Are you considering to have bariatric surgery? Bariatric surgery is recommended for people who suffer from obesity and are struggling to lose the weight. Most surgeons won’t perform surgery on patients unless they have a BMI over 40 or people who have a BMI of 35 who have serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes.
The surgery isn’t a quick fix to lose weight and patients who want to have the surgery have to go through a series of evaluations including counseling to help them overcome any bad habits or mental obstacles. You will have to overhaul your lifestyle to lose the weight and keep it off once you reach your goal.
There are several different types of bariatric surgery available, and your doctor will help you determine which option is best suited for you. Your surgery is just the beginning of your weight loss journey and here is a guide to help you keep you from preventing these typical mistakes that bariatric surgery patients tend to make after surgery.
Disclosure: I am not a doctor or health care professional. This post is for informational use only. Please contact your bariatric surgeon or health care provider if you have any questions about your surgery or weight loss journey. This post may contain affiliate links.
Diet is only a small portion of your daily routine that you are going to have to overhaul in order start losing the weight after surgery. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes or more of physical activity per week. If you don’t have an exercise program in place before your surgery, you will need to will need to come up with an exercise plan. Your exercise plan needs to be reasonable and something that you can physically do after you have been given permission from your doctor, at your follow-up appointment, to start exercising.
Make sure that you find several different types of activities that are enjoyable to you so that you are more likely to stick with it. Don’t be afraid to try new exercises too. Even if you don’t go to the gym on a regular basis, there are plenty of programs that you can do at home such as yoga, walking, Zumba, aerobics, bike riding, etc.
If you aren’t currently exercising, don’t worry about the total time at first. Instead, focus on moving and working your way towards exercising 150 minutes or more a week.
Not Following Up With Your Surgeon
It is so important that you continually follow up with your surgeon on a regular basis after you have your surgery. Most reputable doctors have a team in place to help patients with any questions, problems, or support before and after your surgery. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Also, some clinics even offer ongoing group support. Having a support network can be vital especially if you have fallen off the wagon or you don’t have the motivation any longer.
Most surgeons will recommend that patients stop consuming alcohol after they have bariatric surgery due to changes in the way your body will metabolize the alcohol. The alcohol will be absorbed more quickly, and it is likely to be more potent too. Even if you don’t drink very much, an alcoholic beverage could potentially cause you to have a higher blood alcohol level very quickly and maintain that level for longer periods of time. Excessing alcohol consumption can lead to an addiction or dependence.
Plus, alcoholic beverages contain empty calories. Empty calories lack proper nutrition. It can also derail your weight loss efforts or even cause you to gain weight if you consume alcohol on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, if you need help overcoming a potential alcohol addiction.
Snacking Too Much
It is important to develop a new routine that includes three small meals and one snack per day. Most patients struggle with snacking more after they have had surgery. Patients are used to eating larger meals and no longer can consume a significant number of calories at one time.
Not Eating Enough Protein
You should aim to eat 60 grams or more of protein throughout the day. Most doctors recommend that you aim to eat 20 grams of protein at each meal. Eating ample amounts of protein will help you feel full and satisfied between meals.
Getting Pregnant too Soon After Surgery
Women who are considering bariatric surgery should avoid getting pregnant for 12 to 18 months after their surgery. Waiting will ensure that you get down to a healthy weight and make sure that you are at a stable weight. Being at a healthy weight can make conceiving easier. Plus, your nutrition will be limited too. Do make sure that you are using a reliable form of contraceptives such as the barrier method, spermicide, or an IUD. If you do get pregnant, you need to contact your bariatric surgeon and work in close collaboration with your obstruction to ensure that you and the baby are getting adequate nutrition.
Drinking Enough Water
It is super important that you drink 64oz of water every day to avoid dehydration, kidney stones, constipation, or other complications. Make sure that you stop drinking 15 minutes prior to eating your meals and wait 30 minutes after a meal to resume. If you are drinking with your meals, it will cause you to get full very quickly and with a limited amount of space in your stomach it can cause you to undereat or have problems with malnutrition.
Taking Your Vitamins
It is super important to ensure that you are getting the right nutrients after you have bariatric surgery. Your surgeon will tell you which supplements that he/she prefers you to take. Most surgeons recommend that you take a multivitamin, calcium supplement, and vitamin D.
Not Taking Care of Your Mental Health
It is important that you take care of your mental health. Most people who are obese have an addiction to food and when you take away one addiction, it is natural for you to potentially pick up a new habit. If you find yourself struggling with your addiction, you should seek help from a professional.
Bariatric surgery isn’t a quick fix but it can help you regain your life back and help reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other complications. I wish you luck on your surgery and I created this guide to help ensure that your surgery is successful.