5 tips for LapBand success
By the time I meet you, you have already developed many food habits. Food may be a comfort. Food may be a way to handle stress or isolation. Rarely do my patients think of food as fuel to give our body energy to do the things we want to do. That is why changing your eating behavior shouldn’t be a “cold turkey” approach.
Tip 1 - It's never a good idea to starve yourself of food or deny yourself of a balanced diet.
What the Lap Band® does is help control the hunger while reducing the portion size of what you are eating at each meal or snack. It's my experience after 10 years of focusing on this type of proven weight management that gradual weight loss (1-3 pounds per week) is safer.
Tip 2 - The band doesn't do all the work, it's a team effort.
The truly successful Lap Band patient learns how to modify eating behaviors, make healthier lifestyle changes and select healthier food choices at the monthly appointments and with the day-to-day support of our office staff. The result can be long-term sustained weight loss and the reversal of many obesity-related health problems like high blood pressure, cholesterol and joint pain, to name a few.
Tip 3 - The “cold turkey” mentality doesn’t work because it’s all about what you can’t eat instead of what you can eat.
The Lap Band program is about creating a positive eating experience. It also means learning how to identify food triggers and then selecting satisfying foods that also support weight loss.
Did you know there are more than 20,000 different food items in a grocery store? There are only a handful of foods that we ask you to avoid (primarily bread, it doesn't pass through the band easily).
Tip 4 – Find a different "go to" drink instead of soda.
Sugars (even artificial sugars) derail good weight loss effort - try water or tea! For Lap Band patients, the carbonated bubbles in soda are harder to handle. They pass through the band opening and into the stomach. But an alternative shouldn't be sweet tea as it's often sweetened with cane sugar syrup and those calories thwart any efforts to lose weight even with smaller portion sizes. Go for unsweetened versions.
Note: For patients who are on a supervised weight loss program before the Lap Band surgery can be scheduled (typically a health insurance requirement) just eliminating soda, high-sugar, high-fat foods and focusing on fruits, vegetables and lean meats will make a noticeable difference and help you reach the supervised goal of 10 percent weight loss.
Tip 5 – You have to do this program for yourself first, not others, in order to be successful.
No amount of resolve is going to change your situation unless your say, "I'M READY TO MAKE SOME CHANGES."
We've developed so many great friendships with our patients over the years and sometimes I hear a patient say, "I didn't want to come into a monthly appointment because I didn't reach my short-term goal and I don't want to disappoint you." You will never disappoint me or the staff if you want to learn how to keep moving forward with the plan.
It's not unusual for the slippery slope of weight loss to get you down. That is exactly when we need to hear from you (by phone or come into the office) – maybe you need a band adjustment or some nutritional instruction and health coaching. To do nothing is never the right choice.
I’m reminded that in sports we say it's 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. Weight loss is the same way - 90/10. So many people give up too quickly because they feel deprived of their favorite foods.
I am so impressed by our gastric band patients. They have gotten to a point in their life where they are ready to make the big choices to become healthier. Having a good mental attitude makes the difference!
Join our support group!
Chances are you'll have a greater chance of long-term success if you surround yourself with people who understand and support your goals. Consider attending one of our support groups. Dates and times are listed on our website.