I know just how many of my bariatric clients have tried to exercise their way to a healthier place. They would hit the gym for two hours a day, 6 days a week. What do you think happens when you exercise for two hours a day?
You get hungry …. very hungry! You may need to eat a bit more to satisfy your hunger. Your body is sore… really, really sore. When your body is sore, you could have some inflammation and when inflamed, you retain fluids to cushion those sore areas.
So here they are, exercising two hours a day and gaining a pound or two. Talk about a frustrating situation.
Another scenario goes: my clients are exercising 2 hours a day, trying to lose weight and get healthy, and they get injured and have to stop all exercise.
I do not recommend committing to two hours of exercise each day. Jumping into a program like this will 1/ cause injuries 2/ cause burnout
First of all, why do you want to get active after bariatric surgery? Don’t you want to save your bone mass? Don’t you want to save your muscle mass? If you don’t use it, you will lose it. It’s not just an expression. It’s the reality.
Exercise is one of those lifestyle changes that I talk about with every client. We do not exercise for weight loss. We exercise for good physical, emotional and mental health. We cannot exercise our way to weight loss. We eat our way to weight loss BUT, exercise keeps us healthy in the process.
So what’s the deal? How do you get active? Here are some of my biggest tips to get active and stay active.
- 1/ find an activity that you like to do
- 2/ create a space in your day that is convenient.
- 3/ be realistic – in the beginning 3 x a week is sufficient
- 4/ consistency trumps intensity
- 5/ don’t “negotiate” with yourself. If you plan on exercising, just do it.
- 6/ mix it up. If you are feeling bored, change your routine.
- 7/ create exercise goals
- 8/ treat yourself to small gifts when you reach those goals
- 9/ be accountable to a best friend, spouse, or workout group
- 10/ don’t allow a few days of inactivity to let you fall off the cliff.
I wish I had the magic pill to make exercise something you love and want to do. I can say that if you just keep doing it, the magic DOES happen. It just takes time and more time.
What are you going to do to get active and stay active? Send me an email with your “get active plan”. I would love to read it and encourage you to stay the course.
About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.
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