Tips For Success After Bariatric Surgery
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.
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.
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.