Bariatric surgery is only a tool for achieving weight loss. Long-term success still depends on your commitment and consistency on the lifestyle changes required after the procedure.
When it comes to lifestyle changes, nutrition is one key area that you need to look into. Without proper nutrition, all the preparation and resources spent on the surgery will be wasted.
Staying on Track
Staying on track can be challenging especially when it comes to nutrition. This is why we highly recommend keeping a food journal after bariatric surgery.
What is a food journal?
A food journal or a food diary is a tried-and-true way of keeping track of what you eat. It’s basically just a written document of what you eat every single day.
A food diary can benefit you by providing the following:
It’s too easy to underestimate portion sizes and caloric intake if you’re not writing it down. With a food journal, you can see everything on paper – what you eat and drink at different times of the day. This is very important after a weight loss surgery as you need to comply with the prescribed diet set by your nutritionist.
By keeping a food journal, it’s easier for your nutritionist to make adjustments to your diet especially if you’re constantly experiencing health problems (some patterns of issues may point to certain foods). It’s tough to do that if you can’t precisely recall what you’ve been eating or drinking.
- Emotional outlet
Life after bariatric surgery can be an emotional roller coaster. And this certainly can affect how and what you eat.
A food diary is more than just about writing what you eat and drink. It can also serve as an emotional outlet where you can jot down what or how you feel at that certain time or on a certain day. This can help you identify emotion-related eating patterns.
Tips on keeping a food journal
Here are some ideas to make the most of your food journal:
- Be detailed
Record everything that you eat and drink. Make sure that you include their measurements or portion sizes.
- Record immediately
Write the details as soon as you’re done eating. If you wait until the end of the day, you’ll more likely forget some of the details.
- Include time and other details
When recording don’t forget to include other information such as when and where you ate and how you felt while eating.
A food journal can be a powerful tool to help you keep on track especially if you are consistent in updating it. If you make a misstep, don’t beat yourself. Learn from it and try to do better the next time.