The Physical, The Mental…and The World Around You – Succeeding After WLS

Steph Wagner

July 15, 2015

The Physical, The Mental and The World Around Us. Focusing on these areas for long-term weight loss success.

I have the privilege to work with a fantastic Bariatric Psychologist who helps our patients to put things into a new perspective. One thing Dr. K talks about often are the three pillars to weight-loss success: Biology. Psychology. Environment.

If we leave one of these areas abandoned, it’s very hard to have long-lasting weight success, even after Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass surgery.

Watch the video for more on these three areas and ask yourself….are you taking care of all three? 

Video Transcript:

The Physical, The Mental…and The World Around You.

Hi its Steph Wagner, Bariatric Dietitian on FoodCoach.Me.

The Bariatric Psychologist  I work with often discusses the three pillars to weight loss success. When it comes to losing there are really three key areas in your life to address. Like the corners of a triangle, you cannot leave one out, you have to address all three of these areas to set yourself up for some serious success.

What are these three areas? Well the title of this video may have given it away but these areas are:

Number one, the biological or physical care of your body, number two the emotional or mental game of staying on course and finally number three is your environment or the world around you.

Let’s start with the physical – taking care of the most basics needs of your body. This is the category I would focus on most in my counseling. Staying hydrated and drinking water consistently throughout the day. Eating a consistent meal pattern and not skipping meals or eating at different odd times everyday and focusing on lean protein at each meal, paired with some good veggies. These are the basics needs of the body and you must take special care of your hydration and healthy fuel. This is really the area we focus on the most when it comes to “going on a diet” but unfortunately it’s also the area we tend to abandon the fastest. Consistency is key in this area and planning ahead for you day is how you get it done.

The next area is the mental or emotional side of weight-loss. We tend to put a lot of emphasis here. Sometimes we put TOO much emphasis here and we blame emotions when really, it was the physical that wasn’t being taken care of. For example – we may blame stress for eating poorly at work in the afternoon. You ate popcorn because you were tired and annoyed with the demands of your job BUT if you didn’t eat lunch, or you had a poor quality lunch or you hadn’t been drinking enough water that day….you may be stressed but you probably would have been better prepared to combat that stress had you been focusing on caring for your physical health well. Stress eating is still a very real thing, but taking care of yourself physical can set you up to success in the weaker moments of emotions.

I see patients blame emotions on weight issues quite a bit. Not that it doesn’t have it’s place…but this is the reason why people turn to hypnotherapy for weight loss or see a counselor for weight-loss or blame their struggles with weight with the demands of their job and their life.

Seeing a counselor is a wonderful thing, when it’s paired with a  healthy lifestyle and having a high stress job or lifestyle can make weight-loss difficult, but blaming stress and not focusing on the other areas of the triangle really misses the point of how to succeed despite demanding lifestyles. Sometimes though, you just need a new job :)

And finally the third piece of the triangle is your Environment or the world around you. Some of these things you can control, and some you can’t…you just have learn to control yourself within them. Food commercials, for example, you probably can’t control – unless you stop watching TV. This would not be a bad solution! But you can’t prevent the commercials from coming on air. When your family brings tempting foods in the house – this is an environmental factor. I do encourage you to discuss with them how they can best support you or have a separate cabinet for their foods but there is a fine line where you can’t control everything your spouse is going to eat. The food environment at your office may be a huge trigger in your life. Avoiding the break room or declining when co-workers want to eat out and so on may help, but certainly there is only so much control as far as what comes in the office. Once again planning ahead and packing your lunch will help set you up for success when the temptation comes.

It always goes back to focusing on the physical as much as the emotional and environmental pieces of the triangle. Don’t forget about each of these three areas when it comes to making a plan for your health and well-being.

As a recap for postop bariatric patients – drink 64 to 96 ounces of hydrating fluids each day, eat 3 meals per day focusing on 70% from lean protein and the rest from veggies. Limit fruits to once per day, with a protein and avoid starches and sweets for your best success and overall health.

Thanks so much for watching, I’m Steph Wagner and remember to chose better food, for a better life.

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