It is certain that the weight loss journey is not easy after the surgery; weight loss patients must be committed to a lifestyle change to succeed. And a lifestyle change requires that the entire family support the patient! As such it is very important for gastric sleeve patients or gastric bypass patients and their families to eat healthy as a family after making the decision to have surgery.
People who undergo weight loss surgery anticipate positive changes in their lives, many of them have a higher chance of starting a relationship, or even getting married. Relationships change in many ways, as patients change; they may not be the same after Weight Loss Surgery. That being said, a united family or a united couple choosing to make healthy choices together can strengthen the bonds of the relationship. Family and friends’ support is very important through the weight loss journey and teamwork leads to success and a healthy long-term relationship.
Dr. Juan F. Hidalgo, a bariatric surgeon at Weight Loss Team, the bariatric surgical center at the CMQ Riviera Nayarit Hospital says that “One of the best ways that family can support their weight loss patient during the process is cooking healthy meals at home for everybody in the family.” It is a great step in moving towards a healthier family lifestyle! The family or couple should make a meal plan that would fit the needs of the entire family, taking into consideration the proper modifications for children and adults so that everyone has a say in a healthy meal plan that will not only help the patient lose weight but keep the rest of the family fit and if needed lose weight alongside the patient. As a team, this will help to decrease the weight loss patient’s stress as well as the time spent in the kitchen and the costs of cooking two separate meals.
Let’s share some tips that can help families be supportive as well as enjoy the weight loss journey as a team:
- Change the way you cook by preparing healthy meals with healthy ingredients.
- Do not create extra or separate meals. Prepare meals that everybody in the family can enjoy, prioritizing protein and vegetables and using low amounts of sugar and carbs.
- Hide vegetables in plain sight by putting them chopped up into the protein or sauces (think meatloaf or zucchini spaghetti)
- Adjust food measurements by cooking less to avoid leftovers
- Serve smaller portions when possible
- Try new recipes. There are many healthy and light carb dishes very delicious for all the family available on-line
- Balance the kind of food your family needs and likes with the support the weight loss patient needs. Be creative!
- Avoid refined and breaded meat products and creamy sauces high in calories and carbs
- Do not overload your fridge or your cabinet with the food you should not eat. Allow single serve treats for your family making the junk food less accessible.
- Involve all the members of the family in the balanced meal planning to have everybody's opinion
- Change your relationship with healthy food. Make it part of your life change, do not fight with it.
Changing family food habits could be a tough challenge but working as a team supporting the weight loss patient is an act of empathy and love that won’t be only for him/her at the end. Installing healthy eating behaviors at home will impact your children’s overall health and weight forever.
For more information regarding Clinics/ Hospitals and Weight Loss Options mentioned in this article:
Dr. Juan F. Hidalgo - Weight Loss Team – Bariatric Surgery Center at the CMQ Riviera Nayarit Hospital
Telephone: Toll free 1(800) 404-9064 or + 1(818) 949-6911