10 Essential Do's and Don'ts for a Successful Weight Loss Surgery Journey
Losing weight is an incredible achievement that can improve your overall health and quality of life. If you've undergone weight loss surgery, you've taken an important step in your weight loss journey. However, it's important to know that the surgery is not a magic solution, and you'll need to make significant lifestyle changes to maintain your weight loss. Here are 10 simple do's and don'ts to follow after your weight loss surgery:
- Follow your doctor's instructions: Your doctor will provide specific instructions for your post-surgery care, including what foods to eat, how much to drink, and when to start exercising.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Staying hydrated is essential for your overall healing and helps prevent complications. Drink plenty of water, and avoid sugary and carbonated beverages.
- Eat slowly and chew thoroughly: Eating too fast can cause discomfort and potentially even vomit from the small stomach pouch. Take time to chew your food slowly and thoroughly to minimize discomfort.
- Focus on protein-rich foods: Protein is important for healing and helps you feel full and satisfied. Include lean proteins such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes in your meals.
- Take your vitamins and supplements: Weight loss surgery affects your body's nutrient absorption, so you must take your vitamins and supplements as prescribed by your doctor. This will help you avoid nutritional deficiencies and other health complications.
- Start exercising as advised: Exercise is an essential part of your weight loss journey. Begin with low-impact activities such as walking and gradually increase your activity level based on your doctor's recommendations.
- Practice mindful eating: Be aware of your hunger cues and stop eating when you feel full. Avoid snacking and focus on nutrient-dense meals.
- Keep a food journal: A food journal helps you keep track of what you eat, identify areas where you need improvement and provides an essential tool to adjust your eating habits accordingly.
- Attend support group meetings: Your weight loss surgery support group is a great source of motivation, information, and support.
- Have realistic expectations: Remember to have realistic expectations for your weight loss journey. Losing weight takes time and perseverance.
- Do not overeat or binge: Overeating or bingeing can cause discomfort, vomiting, and potentially, harm the surgery.
- Do not drink alcohol: Alcohol can cause dehydration, increase your risk for ulcers and nutrient deficiencies, and may further harm the stomach.
- Do not smoke: Smoking reduces healing capacity and increases the risk of pulmonary problems.
- Do not eat high-fat or high-calorie foods: Such foods can cause discomfort, slow down weight loss, and train the digestive tract to prefer high-energy dense food, prompting rebound weight gain.
- Do not skip meals: Skipping meals can cause low blood sugar, headaches, and lack of energy.
- Do not eat and drink simultaneously: Drinking while eating may cause the stomach contents to be expelled quickly from the pouch, risking malabsorption.
- Do not eat until you are full: Overeating, even healthy foods, may stretch or damage the stomach pouch and negatively impact weight loss efforts.
- Do not eat carbonated or sugary drinks: Drinks such as soda, energy or sports drinks have high sugar and calorie content, risk dehydration, and possibly, dialogic and nutritional consequences.
- Do not compare your progress to others: Stay focused, positive, and motivated by your individual goals. Comparing your progress to others may lead to frustration that hinders your success.
- Do not neglect your mental health: Many patients experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems post-surgery. Make sure to seek professional help or take advantage of support groups as needed to address any concerns.
Following these simple do's and don'ts can help you achieve long-term success in your weight loss journey after a surgery. Begin slow, and listen to your doctor. Remember, patience, perseverance, and mindfulness are critical factors to maintaining weight loss. Good luck!