Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy has become one of the most popular weight loss operations in recent years. You will be able to eat a normal diet and feel satisfied after a quarter of what you used to eat. The operation also reduce your hunger by removing the Ghrelin hormone.
Like all weight loss operation, the sleeve gastrectomy should be a viewed a tool that you need to use properly in order to maintain your weight loss long term. Adapting a new healthy lifestyle will ensure your long term success.
There are certain habits that you must avoid in order to achieve long term success.
Constant grazing or snaking between meals is the worst thing you can do after sleeve gastrectomy. Eating chips or crackers slowly one after the other will defeat the tightest sleeve gastrectomy that I can perform. It leads to unnecessary calorie pileup and can impede weight loss. If required, choose healthy snacks such as fruits or proteins.
2. Eating beyond fullness
Different people have different perceptions about "feeling full". People may continue to eat beyond fullness just out of habit or out of stress. You must stop eating the moment you feel full.
3. Eating large portions
Your new, small stomach can no longer take in the large meal portions that you might be used to in the past. You will feel full and satisfied with a small meal; however, you need to get rid of old habits of filling a large plate and intending to finish it. Habitual over eating can result in streching of the sleeve and weight regain. We all have been raised not to waste food and to finish our plates. Now you have the permission to leave food on your plate or better still use small plates.
4. Watching TV for long hours
Watching TV for long hours promotes inactivity and the constant food references in commercials and cooking shows such as My Kitchen Rules make us unconsciously reach for the fridge door. Sleeve gastrectomy will control our biological or stomach hunger but we need to control our head hunger by avoiding constant food reminders. Grazing while watching TV while may seem relaxing after a busy day at work, will result in inadequate weight loss or weight regain.
5. Not following the dietary recommendations
After sleeve gastrectomy diet progression is done in stages over a period of six weeks. This is necessary to give the staple line time to heal while providing enough proteins need to tissue healing. It is important to follow these phases and not to progress quicker than our recommendation. Starting solid food too soon after surgery can result in obstruction of the stomach tube, pressure build up and potential leak from the staple line. You need to be patient during these 6 weeks or so while your stomach heals.
6. Not doing enough exercise
Successful weight loss requires both healthy eating and regular exercise. Exercise increases metabolism, promotes weight loss, relieves stress and improves overall health and well being. By not doing enough exercise, you don't achieve any of these.
7. Reverting to pre-surgery eating habits
Eating habits tend to become so deep rooted over time that we all find it hard to overcome them. If you are used to have a muffin with your morning tea all your life, you may find it hard to drop this habit after surgery. However, you need to know that you can either have that muffin or the weight loss, not both!
8. Eating high calorie food
Even if you consume small portions of calorie dense foods such as smoothies or ice creams, you will surely not lose any weight. Foods such as potato chips, pretzels, cheese and crackers take up a smaller volume, and you end up eating a lot and pile up unwanted calories. I recommend that you remove the temptation from you house and do not let these food items enter your house after surgery.
9. Drinking alcohol and non-diet soft drinks
After sleeve gastrectomy you need to restrict alcohol intake. Rapid emptying of the stomach will cause you to feel the effect of alcohol much sooner than before. You may get drunk with half of what you used to drink before. In addition alcohol is a carbohydrate and provides many calories and will result in weight regain. The same goes for non-diet soft drinks. There are lots of calories in a can of regular pepsi or coke. You should switch to diet soft drink only.
10. Wasting the opportunity for a new start at life
You should view your sleeve gastrectomy as an opportunity for a fresh new start. The weight loss you will experience in the first 6 months and the encouraging comments you will receive from friends and family will boost your self confidence and sense of well being. Use this time to pick new habits and start new fitness challenges. You will not experience this feeling again so do not let it goes to waste.
11. Not controlling depression
Patients with uncontrolled depression lose less weight compared to patients without depression. Weight loss can stress relationships and can worsen depression. It is important to pay attention to your emotional health and seek professional help early to ensure your emotional well being and to maintain your weight loss success.
12. Not tracking your weight
It is important to track your weight regularly. I recommend you do this once a week. This will keep you motivated and give you early warning if you started to slip into bad eating habits.
Remember, the success of sleeve gastrectomy depends on how committed you are to your new lifestyle. So, get rid of all bad habits and make a fresh start to a healthy life.