. During mealtime, truly think about your food—think about the way it looks, feels and tastes as you chew methodically and slowly. Eating quickly doesn’t afford you enough time to consider the consequences of eating too much too fast.
- Be appreciative. Show healthy foods your respect by eating your meals at the table. You can’t practice mindful eating tactics on the couch in front of the TV or in your bedroom—sit at the table and give mealtime your undivided attention. Turn off all cellphones, computers and televisions and appreciate your healthy meal.
- Be smart. Don’t let cravings, stress or emotions dictate when you eat. Take the time to determine whether your urge to eat is driven by emotions or physical hunger to avoid overeating.
Changing your attitude towards dietary habits is imperative for weight loss success. These coping tactics will help you mentally manage the challenges of changing your diet after gastric band surgery.