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Top 7 Weight-Loss Tips

What weight-loss surgery candidates learn before their procedure can help most of us achieve and sustain weight loss

Before weight-loss surgery, many patients prepare and lose weight by following these suggestions from the team at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Weight Management Center. “Good nutrition and habits are the basis for any- one’s success,” says registered dietitian Cheryl Rutkauskas, with the Weight Management Center.

1. Prioritize protein

Start any meal with lean protein such as low-fat Greek yogurt, lean meat or a hard-boiled egg. “Protein fills you up, helps prevent loss of lean muscle and helps burn fat,” says Sandra Carwell, RN, patient navigator with the Weight Management Center. “Follow protein with a non- starch vegetable and then – if you have room – a starch.”

2. Eat more often


It’s called interval eating. A daily rhythm of five to six small meals and snacks every two to three hours not only wards off hunger, it can give you energy. “Metabolism should keep burning like a fire you don’t put out,” Carwell says.

3. Cut carbonation


For bariatric surgery patients who, post-surgery, have a smaller stomach, gas bubbles in fizzy drinks can physically stretch the stomach. If you’re planning surgery, cut out the carbonation. If you’re trying to lose weight, less soda or carbonated drinks means more weight loss.



Eating slowly lets you chew food to an easy-to-absorb paste. “That’s especially important after surgery because the stomach no longer grinds food using wave-like muscle action,” Rutkauskas says. In people who haven’t had surgery, slowing down gives the stomach more time to generate signals that you’re satisfied or full.

5. Control portions


Invest in some inexpensive containers to help you measure your food. Pre-packing your meals also helps you make better decisions and stick to your weight-loss plan.

6. Keep a Food Journal


Behavioral health specialists say we often eat because we’re bored or stressed. Write down when you eat and what you are feeling at the time. It can help identify times when eating behavior is driven by emotions not hunger.

7. Plan Ahead


If you know you’ll have limited or no healthy food options, plan ahead. “The world often doesn’t provide the food options we’d prefer,” Rutkauskas says. “Planning helps you navigate your new lifestyle.