Lap-Band® and Hydration

The heat of summer is in full swing, and that means drinking water is more important now than ever. For those who receive the Lap-Band® Surgery or another bariatric procedure, proper hydration is especially crucial to weight loss success and overall health after surgery. 

The exact amount of water you need to consume depends on your body weight, but 64 ounces is a good number to aim for. It can be difficult to adjust to drinking so much water, especially if monitoring proper hydration was not a part of your pre-surgery lifestyle. Your stomach after the Lap-Band Surgery will hold a much smaller volume of fluid, so it will take time to adjust. 

However, dehydration is one of the most common reasons for returning to the hospital after bariatric surgery, so knowing the symptoms can help you stop dehydration in its tracks:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Confusion 
  • Fatigue or irritability 
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate

Why Hydration After Lap-Band Surgery Matters

The ways in which proper hydration helps support weight loss are undeniable—improved digestion, reduced fluid retention, and removal of waste from the body, just to name a few. Water is also essential to your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients and can even assist in maintaining a healthy blood pressure

Not only does water boost your energy levels, but it also keeps your joints well-lubricated, allowing you to hit the gym with more energy, more motivation, and less joint pain. Speaking of the gym—water also increases the number of calories you burn. By drinking ice-cold water, your body is forced to exert more energy to raise your body temperature and maintain homeostasis.

When trying to determine whether or not to have a snack, drink a full glass of water and wait at least 20 minutes. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger; drinking water before you reach for a snack can reduce the physical feeling of hunger and prevent you from consuming unnecessary calories. Similarly, drinking water half an hour before a meal will partially fill your stomach pouch, causing you to eat less.

If you’ve had the Lap-Band Surgery, remember these tips for staying safely hydrated:

  • To prevent washing food through your stomach pouch, don’t drink while eating
  • Skip the carbonated beverages, as they can cause stomach discomfort
  • Avoid dehydrating drinks like coffee and alcohol 
  • Sip your water—don’t chug a large amount at once

Wherever you are on your weight-loss journey, Lap-Band Indiana is committed to supporting you in whatever ways we can. With a team of certified professionals, we’ll help you get on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

Once your bariatric surgery is complete, the real work begins. Many believe bariatric surgery, like the LAP-Band® procedure, is the “easy way out” when it comes to achieving weight loss, but this is a dangerous and misinformed assumption. Both before and especially after bariatric surgery, it requires hard work and discipline for patients to be successful in losing and keeping off weight. In addition, there are regular habits you can adopt that will contribute to your weight-loss success after bariatric surgery.

Eating Habits

It may take some time to get used to, but you’ll need to change the way you eat after bariatric surgery. Your stomach will hold much less food, so until you get a feeling for how much you can eat, go slow and chew each bite thoroughly.

Because your stomach is so much smaller, you will need to be more conscious of the nutritional choices you’re making. Utilize the space in your stomach wisely with healthy, nutrient-dense foods. Your bariatric team will help you develop a personal diet plan that works for your nutritional needs and lifestyle, but, in general, you’ll need to consume plenty of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables while avoiding simple sugars. Protein is especially important, as it helps your body retain muscle mass even as you lose weight, so it’s a good idea to prioritize the protein on your plate when eating.

Drinking Habits

You’ll also need to drink plenty of water after surgery—upwards of 64 ounces a day. Not only does this help reduce the risk of nausea, but it also reduces feelings of hunger, boosts your mood, and gives you more energy to channel into fully committing to your new lifestyle. Do not use straws, and, as with eating, sip your fluids slowly.   

In addition, avoid liquid calories. You’ll likely spend some time on a liquid diet immediately after surgery, but after your doctor has given you the go-ahead to move to solids, do your best to stay away from sugary fruit juices, coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol. These contribute little to your nutritional goals and are often high in calories. 

Listen to Your Body During Exercise

You’ll have to take it easy while you recover from your bariatric surgery, but you should start your exercise regimen as soon as possible. Begin with short five-to-ten-minute walks, slowly increasing the length each day. Remember to be patient with yourself, especially while you’re still healing, and watch for any signs of infection. 

Around three to six weeks after your surgery, your doctor will give you the go-ahead to begin more strenuous physical activity, but even when you’ve been told it’s okay, start slow. Muscle soreness is normal when exercising, but if you’re experiencing stabbing or sharp pains, especially around the site of your procedure, stop the activity and call your doctor. 

Choosing the Right Procedure

At Lap-Band® of Indiana, we offer several options for weight-loss procedures. Choosing the best one for your particular situation will help ensure you are successful after surgery. Learn more about our procedures, or visit our blog for more information on health, wellness, and weight loss.

With the weather finally turning warmer, more opportunities for outdoor exercise are opening up, whether you’re ready to hit the bike trails or get into running. The warm weather and sunshine might make it easier to push yourself to work out, but in case the motivation-sapping winter blues are still hanging around, check out these workout tips to keep yourself active.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Pack your bag the night before you head to the gym or wear your workout clothes around the house for an hour before you exercise to get yourself in a positive mindset. If you treat your workout like it’s going to happen no matter what, it makes it less likely you’ll skip it at the last second.

Try Morning Workouts

If you struggle to make time for exercise, consider making your workout the first thing you do every day. Morning workout sessions are less likely to be interrupted or rescheduled due to life’s daily conflicts, whether it’s a call from work or laundry that needs to get done. Not only does it set the tone for your day by making your first choice a healthy one, but morning exercise also has multiple health benefits, including lowering your blood pressure and improving your overall energy levels.

Get an Accountability Buddy

It’s much harder to skip out on a workout when you’re not the only one who’s supposed to be working out. Find a friend or family member to exercise with you, and your workouts will start to feel more like a social event than, well, work. In addition, working out with a buddy allows you to learn new exercises and motivate yourself with low-stakes, friendly competition. 

Do What You Can

Some days, the motivation just isn’t there no matter what you do. If you can’t motivate yourself for a full workout, promise yourself to something small, like a 15-minute walk. Some physical activity is always better than nothing, and when you’re done, you might just find you have the energy for a longer workout after all.

Starting your weight-loss journey this season? Get more fitness and motivation tips on the Lap-Band® Indiana blog.

Setbacks are an inevitable part of life. No success happens without failure, and your weight-loss journey is no exception. No matter how much you plan, you can’t account for every obstacle life throws in your way. Setbacks are natural—the trick to handling them is to develop healthy ways to work through them and get back on track.

Recognizing and Accepting Setbacks

Maybe it was the excess of unhealthy snacks sitting around the house, maybe your workload got in the way of your workout, or maybe a bad week triggered a stress-eating session—it happens to the best of us. However, it’s important not to beat yourself up. Setbacks make it easy to get discouraged, but one bad day or even week doesn’t cancel out all the progress you’ve made and all the hard work you’ve put in to improve your lifestyle.  

Take time to reflect on your setback. Consider what caused it, how you reacted, and how you could have reacted differently—what would have helped you in that moment? If a similar problem arises again, you’ll be more prepared to handle it if you understand why it happened in the first place.

Start Today

When we fall back into old habit, it’s sometimes too easy to let them work their way back into our lives for good. “What’s one more day?” can quickly snowball into a month of unhealthy habits. Set firm boundaries with yourself. When you experience a setback, take the first step to get yourself back on track sooner rather than later. If you’re struggling to motivate yourself, consider why you started your weight-loss journey in the first place, and use it to motivate yourself positively.

Don’t Try to “Cancel Out” Your Setback

Speaking of positive motivation—part of responding to setbacks in a healthy way is refusing the urge to “make up for it” with a restrictive diet or grueling exercise routine. This creates an unhealthy mentality that encourages you to “punish” yourself for setbacks instead of positively motivating yourself to overcome them. It also forms an unhealthy relationship with food by starving your body of what it needs to function.

Plan Ahead

Sometimes setbacks are simply the result of our busy lives getting in the way. When it comes to finding a time to work out or cook a healthy meal, utilizing a planner or scheduling app can be especially helpful. Planning your week will give you a clear, visual representation of your free time, making it easy to see when you can fit in a workout or meal-prep session.

After reflecting on what caused your setback, use that information to plan strategies in case you find yourself in that situation again. For example, if you buckled and ordered fast food because you were hungry between meals, buy and pre-portion healthy snacks instead, like fruits, vegetables, or mixed nuts.

If you haven’t experienced a setback during your weight-loss journey, chances are you will soon enough. Developing healthy ways to cope and get yourself back on track is the key to working through them. For more tips on your weight-loss journey, visit the Lap-Band® Indiana blog.

Losing weight is hard enough as it is, but who says you have to do it all on your own? While you may be the one shedding the pounds, there are plenty of ways your family and friends can help as you transition to a healthier lifestyle. In fact, research has found that surrounding yourself with people who are supportive of your goals can contribute to long-term weight-loss success. Building a weight-loss support system may not make losing weight easy, but it’ll make it easier

Why Support Systems Matter

Much of weight loss involves breaking old, unhealthy habits and forming ones that are conducive to a healthy lifestyle. On your own, it can be easy to buckle to the temptation to reach for a soda instead of water or impulsively snack when bored. Having a friend or family member check in with your progress throughout the week creates the sense of being accountable to someone other than yourself.  

In a study published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics, over 87% of participants identified encouragement as the most valuable form of support during their weight-loss journey. It feels nice to be cheered for, and it’s motivating to know our goals matter to people outside ourselves. Having that outside push of encouragement to get to the gym or make the healthy choice for lunch goes a long way to keep you on track. 

Building a Support System

As you’re forming your weight-loss support system, keep in mind that different people will provide different types of support. Communicate your needs to your loved ones so they understand how they can help.

Those who provide emotional support can give you a safe place to vent your frustrations or discouraging thoughts. Some might offer practical support, like watching your kids while you head to the gym or helping you test a new recipe. Others might serve as motivational support by becoming your workout buddy or encouraging you with advice from their own weight-loss journey.

Part of the beauty of the internet is that it can connect us with so many other like-minded individuals. There is no shortage of online weight-loss communities where you can share recipes or workout routines. Wherever you build your support system, be willing to give back the support you are given—if not for their own weight-loss journeys, then for another aspect of their lives.

Whether you’re pre-surgery, post-surgery, or looking for non-surgical weight loss options, Lap-Band® Indiana wants to provide you with the best medical support you need to achieve your goals. Learn more about our weight-loss solutions or contact us today.

If you’re considering bariatric surgery, you probably have no shortage of questions and concerns. Surgery of any kind is daunting and switching to an entirely different lifestyle can seem impossible and overwhelming. Put your mind at ease with these answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about bariatric surgery. 

Am I Eligible for Bariatric Surgery?

To qualify for most bariatric procedures, you must be between 18and older. At Lap-Band® Indiana, we offer weight-loss solutions for people with BMIs over 30 or people who are at least 100 pounds over their desired weight. You may also qualify if you have obesity-related problems, like sleep apnea, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes, which can often be significantly improved with significant weight loss.

When determining eligibility, doctors consider a patient’s past experience with diet and exercise, as bariatric surgery is best for people who haven’t been able to lose weight through traditional methods. Additionally, patients need to be motivated to make the lifestyle changes necessary to maintain weight loss after surgery—bariatric surgery is not a “quick fix” weight- loss solution.

How Long is the Hospital Stay After Bariatric Surgery?

With modern advancements such as the laparoscope, most bariatric surgeries are completed via minimally invasive incisions. Many procedures are outpatient, with patients walking hours after surgery, but if a hospital stay is required, it shouldn’t be longer than a night or two. 

If open surgery is needed, a longer stay should be expected—three to five days. 

Can I Get Pregnant After Bariatric Surgery?

Yes, pregnancy and childbirth are possible after bariatric surgery! However, doctors recommend patients don’t get pregnant in the two years following their procedure because the most weight is lost during this time—pregnancy involves weight gain, making it counterproductive. 

Because obesity can multiply the chance of complications during pregnancy, it might even be advisable to have children after bariatric surgery rather than before. Additionally, weight loss can lead to significant increase in fertility for women and higher testosterone levels in men. If you plan to have kids, talk to your doctor during consultation, and they’ll be able to help you find the weight loss solution that’s right for the future of your family.

How Soon Can I Start Exercising After Bariatric Surgery?

When done laparoscopically, bariatric surgery has a faster recovery rate—around three to five weeks. Your doctor and surgery team will help you develop a workout plan that aids your weight loss while allowing your body to fully heal after the procedure. That said, extremely light physical activity, like five-to-ten-minute walks, can begin in the days following surgery.

Will I Need Plastic Surgery After Bariatric Surgery?

Loose skin after rapid weight loss is a common worry for many potential bariatric patients. Depending on factors like the amount of weight lost, age, and genetics, loose skin may be temporary. Discuss your concerns with your doctor but keep the possibility in mind when considering surgery.

Scarring is another common fear, but the assistance of a laparoscope allows most procedures to be done in a way that leaves minimal scarring.

Have more questions? Contact the team at Lap-Band® Indiana—we’re happy to help you on your journey toward a healthier, happier lifestyle.