You may have heard or read this a lot when you’re considering bariatric surgery because this is true. Bariatric surgery can definitely change your life! However, you don’t instantly shed those extra pounds away after the procedure.
Dr. Keary Robert Williams and the team at New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery in Knoxville, want you to know that surgery is just a tool. How much time it takes to reach your goal depends largely on how committed you are to achieving it.
How to achieve the weight loss or health goals after surgery
Whether it’s weight loss or health goals (i.e. improving your pre-existing conditions or becoming more mobile), the following things can help you get there after bariatric surgery:
Religiously take your vitamins
Bariatric patients are at higher risk of vitamin deficiency.
Why is that? Because bariatric surgery changes the amount of food you can eat and affects how nutrients are absorbed. So, you can only take a small amount of food on a daily basis (and this is why diet is crucial after surgery).
Dietitians recommend vitamins after surgery to fill on those nutritional gaps so you can still meet your nutritional needs even with a significant reduction in food intake.
Follow the dietary recommendations
After surgery, you will be placed on a special diet which will be explained by the bariatric team. It’s a diet progression that may start off with a liquid diet for weeks and then slowly transitioning to soft and eventually, to solid foods.
It’s important to follow this diet progression as it allows your body to adjust. Another thing to keep in mind is your protein intake. This may vary from one patient to another, but most would recommend having between 60 to 100 grams of protein per day (your bariatric team will advise you on how much you need).
Drink tons of liquid
There are a lot of reasons why you should stay well-hydrated after surgery. For one, it keeps you from getting dehydrated. And second, it keeps you full and makes everything in your body work better.
Aim to have at least 64 ounces of liquids each day. This can help you fight off nausea, fatigue, and constipation.
Should it be decaffeinated or non-carbonated? It depends. Have a talk with your bariatric team to discuss what liquids you can or can’t have.
As much as possible, avoid liquid calories
From milkshakes to coffee confections, these liquid treats are tasty but won’t be serving you well when you’re trying to achieve your weight loss goals. Not only will you be getting a ton of calories in one sitting but it also doesn’t help you a lot in meeting your daily nutritional needs.
Bariatric patients are encouraged to move as soon as they are able to, starting with walking. Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, gradually moving towards increased intensity and duration.
If you’re completely new to exercising, you may want to speak with your doctor and a physiologist to help set realistic goals and progression steps.
There can be challenges in so many aspects after surgery. This is why we highly encourage our patients to join a bariatric support group. This group doesn’t just help you stay accountable with your actions, it can also be a good resource for learning how to eat better, exercise, etc. This can also be a helpful venue for inspiring each other to achieve your health goals.
New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery has an in-person and a private online group to help you stay on track. For more information about our support groups, or if you have a question about the weight loss surgery process, you can reach out to our team at (865) 694-9676 or visit https://www.newlifebariatricsurgery.com/get-started/
New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. New Life is affiliated with the Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.