1. Hydrate wisely. Take small sips of water between meals to ensure you stay hydrated. Avoid drinking with meals to prevent feeling overly full and potentially missing your nutrient goals.
2. Eat real food. Once you have moved beyond the initial liquid phases, choose more solid foods with high nutritional value, fiber, and protein. Liquids may be convenient and can be easily tolerated, but they will not satisfy hunger as long as solid foods.
3. Listen to your Hunger Gauge. Enjoy your meals slowly and distraction-free. Take small bites and chew thoroughly before swallowing. Assess your hunger level before eating and while eating, and stop when you are comfortably satisfied.
4. Prioritize your plate. Start with your protein-rich food first, followed by non-starchy vegetables, and finish with healthy carbohydrates, if you still have room.
5. Avoid alcohol and other high-calorie drinks. These contain an extra source of calories, and the effect of alcohol may be more pronounced after your procedure.
6. Avoid using straws, drinking carbonated drinks, and chewing on ice. They can introduce air into your stomach and cause discomfort. This can also create a pattern of feeling overly full, which can lead to overeating at meals due to overriding those internal hunger cues.
7. Identify hunger versus craving. Eating when you are physically hungry makes it easier to recognize when to stop when you feel satisfied. Aim to address triggers like stress, boredom, fatigue, and loneliness.
8. Take pleasure in non-food activities. Eating after your procedure may not be enjoyable at first, but it will get better. Seek out alternative activities that bring fun and enjoyment into your life, like spending time with friends and family.
9. Set a step goal. Tolerance to certain exercises and activities will vary, but walking is always encouraged. Set an achievable smaller goal, known as a “floor goal,” and a more challenging “push goal,” so you can feel successful daily.
10. Set realistic goals. The rate of weight loss is typically more rapid initially and will taper off over time. Put your focus on behavior-related daily goals versus weight-focused goals.