How Stress Impacts Your Health

How Stress Impacts Your Health after Gastric Band Surgery in Ft. Myers

After sleeve gastrectomy or gastric band surgery, do what you can to reduce the stress in your life.

We sometimes think of stress as a mental problem. Stress can keep you up at night, leave you frazzled and cause you to break down in tears at the drop of a hat. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the way stress impacts us. Stress can affect your physical health, causing a world of symptoms that might be hard to recognize at first.

Getting sleeve gastrectomy or gastric band surgery will improve your health, but underlying issues like overwhelming stress can undermine your progress. To overcome stress, it is best to learn to recognize the symptoms as well as how to manage it successfully.

Physical symptoms of stress can include:

  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle pain or tension
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Digestive problems and upset stomach
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Acne and skin rash

Managing Stress as you Lose Weight

Managing stress is an essential component of any healthy lifestyle. Too much stress can make losing weight difficult by leaving you feeling too fatigued to exercise, or driving you to overeat as you cope with your emotions.

To manage the stress in your life, try adopting healthier methods of coping like:

  • Exercise: Relaxation exercises like yoga and tai chi involve methodical movements that encourage stress relief. Intense cardio activities like running, biking and swimming can also help you clear your mind and blow off some steam.
  • Meditation: Taking a moment to yourself and closing your eyes and ears to the world around you is a great way to regain control of a situation and alleviate stress.
  • Deep breathing: Taking deep breaths can help you through a stressful situation. Inhale until you fill your lungs, exhale completely and repeat.
  • Journaling: Keeping a journal can help you cope with stressors in your life. Sometimes just writing down what is bothering you can help you find perspective and let go of worries.

Try being more aware of the ways stress might be impacting your life. Mood swings, emotional eating, restlessness—these are all ways that stress impacts us mentally, but stress can also wear down your physical health if you aren’t careful. After weight loss surgery, help your body and mind by doing your best to keep stress levels low.

 

Simplify Your Cooking Process after Bariatric Surgery

Simplify Cooking to Stick with your Bariatric Surgeon’s GuidelinesIf preparing a home-cooked meal seems like a monumental task, it may be time to take another look at the way you cook your food. To follow the diet your bariatric surgeon has recommended, it will be important to make your own meals at home, but this doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time and energy in the kitchen. By finding a few ways to make cooking more efficient, you can give your body healthy meals and still have time left over for the other important things in life.

Start with a Plan

If you arrive home each evening without any idea of what you’ll cook for dinner, you may spend 30 minutes looking for the right recipe. Then, more time may be lost doing the dishes from last night, hitting the supermarket for the ingredients you need and finding all the tools and utensils you’ll use to make the meal. Before you know it, two hours have passed, and you haven’t even turned on the stove.

It’s much easier to go into every meal with a plan and a clean, organized space to work in. Make a habit of sitting down one night each week to plan out your meals for the days ahead, then going to the grocery store for every ingredient you’ll need. Do the dishes before they start piling up and always keep your kitchen tidy—it will take a few minutes now, but can save you hours in the long run.

Finish with a Bang

Now that all your ducks are in a row, it’s time to put your plan into action. Healthy meals will be much easier to accomplish with strategies like:

  • Saving big batches. Though you’ll be eating smaller portions after bariatric surgery, this doesn’t mean you have to make small meals. Cook more than you need and freeze the rest for an easy meal on a day when you have less time.
  • Trying new technology. Many appliances can make cooking significantly simpler. To thaw and boil in a jiffy, try using your microwave. To slow-cook a meal for hours without any input, get a crock pot. To make perfect rice at the push of a button, pick up a rice cooker.
  • Using convenient ingredients. We sometimes spend more time cutting up ingredients than we do cooking them. If you have extra time in the morning, you can prep your ingredients ahead of time—this way, they’ll be ready to go straight in the pan when you get home. Frozen and canned vegetables can also make things easier, but you’ll need to make sure that these don’t have any added ingredients that make them bad choices for your diet.

Sticking to your bariatric surgeon’s dietary recommendations doesn’t have to be a hassle. Use tips like these to expedite the cooking process and eat healthy meals every night without spending all night in front of the stove.

Relax Your Muscles and Your Mind after Bariatric Surgery

Relax Your Muscles and Your Mind after Bariatric SurgeryStress is a stumbling block for many people after bariatric surgery. Though it’s a consistent part of our lives, its influence can ruin your resolve to maintain the habits your bariatric surgeon has recommended. After a long and stressful day, you may find yourself unwittingly stuck in a spiral of emotional eating, or postponing your workout for a time when you feel less agitated.

The best way to reduce stress long-term is to fight it at the source, but this usually isn’t something we can accomplish in an afternoon. When you’re feeling stressed out, you may just need a way to unwind and carry on with your day, and there are many techniques that can help you do this. One of the most effective is called progressive muscle relaxation.

What is Progressive Muscle Relaxation?

As the name suggests, this technique works by helping you relax each of your muscles in succession, creating a calming effect as you focus on letting the tension out of your body. The technique takes a little more time to master than deep breathing, but can help you unlock the stress-busting capabilities of your own body.

To get started, find a quiet place and sit or lie down in a comfortable position. You’ll be moving through the muscles of your body gradually, tensing each one for about 20 seconds before slowly letting it relax. Every time you let that tension go, focus intently on the sensation of your muscles relaxing.

From head to toe, work through your muscles in this order:

  1. Raise your eyebrows to keep your forehead wrinkled. Relax.
  2. Flare your nostrils to keep your nose wrinkled. Relax.
  3. Push up on the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Relax.
  4. Grit your teeth and flex your jaw. Relax.
  5. Shrug your shoulders up to your ears. Relax.
  6. Arch your spine. Relax.
  7. Hold in a deep breath. Relax.
  8. Flex your biceps. Relax.
  9. Ball your hands into fists and flex your forearms. Relax.
  10. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Relax.
  11. Flex your buttocks and your thighs. Relax.
  12. Press your heels into the ground and flex your calves. Relax.
  13. Point your toes up towards your head. Relax.

If you have trouble remembering this order, make a recording of yourself saying each step so you don’t have to open your eyes and read what comes next. Just remember to go slowly—altogether, the process should take at least 10 minutes, and you can take longer if you like.

Once you get the hang of it, progressive muscle relaxation can be a simple and effective way to relieve stress. To keep your stressors from standing between you and the goals you set with your bariatric surgeon, try practicing progressive muscle relaxation two times every day.

Friends with Weight Loss Benefits

Friends with Weight Loss BenefitsGetting gastric band surgery can give your social life a major overhaul. The way you spend your free time will have to change if you want to lose weight. Spending hours on the couch with your family after work, getting together with friends for lunch on the weekends, grabbing a treat on Friday afternoons with your kids—these are all small actions that add up over time.

After weight loss surgery, habits like these have to modified, and you’ll need to incorporate more healthy habits into your daily schedule. This usually means cutting down on sedentary activity, but it doesn’t have to mean cutting down on time spent with loved ones. While adding more “you” time to your day can help with stress management, turning your workout into a social outing can provide a world of its own benefits.

Safety in Numbers: How Friends Can Boost Your Workouts

Picture this scenario: You’ve had a long day at work and your gym bag is sitting in your car. You get on the road and immediately get stuck in traffic. As you inch along the highway any remaining ambition you had to actually go to the gym dwindles. Instead, you head straight home and skip your workout.

Now change it up. You aren’t just going to the gym to work out on your own. Three of your closest friends are meeting you at the park. You are planning on walking several miles while catching up on your week. After an hour you get back in the car, feeling rejuvenated and ready to head home and spend quality time with your family.

This is the difference that working out with friends can make. There is no accountability to go to the gym by yourself, no draw to working out on a treadmill all alone for an hour. But when you add friends to the occasion staying home becomes tougher. Instead of just rationalizing your decision in your head, cancelling involves picking up the phone and providing an explanation.

Exercise is going to be a fundamental aspect of your life after getting your gastric band, so you might as well try to enjoy it. Don’t push yourself to suffer through workouts you can’t stand. Get your friends involved and find ways to get fit that are fun to you.

Walking, jogging, bike riding and swimming are all great aerobic activities that can be done outside with a few buddies. If you are up for something more organized, try joining a non-competitive sports team. Playing basketball, soccer or kickball a few hours a week is another way to add more fitness to your lifestyle without making it feel like so much of a workout.