No matter where you live, every couple years or so you go stand outside at midnight and look into the sky. All your neighbors are out there on the sidewalk as well. A comet is supposed to pass by any second now….
It’s as wonderful as it is quick, and just like that it’s gone.
Quick, flashy, over just as quickly as it begins, all the things that make for a great comet are the same exact qualities that make for a terrible diet. Yet year in and year out, people line up to take part in the latest health fad, some new trick that’s going to get you in shape right away and with minimal effort on your part. And just like that, it’s gone. But, not before thousands take part, losing money and, worse, hope. What’s more, they’re probably even less healthy for it.
A bariatric diet is different in that it’s not really a diet. The word “diet” implies that it’s a period of time in which you have to eat healthy and exercise; again, something that comes and goes. The truth is though that no short-term diet will keep you in shape in the long run.
Continue reading to learn the three phases of a Bariatric “diet”, and how a strong commitment on your part to a healthy lifestyle is more rewarding than any fad full of empty promises.
3 Phases of a Bariatric Diet
Phase 1 – Weight Reduction: The first phase is the most intense of the three. It is best to let a professional help you map out your meal plan for this duration, which varies depending on each individual. No matter what, though, this phase should consist of a lot of low calorie foods and lots of water. Bariatric Direct offers a free Phase 1 consultation; call 205-752-5454 to find out what type of foods you need to take that first step toward a healthier you.
Phase 2 – Realimentation: The second phase begins when you have almost reached your goal weight. You move slowly away from the specialized diet laid out for you and toward grocery foods. This phase usually lasts about a month and as your calorie intake increases, your digestive functions gradually go back to normal. At the end of the four weeks, you’ll be put on an individualized meal plan that will help keep you within five pounds of your goal as long as you commit to it. At Bariatric Direct, we even take into account your preferred foods when designing this plan!
Phase 3 – Maintenance: The final phase usually lasts for 18 months, and acts as a sort of incubation period that prepares you to reenter the world. Because over this period of time you will face all the holidays, parties, and day-to-day stress that drive people toward bad eating habits, you will develop the resolve to resist temptation with coaching and support from your bariatric specialist. With your dedication and strong will, you will overcome the temptation and stick to the regimen mapped for you. By honing your self-control over this year and a half, you will be prepared to take on the world on your own, as a knowledgeable and committed health enthusiast!
Of course, there is a fourth phase that lasts forever. For, as you know, this is not a diet with a beginning and an end. Maintaining a healthy weight is something we all have to work at ceaselessly, as with our relationships, jobs and goals. With the right group of people supporting you, you can develop the habits to succeed in the lifelong endeavor to be healthy. The next time you’re standing on the sidewalk, waiting for a comet, think of its passing as a symbol of all the bad eating habits you once had.
Lori Walker is a Bariatric Specialist for Bariatric Direct, with five years of experience in nutrition, health, and dieting. She love helping her clients become healthy one meal at a time!