There is no such thing as easy fixes or shortcuts when it comes to the important things in life. This certainly applies to bariatric surgery. If you think it’s a short cut, it’s not, because you must do some work too. Bariatric surgery is but a beginning. It gives you the opportunity and a head start to the healthy life you want to live, however you will be responsible for some basic lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery.
It’s Not A Magic Wand
Yes, bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure. Even if you have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight in the past, bariatric surgery can provide many benefits. You will have a reduced appetite and a limited absorption of calories, but this doesn’t all happen by magic. It’s necessary for you to make some lifestyle changes to have success for the long term.
It Starts With Diet Changes After Bariatric Surgery
Immediately after your surgery, your care team at Dr. Shawn Stevenson will submit a liquid diet to begin your journey. This will transition to soft food after a couple of weeks and then to solid foods.
You must drink a lot of water, at least 64 ounces per day, to help you avoid nausea, kidney problems, constipation, and fatigue. This is a non-negotiable.
Next you must focus on consuming high amounts of protein each day without sugar and starch. 60 to 100 grams of protein is recommended. Without the proper amount of protein, you can experience muscle loss and weakness.
Other lifestyle tips include the following:
- Focus on eating smaller portions.
- Eliminate sodas.
- Increase fruits and vegetables into your diet.
- Eat slowly and never rush through a meal.
Another tip is to socialize with friends who will make plans with you that don’t include a restaurant.
Even if you never exercised before, you need to begin. Start slowing with walking and swimming. Try yoga. Check with Dr. Shawn Stevenson for clearance and/for suggestions. Regular exercise will help to keep the weight off. Set a goal and work towards it.
Taking the stairs instead of an elevator and walking to as many places as possible instead of driving keeps you moving in a healthy direction.
Take Vitamins And Supplements
You may find it difficult to get all the nutrients you need from food. Supplement your diet with calcium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron, and a multivitamin.
Avoid Alcohol And Smoking
You probably already stopped smoking prior to surgery as recommended by Dr. Shawn Stevenson. Ask for assistance from your bariatric team if you have the urge to begin again. Cutting back on alcohol is also a good lifestyle change to make after bariatric surgery.
Reap The Benefits Of Bariatric Surgery
Besides feeling better about yourself, there is one other benefit that is priceless. You will live longer and reduce the risk of a premature death by 30 to 40% after bariatric surgery.