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Tips for gastric band success

A gastric band is a tool for weight loss and like any new tool, you need to understand how it works and how you need to use it. You'll always get the best results if you read and follow the instruction manual! When you have a gastric band with Healthier Weight, you'll receive your comprehensive gastric band "instruction manual" but these short animations help to get a few of the key points across in a fun way. So, whether you're considering a gastric band or you have already had the procedure, we hope you find these tips useful.

Gastric Band Tip for Success 1 - Eat only when you are hungry

This part is really what living life with a gastric band is all about, changing our habits so we’re eating less and staying satisfied. The gastric band is the tool you need to do this*.

In order to be successful, you have to change your eating habits. The band is a tool to try and help you on this journey. It is designed to only hold about 6 tablespoons of food at a time, so you’ve got to stick to that amount in your meals. Think of this as a small piece of chicken or fish and it’s always best to stick to your protein first. Just remember that going over on your meals isn’t just like those little cheats we all did on our diet, it can actually make your food get stuck and you’ll get sick.

Remember, your band is talking with you. After a few tablespoons of food, it will tell you that you are satisfied. Keep it small and let your gastric band do its trick. 

Gastric Band Tip for Success 2 - Eat slowly

The band works best when you’re not in a hurry, eat slowly and chew your food very well. These two things are both about helping you and about knowing how the band works. 

The band basically needs your food to be mushed to pass through, so you have to chew really well or you could end up feeling sick. You may even feel the food passing through your band. But you need to give yourself a minute for all that to process. 

So how long are we talking here? Think about it this way – Eat a small forkful, put the fork down, and chew thoroughly. Don’t pick the fork up until you have swallowed and then repeat. The key to this is paying attention to your body and band.   

Gastric Band Tip for Success 3 - Stop eating as soon as you feel satisfied

The band is a tool to help you feel satisfied sooner. Just start by paying attention to what your body and your band are saying. Because while being able to say no is rewarding, it is also absolutely necessary. 

Being too full can cause something called band slippage. So know that your band is talking to your body, listen to it. If you have a hard time stopping, get up and walk about and just take a minute to remind yourself that you are so much more than this temporary impulse! That you're dedicated to this new life. It can help, really. And if you’re honestly just straight up hungry between meals, you should call your doctor because your band probably just needs to be adjusted

Gastric Band Tip for Success 4 - Be active

We all know that exercise is key in weight loss and even though it can be hard to start, you will find that the band can act as a motivation too! Being active really helps you to feel better and achieve your goals faster and it’s key to any weight loss program. Try a few things to find something that works for you. Don’t be afraid to try new things, you could be surprised by what you’ll like. Be active with your band

Gastric Band Tip for Success 5 - Don't eat between meals

Impulse snacking between meals is the stealth enemy of weight loss efforts everywhere. And it’s important to understand the impact that even a little junk can have but lets be clear here, this doesn't mean no snacking ever, it just means you have to be smarter about it. As you become more active, you will find yourself needing a snack between meals. This is okay! Again, listen to your body. However, if you are seriously just hungry between meals, you need to call your doctor because it could be that your band is just not adjusted properly.

Gastric Band Tip for Success 6 - Only eat high quality foods

The gastric band is a tool to help with a whole new way of life and that means being aware of what we put into our bodies. So, you know the drill, avoid foods high in fat, sugar and anything that’s lacking vitamins. You want lean meats, fruits, veggies and whole grain cereals. You want to focus on proteins first. That’ll keep you going longer and power you through the day. Remember, no junk food!

Gastric Band Tip for Success 7 - Drink only low-calorie liquids

The gastric band is an amazing tool that will help you achieve your goals. There are some things that can trick the band and really mess up your weight loss. Sneaky sugary liquids. Because they just pass right through the lap band, their amount doesn’t get restricted, and there are liquids out there just packed with bad news. We all know a milkshake or a full calorie soda is going to set us way back, even fruit juice is pretty much just pure sugar, and many soups are loaded with calories that slide right through your band. So just be sure you know what you’re putting in your body before you grab a drink. Water is the best thing for you. Your body needs it, and your lap band will reward you for it.

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.