Beating “Diet Fatigue” After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Whether your vertical sleeve gastrectomy was a few months ago or a few years ago, nearly everyone gets “diet fatigue” at some point. You may not know what it’s called, but you might be experiencing it right now: feeling just plain sick of watching what you eat and exercising. So how do you move past the urge to throw in the towel on your gastric sleeve diet and regain your motivation? Read on for tips.

Tip #1: Figure out whether it’s physical or emotional.
Especially early on in your VSG journey, many patients are physically tired. A combination of ingesting relatively few calories and recovering from surgery can deplete your body. And feeling physically tired gets old very quickly. If that sounds like you, try to increase your calories a bit and rest as much as you can. If you’re physically tired—but well past the early stages—drill down to the cause. Are you getting enough protein? Are you exercising (regular workouts can give you more energy)? Are you getting enough water (dehydration can sap energy)? Make yourself a priority by getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, moving your body daily, and fueling up on nutritious foods. Feeling good physically is a sure-fire way to stay on track.

Tip #2: Rethink your goals.
Part of the fun of prepping for gastric sleeve in Mexico is thinking about your weight-loss goals. You’ve probably had a magic number in mind—either on the scale or in your closet—from early on. But have you evaluated that goal recently? Maybe you’ve always wanted to see 130 pounds on the scale. But is that realistic for you? Or is your body quite happy (and healthy) being at 145 pounds? If you’re doing everything right, but your goal remains out of reach, it might be time to give your body and mind a break. Letting go of the emotional stress of not being “good enough” can free up the mental energy you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle over the long term.

Tip #3: Set smaller goals.
If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, that number can feel overwhelming. In the beginning, when most people lose rapidly, maybe you’re not quite so overwhelmed by the total because you’re making lots of progress. But when your weight loss slows (as it inevitably does), suddenly the number of pounds still in front of you can seem daunting. It can even feel impossible. So why bother with this restrictive gastric sleeve diet, you figure? The key here is to take your eyes off the larger number and focus on smaller victories, including non-scale ones. Running a 5K, getting off blood pressure medicine, shopping in the “regular” section—whatever smaller goals that are meaningful to you.

Tip #4: Identify your trouble spots.
Sometimes diet fatigue is complete—ie: you’re just done—while other times, diet fatigue pops up at certain times of day or week. If you’re in the latter category, it’s important to recognize that pattern. Michelle says that her diet is on point early in the day but gets off track as evening approaches. Or perhaps you do well through the week but you “let loose” on the weekends. Once you’ve identified the pattern, you can short-circuit it. If diet fatigue sets in late in the day, make sure you meal prep so your eating decisions are made. If weekends spell trouble, restructure them. Socialize at home so you’re not tempted to overindulge in restaurants, and go for a walk with friends instead of out for a drink.

Tip #5: Bribe yourself/scare yourself.
People respond to one of two things: fear or reward. Which one kicks you in the butt and makes you keep going? If you’re fear driven, keep old photos handy. Look at them and think about what life was like at that weight. How was your health? Were you happy or miserable? How has life changed for the better since VSG? If you respond better to bribes, embrace it! Met your protein and water goals for the week? Treat yourself to a pedicure. Got in all five of your scheduled workouts? You’ve earned a binge of your favorite show.

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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.