Ways to Avoid Last Minute Choices
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
Every WLS patient should adopt this statement as a mantra. Making choices on the run as you dash from work projects to afterschool soccer games to dinner reservations and special social events is akin to putting your life in the hands of someone else. You cannot rely on being able to just “pick something up” on the way or “fitting in” a workout without having these non-decisions effect your WLS success in the long run.
Unfortunately, because of the hectic pace in which we live our lives, many of us do just that…and then wonder why we fail to attain our weight loss goals or why the weight is slowly creeping back on.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these pitfalls. All it takes is planning…and a little planning can go a long way!
- Keep and use a Food Diary: This can help you keep track of, not only your daily food/ fluid/ exercise tallies, but also your food favorites. Months down the road, you may have forgotten the foods you were eating that were helping you to achieve your weight loss. The food diary will remind you and take away some of the guess work on what should be in your diet to get you to your weight loss goals.
- Pack ahead of time: Pack and keep your gym bag in the car. Pack your lunch the night before.
- Buy your groceries and prep them immediately: Cut up vegetables when you get home from the supermarket. Portion out large containers of meats, yogurts, cheeses, cut fruits, nuts, etc. ahead of time so they’re ready at a moment’s notice.
- Cook once, eat several times: Make a couple of WLS friendly recipes on the weekend that make several servings. Then portion the cooked dishes into smaller containers. Utilize your freezer! Make up a menu for the week using these dishes so that all you need to add is a small side of vegetables.
- Keep emergency protein shakes or bars in your work desk, handbag, or car at all times to deter unplanned trips to the snack machine or the drive thru.
- Make a list of favorite restaurants in your area and the WLS friendly options at each. If someone asks about going out for dinner, take out your list and make an educated decision about where to go.
- Use your calendar to make appointment times with yourself for exercise, cooking, meal prep, shopping…and do not miss these appointments!
- Parties: Plan ahead and bring a WLS friendly dish with you that fits into your meal plan.
- Vacations: Make reservations and stay at hotels with a workout room, pool, jogging trail, etc. and pack your workout clothes. In addition, utilize ideas # 5 & 6 above while traveling!
- Holidays: Decide ahead of time which holiday treats you can give up and which you will savor so you don’t have to make on the spot decisions. You can have a chocolate chip cookie anytime…but Aunt Martha’s cheesecake is not to be missed!
A little planning makes all the difference between meeting your goals with stress-free, enjoyable meals/ exercise sessions versus making poor, guilt-ridden last minute choices that pull you away from your goals and lead to weight regain and a weak body. Which would you rather have? Make your choice!
By Elizabeth Schledorn RN, MSN, CNOR, CBN, HHC