In addition to making changes to your diet and getting more exercise, paying attention to your stress levels may play an important role in achieving weight loss after bariatric surgery.
Stress can interfere with your weight loss goals after bariatric surgery in a number of ways. Physically, stress hormones can cause your body to hold on to fat, especially belly fat. Mentally, stress is often a trigger for emotional eating, which can quickly derail your weight loss goals. How can you manage your stress levels in order to lose weight more easily?
- Practice relaxation techniques. This may include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or simple stretching exercises. Be aware that these techniques can take practice—meaning repeated attempts—to achieve significant results. It may be difficult at first to quiet your mind, but in time you should find your stress levels reduced.
- Keep your stress foods out of sight. If you tend to turn to fatty or sugary foods when you’re stressed, don’t keep these foods in your house. Stock your kitchen with healthy alternatives such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Learn to cope with stress without food. Once you’ve replaced the junk food with healthy alternatives, make a list of other ways you can deal with your stress and other emotions. Achieving weight loss after bariatric surgery often means replacing eating habits with other behaviors. Consider talking to a friend, exercising or journaling.