Whether it’s the kids wearing us out, an unexpected project at work that has us burning the midnight oil, or a plateau that’s been stalling our weight loss, each of us has reached a moment where we feel like saying “I’ve had it!” For many of us, before bariatric surgery those high-stress moments led us to ditch our healthy habits and reach for our favorite treat. Frustration is a natural part of life, which is why it’s important to learn techniques for healthily blowing off steam without blowing off your weight loss goals after surgery. At the Surgical Specialists of LA and MS, we’re pleased to offer a monthly support group tailored to help you stay strong when you feel like throwing in the towel.
At our Lafayette “I’ve Had It!” support group meeting, one of our experts will help you identify methods for relieving stress, handling frustration, and getting back on track if you do happen to slip. Between meetings, here are a few tips to help you stay strong:
Keep a Food Journal
There is a strong correlation between snacking and stress. When we’re feeling strong emotions, it’s very easy to bypass signals of satisfaction and nosh on something sugary or fattening to relieve anxieties. Keeping a food journal (with notes about how you feel when you’ve eaten) not only provides a physical record of what you’ve eaten, it can also help you determine when and what causes you to stress eat.
Call a Friend
On the very worst “no good, very bad days” a call to a friend can help keep you focused on your goals. Enlist a few buddies for a support group and call when you’re tempted to slip.
Next time you feel like reaching for a treat to alleviate stress, go for a walk or hit the gym. Exercise releases endorphins that can help you manage stress and balance food cravings. If you’ve recently had surgery like gastric bypass, many doctors recommend walking as a way to ease back into exercise.
Grab a Healthy Snack
Eating when you’re stressed doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as long as you’re munching healthy treats and observing portion sizes. Try cutting up veggies into crisp spears, baking chickpeas until they’re crunchy, or nibbling slender slices of apples.
Address the Problem
Often the best method for handling frustrations is to get straight to the source. If you’re stuck in a plateau after having the gastric band or gastric sleeve, review your current habits. Have you changed your eating? Are you getting enough sleep? Alternatively, tackling a project that you’ve been stalling on can help you alleviate the fear (and stress eating) that you may have experienced.
Take Up a Hobby
Keeping your hands busy and your brain engaged is a great way to distract yourself until the craving to stress eat passes. Knitting, playing a game, or gardening are all great activities.
Stress is a natural part of life that doesn’t have to derail the great decision you’ve made to improve your life and lose your excess weight. By learning methods to keep you focused even when you feel like calling it quits, you’ll find greater success in both losing and keeping off your weight. We look forward to meeting with you and sharing support at our free monthly support group. To learn more about bariatric surgery in Louisiana or Mississippi, please join us for a free weight loss surgery seminar or call us at 877-691-3001.