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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

The Key To Long-Term Success With Lap Band Surgery

by Francisco Arnold

Lap band surgery is one of the surgical options that can help you lose weight. However, for lap band surgery to be successful for the long-term, you must put in work. Lap band surgery is a tool that will help you lose weight, but you have to put in the effort as well.

#1 Change Your Eating Habits

One of the most important keys to lap band surgery success is to change your eating habits. Changing your eating habits can be a major adjustment, so this is something you should be working on with your doctor before the surgery. It is not about going on a fad diet; it is about changing your relationship to food. As for food restrictions, about the only one you will have is to avoid or minimize the amount. 

For long-term success, you need to develop a healthier eating style, with a focus on fresh foods. That doesn't mean you need to go cold turkey and cut out all sweets and junk foods. Rather, starting with one meal a day, learn how to make healthy substitutes that you still enjoy and learn how to have a treat instead of overeating when you want to enjoy some sweets, junk food, bread, or other foods that don't work well with your band.

You need to learn how to control the portions of food you eat. After your surgery, you will not be able to eat a lot of food at once, so learning how to eat and include mini-meals into your day beforehand will be helpful as well.

#2 Change What You Drink

Your liquid diet has a big impact on your actual diet. It can be easy to drink the total amount of calories you are supposed to have in a weight. A real weight loss plan includes changing what you drink as well.

If you consume soda regularly, give yourself time to break the habit as you may be addicted to the caffeine in the soda, and just stopping can be hard. Instead, focus on cutting back the amount of soda you have each day until eventually, you turn it into a treat instead of an everyday occurrence.

The best thing to swap out soda for is water, as it provides you with the hydration you need without the calories. Feel free to add fruit or flavoring to your water, or enjoy flavored waters, to help with the transition.

#3 Get Counseling & Find a Support Group

Changing your relationship with food is about more than just eating differently. It is often about your emotional attachment to food as well. That is why you should work with a counselor to help you with your relationship to food and to help with your weight loss journey. A support group for individuals who are recovering from lap band surgery can also help you stay on track and potentially see success stories.

Lap band surgery is a tool for losing weight. True weight loss is about changing your relationship to food. Get support from your doctor, a counselor, and a support group to help you with this important change.