People who have undergone weight loss surgery and later gain weight are often told to "get back to basics" but we are seldom given more in depth directions. I was told that when I reported a weight gain to my bariatric center. Many of us have feelings of hopelessness: we are lost without a place to begin the act of losing weight again.
Over the years with much trial and error I developed what is now internationally known as the 5 Day Pouch Test. In addition to following the food plan there are three key things we can do to make sure the plan is a success:
Plan Ahead - Do Not Leave it to Chance
Read, study, and understand the plan completely before you begin. Plan for five days with limited disruptions including life, work, and cyclical (menstruation). Create a meal plan for all five days and purchase the food to avoid tempting trips to the market. In advance cook a pot of Carb Monster soup and divide into 1-cup portions. Mentally excite yourself over the opportunity to make new friends with your old pouch. Prepare for carbohydrate withdrawal by having fruit on hand or a supply of Emergen-C. Announce your plan to those who will support you and ask for their encouragement. Visualize feeling wonderful over your 5 day rescue and redirection mission. Plan to succeed and you will.
Use the 5 Day Pouch Test Journal
Please do not stop reading, I know keeping a food and exercise log is inconvenient. But it is a waste of five days if we do not make a record of what happens and learn from that record. The two-page journal is not complicated. You track your food, activity, motivation, and energy levels. You record your weight. In so doing you learn how your eating and activity affect your daily function. You identify hunger trends and also learn how, with the 5DPT you arrested them, and you have a marker for making your Day 6 plan. Download the Free 5DPT Journal at http://www.5daypouchtest.com/tools/tools.html
Get a Buddy
Do not go alone. Get support. Get a partner. Get a buddy. I am repeatedly impressed by the momentum of the buddy system when people do the 5 Day Pouch Test. Almost like spontaneous combustion in The Neighborhood a group will organize and do the 5DPT together. And people who are not doing it join to cheer along their fellow Neighbors. Others report tremendous success when joined by a spouse, a friend or fellow support group member. Buddies offer support, encouragement, and accountability. Do not go alone.