Stay on track

Weight loss surgery is a life-time commitment that can lead to a brighter, healthier future. Good nutrition is vital for future health as is portion control. Some patients worry about straying from their new healthier path. Your first port of call for nutritional advice should be your bariatric dietitian.

A good idea to keep you on track after weight loss surgery might be to have a food journal. Keeping a food diary can be simple: write down everything you consume.

Diaries help people to avoid the common pitfall of underestimating calories and portion sizes. After bariatric surgery following the dietary advice given to you by your clinical team is key to making the most of your procedure. Writing down everything you eat, drink and any supplements taken helps your new routine to become a habit.

A diary helps to identify what is working for you and where there is room for improvement or in some cases highlight problems.

A food diary does not need to be the old ‘traditional’ paper type! If you are feeling more creative, you could have a photo food diary. These days we are often never too far away from an electronic devise with a camera. You could create a document on your computer or, if you want to share your latest tasty dish with friends or family, why not update them to social media sites?

Another idea could be to aim to take a picture of one meal each week, that you really enjoyed making, along with the recipe and instructions. It would not take long for a good number of healthy recipes to be compiled.

Images are helpful in learning to avoid portion distortion. They also encourage positive associations with colourful, enticing, healthy food options. The image could help you to remember just how delicious the meal was, thereby encouraging you to try similar dishes.

Visual representations of your culinary successes will do wonders for your confidence in the kitchen, if you are new to cooking from scratch.

Healthy eating and portion control, combined with regular exercise and forward planning, are skills for life. Creating a pictorial food diary could help you stay on track for many years to come.