The New Lifestyle After Bariatric Surgery
When diet and exercise haven’t given you the weight loss success you’d like, bariatric surgery is often the next logical step. It’s important to know, though, that after weight loss surgery, many things in your life will change: from the habits to which you’ve become accustomed to the amount of supplements or medications you are taking.
While it is beneficial to focus on how your life will change for the better, it is essential to understand that you will have a new lifestyle after bariatric surgery. Here are a few areas where you’ll likely experience the most changes after your weight loss surgery.
Easily the biggest change in your lifestyle after bariatric surgery is with your new diet – not just in terms of the quantity of food you eat, but in what you eat and how you think about food. When eating, you’ll focus on eating smaller portions and including as many healthy and whole foods in those smaller portions as possible. Instead of eating three large meals a day, you’ll find that you will be eating much smaller meals every day. You’ll need to eliminate soda, and increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating slowly and never rushing meals will be par for the course.
Another critical element to consider with respect to your post-surgery lifestyle is the heightened importance of getting regular exercise. Once you’re through with your recovery period and are cleared by your doctor to exercise, start thinking about what types of exercise you’re interested in doing. You should take it easy and start slow at first, especially if you’re not accustomed to physical activity. Some fitness options that are easy on your body include walking, swimming, and yoga. You should also combine cardio with light weight training, which can include taking a low-intensity weight lifting class.
Vitamins and Supplements
For many bariatric surgery patients, taking vitamins and supplements often becomes routine and a part of their lifestyle after bariatric surgery. It is important to get the necessary vitamins and minerals every day post surgery, whether through your diet or with a supplement. Because your diet will have changed, it can be more challenging to get all the nutrients through food sources. Some vitamins and supplements you doctor might advise you to take include these:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
Due to your lifestyle changes after weight loss surgery, it is helpful to connect with people who are going — or have gone — through the same thing. Finding a local bariatric surgery support group is a great place to start. You can share your successes and struggles, and talk about your issues with others who are dealing with the same emotional and physical changes.
New Way of Life
After your bariatric surgery, you’ll find that you have a renewed way of life and redesigned lifestyle overall. This means small and big changes, including things like:
- taking the stairs more often than the elevator to get in more exercise.
- tracking your food with a journal.
- making plans with friends that don’t involve a restaurant.
You’ll also focus on drinking more water throughout the day and changing your schedule to fit in multiple smaller meals a day.
Success after bariatric surgery requires lifestyle change that focuses on the health of your mind and body. It is never too late to start making some of the small lifestyle changes mentioned above now so you can more gradually and easily adjust to your new and improved lifestyle after surgery.