Are you excited about your upcoming bariatric surgery? You should be. You are about to join the millions of patients who have successfully lost 50% to 70% of their excess weight over the long term and can use the following bariatric surgery tips.
Bariatric surgery has a high success rate and represents the safest and fastest method we currently have for defeating obesity.
The most substantial weight loss you are sure to experience after bariatric surgery will come in the first few months following your procedure.
Use the following eight tips to jumpstart your weight loss after bariatric surgery.
Your Weight Loss Begins the Very Day After Surgery
When you undergo a bariatric procedure, your body requires an adjustment period to get used to the digestive alterations.
Two of the most popular weight-loss surgeries performed today include the gastric sleeve (laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy) and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Those surgeries force you to eat less by making your stomach smaller.
The gastric bypass procedure also reroutes your smaller stomach to a portion of your small intestine.
The result is fast and effective weight loss whereas before the pounds wouldn’t budge no matter what you did.
The weight loss will begin the moment you wake up from surgery. The excess pounds won’t melt away and it will take time for you to lose significant amounts of weight, but you’ll begin feeling lighter right away.
Part of this is on account of the liquid diet you will be placed on in the weeks following bariatric surgery. Drinking your meals helps your body adjust to the surgical changes. You will then reintroduce more solid foods into your diet gradually, first with mushy foods and eventually with regular fare.
Here are some pointers in the initial weeks to help you get the most out of your bariatric procedure and subsequent weight loss.
1. Stay Hydrated
You won’t have a problem staying hydrated on a liquid diet. It’s when you reintroduce solid foods to your lifestyle that you may find yourself dehydrated. For best results, aim to drink up to sixty-four ounces of water per day. You’ll end up feeling better and your skin will gain a healthy glow. Staying hydrated also ensures your digestive system heals property following bariatric surgery.
2. More Protein with Fewer Starches
When you begin eating more regular meals after the liquid diet ends, be sure and fill your plate with plenty of protein-rich foods. Protein is an essential aspect of both healing and weight loss following surgery. Consuming your daily allotment of protein also helps you maintain muscle mass and healthy skin, hair, and nails. For maximum weight loss, aim to eat between 60 and 80 grams of protein per day.
The rest of your plate should be filled with vegetables with very few starches. Starches fill you up quickly and tend to be dense with calories. The less you eat foods like bread, pasta, and rice, the more weight you can potentially lose.
3. Be Mindful When Eating
To be mindful means to pay attention to the things around you. It implies being present. The opposite is to zone out while eating, which is what happens when you eat while watching TV or phone scrolling.
The purpose of eating is to give your body energy and maintain overall health. For that reason, treat food with respect. Pay attention to the portions you eat and taste every bite. Chew your food slowly without distractions, and only eat when you are hungry.
Mindful eating may take practice if you are used to doing other things while eating your meals. Before long, you may wonder why you never stopped to savor your bites before now.
4. Gather a Support System
Identify the people in your life you can lean on, such as friends, family, and even co-workers. This inner circle will become invaluable whenever you find yourself stumbling along on your weight loss journey. While bariatric surgery does make it easier to lose weight, people who have succeeded will still tell you getting to the finish line is downright hard. You must adopt healthier lifestyle changes, and you must drop old and bad habits, which is sometimes the most difficult of all.
Another idea is to join support groups. Bariatric surgery and healthy eating support gatherings can deliver many benefits, and you may make friends.
Whichever way you manage to go about it, having people nearby you can build you up when you find yourself doubting yourself can make all the difference in the world when it comes to becoming your very own success story.
5. Meal Prep
Preparing meals ahead of time is one of the best ways to stay on track with healthy eating. Most people choose unhealthy foods and snacks out of convenience. You’re starving, so you reach for the option that tastes the best. Unfortunately, as we all well know, what tastes the best often isn’t the best for you. That’s not to say that healthy foods can’t taste great. But reaching for high-calorie foods generally wins out over the simple apple or celery stick.
You can keep yourself on track, even while hangry, by choosing one day of the week to prepare the week’s meals.
It works like this. Find healthy recipes online you might enjoy, and prepare those meals on Sunday, for example. Store the meals in plastic containers with the portions weighed and measured carefully. You can then store the plastic containers in the fridge or pantry or easily retrieve them during mealtimes.
Meal prepping takes the guesswork out of what to eat for your meals, and you can save loads of money on meals if you do it properly.
Above all, you’ll save lots of time that would otherwise be spent wondering what to eat and preparing meals throughout the week. With all these benefits, you should give meal preparation a try when trying to jumpstart your weight loss as a bariatric surgery patient.
6. Keep a Food & Fitness Journal
Keeping a food and fitness journal is another fantastic way to stay on track with your bariatric surgery weight loss. Track everything that goes into your mouth. Then record all your exercises. You can even track details. By recording how much you eat, you can determine where excess calories may be coming from. Recording the environment where you eat meals lets you know if environmental factors could be leading to overeating. You can also pay attention to how you eat. Are you chewing thoroughly before swallowing or are you eating too quickly? These details are critical for helping you pinpoint areas where you could improve for faster weight loss.
Exercise details can be recorded also. For weight loss, it is recommended that you move your body at least three times per week for at least 45 minutes. Try to focus on a combination of cardio and muscle building. The more muscle you have, the more calories (and fat) you’ll burn at rest.
Keeping all your exercise details in a journal lets you know how your fitness is progressing. A fitness journal is also helpful for eventually looking back and feeling proud of yourself for how far you’ve come.
7. Manage Time and Stress
Balancing work, family, and other responsibilities often leave us with little time to eat healthily and exercise. As a bariatric surgery patient, you will lose far more weight, and faster, by managing your time. Find time to eat healthily by meal prepping once per week. Find time to exercise by starting your day with a walk around the block or jump on the treadmill for twenty minutes before bed.
While it may be difficult to carve out time to eat right and move around, you’ll find that it eventually gets easier. Most people need only a small tweak to their routine to make healthy eating and fitness a priority in their lives.
Stress and living a busy lifestyle always seem to go together. As a recent bariatric surgery patient, you’ll want to keep stress at bay if you hope to lose the most weight.
Emotional stress can quickly lead to overeating. Most patients before surgery have a history of emotional eating. They eat when they’re happy and when they’re depressed or otherwise upset.
Practice deep breathing and do your best to eliminate stressful situations in your life. If this is not something you feel you can do on your own, there is never shame in seeking the assistance of a mental health professional. Sometimes, a pro giving us coping skills is all it takes to help your stress subside.
8. Limit Snacks, Sugar, and Hi-Cal Drinks
Snacking, sugary foods, and high-calorie drinks are common weight loss obstacles. You’d do well to eliminate them entirely from your life. However, it’s not realistic to expect you to live like a chaste monk.
Everything in moderation, but don’t go overboard. If you find yourself excessively snacking, try to determine why. Are you hungry or just bored? Occupy your mind and see if your urge to snack goes away.
You can also choose healthier snacks. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, try a snack high in protein and/or fiber. For best results, try to keep snacks to less than one hundred calories each.
Sugary foods are the enemy of weight loss. These calorie-dense foods can give you an energy rush and taste great, but soon you’re crashing and regretting your naughty decision.
It’s far better to snack on fruit, which is naturally sweet and full of fiber, if you hope to experience fast and long-term weight loss.
Finally, high-calorie drinks can quickly add up. We’re talking not only about fruit juices (which are usually full of sugar), but also alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol delivers empty calories and should be minimized or eliminated entirely. Your body may react differently to alcohol after bariatric surgery, which is something you should assess if you plan to eventually drink a glass of wine, have a beer, or sip a cocktail.
The alcohol may hit you faster, and the effects may be more intense. The good news is that it will take you less drinking to catch a buzz, which in turn means fewer calories being consumed.
Ready to Begin Your Weight Loss Journey?
Whether you have undergone a weight loss procedure or have one coming up, this is an exciting time! You get to envision all your weight loss before it happens.
Put these bariatric surgery tips into play as you come out of surgery, and you’re sure to experience quick weight loss just as you expect.
With a slimmer waist, more energy, and renewed zest for life, there are untold benefits that come with having one of these life-saving surgeries. Bariatric surgery can also treat obesity comorbidities like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.