Healthy_Life2 is giving some really solid advice and feedback. I appreciate her comments. I am only 2 months out so can't comment on weight regain. I can say that I have made a complete 180 in my lifestyle choices. I am extremely diligent in following my post-op dietary plan. I track daily caloric intake using the MyFitnessPal App and then go over my macros in the evening to make sure I am on target. I wouldn't even call it a diet--because that's such a temporary thing. I am looking at this as a new lifestyle. I have deviated from the standard plan provided by my doctor (I did discuss it with him and my nutritionist) and I am following a very low carb keto style plan (although too high in protein intake to be a true keto diet). This type of lifestyle provides me with very clear guidelines of what I can and cannot eat--which makes choosing foods easy, I do track calories too and set a limit to how many calories I can consume in a day, but this isn't hard since I am usually very satisfied sticking to my plan. Even if my ability to eat more increases, I feel like I can make good choices that may increase the volume of food that I eat without causing me to over-consume.
When they say the sleeve is only a tool, they do mean it. Losing weight post-op is still a lot of work and requires a lot of discipline. The big difference is you are no longer fighting against your high set point, so instead of heating a plateau and suffering terrible hunger and cravings, you don't have that set point fight against you. The volume restriction is also helpful, but as Healthy_Life2 said, you can eat more frequently and undermine this process. I also now get up early in the morning to hit the gym before work and I love that "me" time. Even though this new and still "exciting" for me, it's a lifestyle that I can be happy with for the long term. I do not miss sleeping in late or eating carb heavy foods. I hope I still feel this way 2 or 5 or 10 years from now, but I am definitely happy right now.
I can say that you need to be mentally prepared to make major lifestyle changes after you have the surgery (before as well!!). You need to have a healthy lifestyle plan in place and be 100% committed to following it through after surgery. I think the people that commit to following a healthy lifestyle plan will be successful long term. The people that only follow the post-op plan "most of the time" and "only cheat a little" are probably not following the plan very much at all and are cheating a lot!! I have gone to a few support group meetings and there are so many people that show up that can't understand why the weight isn't coming off them, while their friends lost so much. After talking more, it turns out that, as a result of surgery, they cut down their portions of crappy processed fast foods and other junk foods, but they continue to eat the same crap they ate before surgery (just less of it). That's not how you get down to a 25 BMI!!! You have to use this opportunity not only to cut down on your portions, but change your food and lifestyle choices. The people that make these changes and stick to it don't seem to have issues with regain (other than the normal 5-10 pound fluctuations that should be expected).