Weight Loss Surgery Diet Considerations
Sticking to your diet is one of the two essential parts of losing weight, even more so after undergoing gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery. Not only is it necessary to establish new and healthy habits, but you may often encounter adverse side effects if your stomach cannot tolerate the food you eat.
The First Two Weeks
Your diet is strictly limited to liquids in the first few weeks after surgery. You will start drinking clear liquids like broth without solids, sugar-free and decaffeinated beverages, V8 and vegetable juice. You will slowly progress to protein shakes and thin cream of wheat or rice. In the days leading up to surgery, most patients follow a similar diet to reduce the amount of fat around specific digestive organs. Post-operatively, this diet reduces the amount of food your body digests, lessening the stress on your digestive system.
A liquid diet is essential during the early stages of recovery.
After the First Month
After three or four weeks, your doctor may approve transitioning from the complete liquid diet to the next stage. You will gradually move to soft foods, pureed, and finally, solid foods. Some patients return to the previous stage for a few days as their digestive system still can't tolerate certain foods. This minor setback is typical, often resolving within a few days. New, healthy eating habits are necessary for significant weight loss. Focus on lean proteins like chicken breast and fish and colorful vegetables.
Pain Management and Physical Activity
While in the hospital, you'll have an intravenous drip to control discomfort. Once you leave, your doctor will give you prescription pain medication to manage abdominal pain. Avoid driving until you are completely off all prescription pain medications.
During your first few days at home, you'll rest most of the time, but try to get up frequently to walk, as such activity will help speed your recovery and avoid leg pain that can occur if blood clots form.
Most patients return to normal activities gradually. When you go back to work depends on your job's physicality. However, you'll generally refrain from pushing or pulling actions or heavy lifting for at least six weeks after surgery.
Exercise and Fitness
Like diet, your exercise routine should start slowly. Your regimen can become more intense as your digestion improves and you have more energy. Immediately after weight loss surgery, patients simply need to walk daily and change positions frequently to encourage proper digestion and circulation. Avoid even minor lifting or house cleaning duties, such as vacuuming. However, once you are approved to eat pureed foods, patients can typically return to their normal duties and begin a light exercise routine.
The best way to speed up your recovery is to follow your doctor's instructions as closely as possible.
Unlike a poor diet, a lack of exercise does not have immediate physical effects on a patient. Consequently, exercise is often the easiest component of weight loss to overlook, making it more important that patients commit themselves to a regular routine. After your weight loss procedure, commit to at least 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week and incorporate strength training into your lifestyle, as these components are necessary to lose excess weight in the long term.
Contact Tijuana Bariatric Center Today
Dramatic lifestyle changes can be challenging to face on your own. The doctors, counselors, and team working through the Tijuana Bariatric Center provide the support you need to meet them head-on. How much weight you lose depends on the support your receive. Reach out today by contacting us at 1-800-970-0577 to learn more about life after bariatric surgery and for help with your surgery recovery timeline.