Whether you’re considering going in for bariatric surgery or you’ve already set the date, it’s important to understand the changes you are going to have to make after the operation in order to keep your weight at a healthy level. No particular kind of bariatric surgery is a silver bullet for weight loss – while all can help you shed weight initially, keeping to a healthy level will require you to look after yourself very closely in the weeks, months and years after the operation.
To help you understand what your body will need from you after this procedure, G & L Surgical Clinic has put together this brief primer on some of the lifestyle changes that you will need to discuss with your medical professional. Read on to learn more.
The importance of exercise
Regular exercise will help your body lose weight in the crucial first 12 months after the procedure. It’s during the first year that most patients achieve their maximum weight loss, so it’s important to help it along with a disciplined approach to exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to jump right back into weightlifting or long-distance running – in fact, strenuous exercise is to be avoided for a period of time determined by the procedure used and your own health.
Your initial goal will be building up to 30 minutes of walking every day at a pace you are comfortable with. Ultimately, you will aim for a fairly standard regime of 30 to 45 minutes of exercise a day, with cardio or aerobic exercise making up the bulk of the training load, but this is to be slowly worked towards with advice from your medical professionals.
Building a healthier diet
Immediately after your exercise, you will be placed on a highly restrictive – but temporary – diet of clear liquids such as clear broth, diluted fruit juice and other sugar-free and decaffeinated drinks. You will gradually reintroduce blended and pureed foods that are low in sugar such as soft meats, dairy, porridges and protein shakes and work back up to solids. When you return to your full diet, you and your doctor will have to work together to determine which foods your body is capable of tolerating, but expect your permanent diet to be low in fats, carbohydrates and sugars and high in protein.
Supporting your body in more ways
You are very likely to experience dehydration in the months after surgery, so it’s important to ensure you’re taking an adequate amount of fluids – between 1.5 and 2 litres of water ingested with small sips is recommended.
Additionally, due to having a decreased ability to absorb essential nutrients, it’s highly likely you will have to take a daily multivitamin pill for the rest of your life to support your body.
To learn more about how bariatric surgery changes your body and how your lifestyle needs to change with it, speak to the team at G & L Surgical Clinic today.