We all recognize the importance of a healthy diet after bariatric surgery. But many of us overlook how important is working out after bariatric surgery, too. Our fast-food driven consumer society has forgotten all about healthy living. We become so overweight due to poor lifestyle choices that include high-calorie processed foods and watching TV. This is where bariatric surgery, a proper diet, and exercise can save us from ourselves.
About Bariatric Surgery
When your body mass index exceeds 35 and you also develop obesity-related health conditions, that’s when exploring bariatric surgery becomes a viable option. Depending on your health conditions and the amount of weight that needs to be lost, a bariatric surgeon may recommend a gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, or perhaps a gastric band although this procedure seems to be falling out of favor.
The benefits of going under the knife expand far beyond weight loss, although that is the primary goal of bariatric surgery. Not only is the procedure successful in diabetes and heart disease recovery, it also lowers the general mortality rate of obese people by almost 20%.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the bariatric surgery alone doesn’t eradicate the problem of morbid obesity. To be completely successful, you will also need to change your lifestyle. Taking up a healthy meal plan and working out after bariatric surgery are the perfect additions to bring your health on track.
How to Get Fit After Bariatric Surgery
Follow the Bariatric Diet
If you’re already scheduled for your surgery, then you know that there’s a meal plan to follow prior to it. It’s typically a diet based solely on liquids that prepares your body and especially your stomach for the procedure that it will undergo. However, this doesn’t end once you leave the operating room.
You will need to stick to a doctor-prescribed diet for some time after as well. This plan generally has three stages, but that can vary from surgeon to surgeon. First, you will continue with the all-liquid diet usually for two weeks and avoid caffeine, sugar and anything else with a high calorie count. Drinks must be non-carbonated and you will need to drink protein shakes regularly.
Usually the third week after the procedure and well into the sixth or even seventh, you will gradually add certain foods back into your diet. Eggs are a good choice, as well as cooked vegetables, mushy protein pasta and fruit such as melons and bananas.
The key is to avoid any sticky foods that might get gummy inside your stomach and prevent you from eating properly. Examples include bread and any type of nut butter, as well as corn and other fibrous fruits and veggies. Soft meat such as poultry, fish and shellfish are a recommended source of protein during this stage because they are easy to digest.
After the second stage is over, you can progress towards a regular diet at last. However, to avoid putting back the dropped weight, you need to adopt a healthy meal plan. One trendy alternative is the leptin diet. But even with options such as this, there are a few diet rules you must keep. The key to managing this is to dedicate yourself to your weight loss entirely.
Start with Light Exercise
Not only does working out after bariatric surgery promote weight loss, but it also helps us achieve our desired body mass. Furthermore, it improves metabolism and blood sugar control, which is crucial for anyone who has been morbidly obese. Check with your surgeon to be sure, but exercise for bariatric surgery patients generally can begin within three to six weeks following surgery.
According to the University of California San Diego, the best workout after bariatric surgery that we can take up is walking. Start off slowly by going on 10-minute long daily walks. Over time, we will be able to walk for as much as half an hour daily if we increase the duration by just one minute each day.
Some other small things we can do to contribute to this routine is taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the shops instead of driving, and replacing just about any other sedentary activity we can with its active counterpart. We can even try exercising at the workplace every now and again. In time, we will see that our endurance will become greater and we will be ready to withstand even the most hardcore workouts for someone of our age. This is an area where you’ll want to consult with your doctor before taking it on.
Some studies show that exercise is even more important than following a strict diet when it comes to the treatment of obesity. Therefore, we need to stick to an intense routine of physical activity even after our initial weight loss period has passed. We intensify working out after bariatric surgery as we get healthier. Take the opportunity to join a gym and get personal instruction, or try some creative workout classes such as hot yoga or Zumba.
The crucial factor is to not give up on our exercise habit. Our surgery was definitely a difficult experience and big investment. We should not let it go to waste by stopping in our tracks when it comes to physical activity. And if you’re like me and lack motivation, working out after bariatric surgery with a friend or significant other is a great way to stay on track.
Working Out after Bariatric Surgery
To conclude, remember that following your diet is important but don’t overlook the vital importance of working out after bariatric surgery, too. It is this combination of diet and exercise that we need to keep up even well after we’ve reached goal weight. It is only by staying focused on our health and weight goals that we will win the battle against obesity once and for all.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life