Life After Weight Loss Surgery

Life after weight loss surgery oftentimes requires patience and adjustments, but you’re not alone – Lumin Bariatric Weight Loss is here to help you reach every post-operative milestone and answer any questions or concerns you may have as you heal. One of the most important aspects of post-bariatric surgery life that patients must grow accustomed to is the role that food plays in their life.

All patients undergoing bariatric surgery have some emotional dependence on food. This is sometimes the hardest part of post-surgery life and one that is not often discussed. We strongly suggest engaging in regular counseling after your procedure to ensure any repressed issues are dealt with properly and effectively.

Habits of the most successful bariatric patients include the following tendencies:

  • Following the pre-operative and post-operative diet exactly
  • Keeping a detailed food journal
  • Exercising regularly and participating in activities as cleared by your surgeon
  • Participating in counseling and/or bariatric support groups
  • Having the full support of your family
  • Following up with your bariatric surgeon regularly

First Six Weeks After Surgery

At your one-month follow-up appointment, you will advance from the soft diet as prescribed in your post-operative instructions to regular food.

Our team will discuss nutrition with you in the office at length, but a good rule of thumb to remember is to always eat protein first. You will keep a food log of everything you consume to help develop these healthy eating habits. At about six weeks after surgery, most patients report being back to about 98% of their normal energy level.

First 3 Months After Surgery

Typically around three months after surgery, patients report new energy and enthusiasm that they did not have before their procedure. With the weight lost and friends and family beginning to notice your new lifestyle, this can be a motivating factor in keeping on track with your diet and activity.

Some patients may notice minor hair loss at around three months after surgery, but this is similar to the hair loss experienced after pregnancy. It will regrow in time.

First Year After Surgery

Patients lose most of their weight in the first nine months. Typically, patients who lose more weight in the first month will lose more weight over the long term.
Take advantage of this fact and start out strong with the following suggestions:
  • Stick to your diet
  • Join a walking group for added accountability to stay active and walk regularly
  • Find a local bariatric support group to discuss unique experiences, tips and tricks

Motivated patients can continue to lose weight up to two years after surgery, however, the first nine months are when weight loss is usually the easiest to accomplish.

Remember that bariatric surgery is a tool to help you lose weight, but the true success depends on you! Cheating the diet by consuming high-calorie liquids, constantly eating, eating meals over long periods of time or washing foods down with liquids will almost ensure that you lose little to no weight post-procedure.

Beyond the First Year After Surgery

While the first year following bariatric surgery involves many significant life changes, it is important to maintain healthy habits through all of the years and decades to come. By doing so, you will decrease your risk of regaining some or all of the lost weight while enjoying an active, unhindered life. Continuing self-care after achieving significant weight loss plays an integral role in long-term wellness. Remember, you are worth it!

We find many patients are successful in sustaining a balanced life after their bariatric surgery when they:

  • Find exercise that inspires them. Physical activity that engages the mind, as well as the body, can be extremely motivating. In choosing exercise routines that stimulate you mentally, you provide yourself with an extra incentive to get moving. Strengthening the body and mind may look like constantly learning new swimming techniques, training for a half marathon, exercising with a group of friends, taking neighborhood bike rides, becoming a kickboxer or regularly attending a meditative yoga class. Different regimens work for different people, so find an activity (or several) that meet your unique needs and preferences!
  • Have a support system. Just as you relied upon family and friends to encourage you and help integrate healthy habits into your daily life after your bariatric surgery, surrounding yourself with individuals committed to health and wellness will serve you well in the years beyond. Talk with your family about the importance of healthy living, nutrition, activity and the difference these things have made in your life. Vocalize your achievements and current goals to those around you to create an atmosphere of supportive accountability. Remain committed to exercise groups or post-bariatric surgery groups for an added boost of motivation.
  • Fuel well. A dedication to a balanced diet will not only be a crucial element of your post-bariatric surgery weight loss, but will continue to be important in the pursuit of a lifelong healthy weight. Eating well can help you avoid a vast number of cardiac, digestive and emotional issues while also helping you keep off unwanted pounds. A healthy diet is not about obsessing over restrictions or not enjoying food, but instead as seeing nutrition as an important way to provide your body with the energy it needs while avoiding excess. In today’s health-conscious world, there are many post-bariatric surgery cookbooks and blogs to make eating responsibly a creative and fun experience.
  • Communicate openly. If, in the years or decades after bariatric surgery, you experience a relapse and again fall into unhealthy habits, ask for help. Your surgeon, doctors, friends and family want you to experience the highest quality of life possible and are always on your team. No one is perfect, and if you feel yourself beginning to feel helpless or unable to maintain an active life, do not be afraid to reach out and receive the support you need. Every healthy choice counts and it is never too late to commit to change!
The team of experienced bariatric and wellness experts at Lumin Bariatric Weight Loss is here to help you wherever you may be in your weight management journey. If you have any questions about bariatric surgery or the expectations before or after a procedure, Contact our team today! We have helped many patients regain their quality of life and look forward to discussing your unique goals.

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