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Setting Goals After Weight Loss Surgery


By Dr. Dieter Pohl

Weight loss surgery can be a life-changing operation but is also a life-long commitment. The journey to significant weight loss comes with many hurdles: food cravings, finding a consistent workout routine, and overall acceptance of your new body. In these situations, patients can tend to lose motivation and revert to old ways. This is where goal setting comes in. Setting goals after weight loss surgery is essential for not only tracking your progress but to stay motivated along the way as well. Here are some examples of setting realistic goals for yourself after weight loss surgery.


Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Setting goals for yourself helps create structure in your journey and pushes you to keep moving forward. It’s important to set goals that are realistic and achievable. Long-term goals such as becoming more fit or eating healthier should be broken down into short-term goals, like setting the amount of time to exercise each day, or keeping a food diary. This way, your long-term goals will be more achievable if you make smaller, realistic short-term goals for yourself along the way.


Be Specific with Your Goals

Similar to setting short-term goals, you want your goals to be specific. Creating specific goals gives you a better opportunity to actually achieve your goals. For example, saying that you want to keep losing weight after surgery is too vague. Instead, set specific goals, such as “I want to lose 2 pounds a week”. The same thing goes for eating healthier. Saying you want to incorporate more vegetables into your diet isn’t specific enough, but “I will eat a serving of vegetables every day of the week” is.


Set Goals that Can Be Measured

Your goals should be measurable in order to track your success, and also to keep you motivated. If one of your long-term goals is to lose a certain amount of pounds per month, doing a weekly weigh-in will help you keep track of your progress. It allows you to make informed decisions about your weight loss journey, and adjust when necessary.


Finding Support

There are many reasons you should have support through your weight loss journey. One reason is that many people don’t know where to start when setting goals for themselves. In these cases, your bariatric surgeon, dietitian, friends, family, or support group can help. Their input can be valuable and provide perspective to your goal-setting process. It’s okay to adjust and re-adjust your goals. Finding support when you have goals in place is important when it comes to following through with them. Having someone to do your daily exercise routine with, or a partner to make meals with can make the process much more enjoyable. It’s also beneficial for days when you’re struggling. Having someone to talk through your roadblocks with is vital to staying on track, and avoiding slip ups.

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