Life After Your Weight Loss Surgery
The lifestyle changes you and your doctor have initiated to bring you to this point are part of an ongoing regimen of care, diet and exercise that is intended to help you lose and keep off the weight while minimizing the likelihood of complications or post-surgical problems. However, you must also consider that your body will be changing very rapidly, and such drastic transformations can have unexpected physical and emotional side effects. Because of this, it is important that you have support after your weight loss surgery to help you maintain your regimen and keep a healthy and positive perspective on yourself. In part 1 of our series, we talked about your weight loss surgery options. In part 2, we talked about life before your weight loss surgery, and now we bring you to part 3, life after your weight loss surgery.
Your Post-Surgery Diet
If you have followed your doctor’s prescribed diet plan, you should have already noticed weight loss prior to the surgery. You will find this plan is easier to adhere to after surgery, but temptation is always a problem. Your favorite foods may stop being your favorites, or one of your favorites may no longer be part of your diet routine. The plan you and your doctor set up together will be the controlling concern, but in general, the following guidelines are typical for eating after weight loss surgery.
When you are able to resume a solid-food diet, be sure to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing and allow at least 2-3 minutes between bites. this will help your changed gastrointestinal system to more efficiently process food and help you feel fuller, faster, with less food.
Avoid drinking during meals. Fluids can interfere with digestion and prevent you from getting enough food, creating a real risk of malnutrition.
Desserts with a high sugar content, alcohol, carbonated beverages and milkshakes are probably not a part of your diet anymore, and should be scrupulously avoided. If they are, follow your doctor’s guidelines for acceptable intake.
Reduce or avoid snacking between meals, and make sure your snacks are part of your diet to prevent overeating and potential problems with your weight loss.
Daily Life After Surgery
Depending on the type of surgery you have, you will be able to return to work and resume your exercise routine at 1-6 weeks after the procedure. Laproscopic surgeries are generally preferred because of the shorter recovery time, but may not be appropriate for all cases.
Because your body will not take in food as efficiently after surgery, you will need to set and keep to a regular long-term follow-up plan with your doctor. Your doctor will typically screen for anemia, or iron deficiency, as well as essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These can generally be offset by using multivitamins, which at this point you have probably been taking for months anyway. After your weight loss has stabilized, you should only need checkups annually unless your doctor requires more frequent testing in order to stay abreast of any potential problems that may develop.
Support After Surgery
Between the sudden radical weight loss and commensurate changes in your body, you may notice your emotional and mental states are more fragile than they were before. Also, simply losing the weight cannot undo the cumulative damage of years or a lifetime of being mocked, ignored, put down and spurned because of your weight. For this reason, entering a support program consisting of people who are coping with the same issues you are and physicians and counselors who can answer questions and help you deal with the inherent struggles of effectively obtaining a whole new body while retaining the same mental and emotional makeup is crucial to your ongoing success.
Because of this, United Medical Credit would like to make you aware of Bariatric Pal a support and information website for prospective and current bariatric surgery patients that offers access to information, support and answers to questions that may arise on your weight loss journey. We believe that the more knowledge and information you can access, the more likely it is you will achieve your goals and find the better, healthier you that you’ve been looking for. Thank you for reading Part 3 of our series, and be sure to stay tuned for more great information to come soon!