The Lap-Band® is a great tool for weight loss, but it is not a cure. It requires a major commitment and lifestyle change to achieve and maintain success. If you’re thinking about the Lap-Band Procedure or you’ve just had it done, these seven tips will help you stay on a successful path to weight loss.
Eat only when you’re hungry
After the Lap-Band, your stomach can only hold about one cup of food. If you’re mindlessly eating when you aren’t hungry, you will fill up your stomach pouch quickly, instead of filling it with the necessary nutrients you need at meal time.
Eat slowly and chew well
The Lap-Band works best when you’re not in a hurry. The band sends the signal to your brain that you are satisfied and done eating, but you need to give it time to do so. Eating slowly will not only help you eat less, but it will help you enjoy your food more. Your food needs to be mush for it to pass through your band safely. If you don’t chew well, you could feel sick. Eat a small forkful, then set your fork down. Chew slowly. Once you’ve finished chewing, then you can pick your fork back up and take another bite.
Stop eating when you feel satisfied
The Lap-Band will help you feel satisfied sooner. Listen to your band. It will let you know when you are satisfied and don’t need to eat anymore. If you ignore it, you may eat more than the one-cup limit, which could cause band slippage or your food to get stuck in your band.
Exercise is a key part of any weight-loss plan. It will help you feel better and can help you achieve your goals sooner. Find out what sort of physical activity you love, and be sure to ease into a new exercise routine slowly.
Don’t eat between meals
The Lap-Band works best when there is no snacking between your three meals per day. Avoid impulse snacking. It is a huge deterrent to weight loss. If you need a snack because you are increasingly physically active, choose a low-carb, low-calorie, high protein snack. If you notice yourself often reaching for a snack, it could mean that your band needs to be adjusted. Talk to your doctor.
Only eat high-quality foods
Because your stomach pouch can hold less with the Lap-Band, you will no longer be able to eat as much as you could previously. It’s crucial to eat nutrient-rich foods, rather than filling up on high-calorie, sugary, or fattening foods. Not only will junk food not give you the nutrients you need like whole foods will, but the empty calories won’t satisfy you.
Drink only low-calorie liquids
Liquids can “trick” the Lap-Band. They slide right through your band, and are not restricted like solid food is. Consuming sugary liquids, like sodas, fruit juices, and high-calorie smoothies, can set you back on your weight-loss goals. Instead, choose water or calorie-free beverages.