Success Guide: Lifestyle Changes After Weight Loss Surgery

September 26, 2017 - by - in Weight Loss Surgery

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Success after weight loss surgery is a lifetime journey. Your life and health are about to change for the best, and the decisions you make post-op pave the road to success. We’re here to help guide you with these lifestyle tips to ensure the best chances of success after bariatric surgery.

What to eat during the first 8 weeks after weight loss surgery

The first few weeks after weight loss surgery are all about promoting successful healing. Your doctor will determine the best post-op diet for your specific needs, but plan on a liquid diet to start. Keep in mind all bodies heal differently, but most post-surgery eating plans will look something like this:

Week 1: The first week will be a strict diet consisting of mostly water and broth.

Weeks 2-4: By week two, you’ll continue a relatively liquid diet. For the next few weeks, smoothies and pureed meals will best complement your dietary needs. 

Weeks 4-6: Beginning week four, you can begin thickening your meals as long as they remain completely pureed. Solid foods are still out of the question at this point. Foods appropriate for this stage include cream soups and yogurt-based smoothies.

Weeks 6-8: Around week 6, your body is ready to begin transitioning to solid foods. Continue a “baby steps” approach to avoid setbacks. For best results, continue introducing new foods at a moderate pace and stick to three 4-ounce meals per day. 

Add strength & fitness training

Success Guide: Lifestyle Changes After Weight Loss Surgery

Exercise is a critical component to living a successful post-surgery life. As soon as your doctor approves, start a light workout regimen. When we lose weight rapidly, we lose muscle. Exercise is a safe and effective way of maintaining lean body mass, which maintains metabolism and facilitates healthy weight loss. 

Start small; brisk walks are a great first step. Make a fitness schedule you can commit to, such as walking on a treadmill or around your neighborhood three times per week for 30 minutes. Write your commitment to exercise down, too — you’ll be more likely to stick to it and gain motivation from your results. 

Avoid alcohol

Success Guide: Lifestyle Changes After Weight Loss Surgery

A casual cocktail at a work happy hour or a glass of wine with friends can be tough to say no to, but avoiding alcohol is not only important for long-term results, it’s also critical to your health. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reports that the absorption of alcohol changes with gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries, because an enzyme in the stomach which usually begins to digest alcohol is absent or greatly reduced. 

Talk to your friends and family and let them know how important it is for them to support you in your efforts. Implement healthier ways to socialize with friends, like joining a friend for a morning hike or signing up for a post-work fitness class. 

Tend to your mind & soul

We expect our body to change after bariatric surgery. But, changes to your mind and soul can be easy to neglect. With any life change, you can only get so far on your own. A solid support system is necessary to get you through both good times and bad. To cope with the emotional changes you may experience, try the following:

  • Joining a support group. Whether it’s online or in-person, surrounding yourself with others who can relate to what you’re going through will help you feel inspired and motivated. Read more about what happens at a weight loss surgery support group meeting.
  • Practice daily affirmations. We could all use daily reminders to help us achieve our goals. How about receiving it via text? With ShineText, you’ll receive daily inspirational texts, so you get motivated from the moment you wake up.

Success Guide: Lifestyle Changes After Weight Loss Surgery

Soma Weight Loss is here to help

If you have questions about bariatric surgery or wish to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us. The friendly staff at Soma Weight Loss is happy to help you. 

Marisol Avendano

Marisol Avendano is a Registered Nurse (RN) at Soma Weight Loss, where she has worked closely with bariatric surgery patients for over two years. Marisol received her B.S. in Nursing and Public Health from West Coast University in Irvine, California.