Steps to Success After Bariatric Surgery

Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery to lose weight find that many aspects of their lives have changed in various ways. Weight loss surgery is only one part of the equation when battling obesity. You must commit to a healthier lifestyle to achieve long-term success. 

The following steps can help you. The qualified bariatric surgery team working with the Tijuana Bariatric Center can help weight loss patients understand what to expect from life after bariatric surgery, prepare for the commitment to their results, and minimize their chance of potential side effects.

Your New Lifestyle and Diet

One of the first lifestyle changes you will encounter in the weeks and months after surgery is the need to follow a special diet appropriate for your smaller stomach and altered digestive tract. Your bariatric diet will gradually ease you into normal eating and avoid side effects such as constipation or dumping syndrome. 

Immediately after surgery, the process starts with only liquids, then progresses to pureed and strained foods and soft foods, and ends with firmer foods. Adequate daily protein is necessary to maintain muscle mass and keep your metabolism up. Some bariatric patients will find that they must indefinitely avoid certain foods, such as overly starchy and sweetened items. 

As a weight loss surgery patient, it is extremely important for you to drink enough fluids, at least 64 ounces per day. Most patients will also need daily vitamin and mineral supplements, including multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and vitamin B-12, to avoid nutritional deficiencies.

Measuring Portions

To maintain sufficient calorie intake and avoid nutritional deficiencies, use a scale to measure portions and ensure you are not overindulging. Those who have undergone bariatric surgery have stomachs that are about 75% to 80% smaller, so they must be mindful of portion size. Not paying attention to portion size will lead to weight loss failure. Many patients lose weight quickly in the weeks after they undergo bariatric surgery, but as time passes, they can begin to slip up as they return to a more normal diet. 

Keeping a Food Journal

Keeping a journal to record planned meals and the meals you have eaten can help you maintain your routine and have a reference when meeting with your nutritionist and support group. Food journals can help those with severe obesity avoid bad eating habits while also functioning as a tool to determine if portion sizes have become too large when a weight loss plateau occurs. They are vital for severely obese patients who have suffered in the past from a binge eating disorder.

Mental Health

Patients who experience massive weight loss go through major lifestyle and physical changes. As a result of these big changes, some patients become more self-confident, while others may not adjust as readily to their new bodies. For many reasons, patients need access to mental health professionals who can guide them through the complex feelings and emotions they may experience.

Consider joining a support group for bariatric surgery patients. Not only do these organizations provide emotional support by helping you connect with others who have gone through weight loss surgery and have dealt with the same issues, but members can also give you practical tips on what did and didn't work on their personal weight loss journey. Do a short search on the internet to find one near you. If you don't feel comfortable attending a support group or meeting, confiding in a close friend or family member can also help you lose weight and meet your health goals.

Fitness

For long-term weight management, regular exercise is essential. As you lose weight and become fitter, you will need to increase the intensity or length of exercise to keep burning the same amount of calories. Generally, we recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, such as jogging, fast walking, aerobics class, or swimming. 

The patient’s exercise regimen should include aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises for the best results. Not only does exercise help you meet your weight loss goals, but it's also a wonderful way to clear your head and remove stress and anxiety.

Eating Slower

Chewing food thoroughly will help bariatric surgery patients minimize the chances of digestive issues and allow the stomach to break down the meal properly. Slow eating will allow your brain to realize when your stomach is full and reduce caloric intake so you can lose excess body weight.

Stress and Sleep

Successful stress management begins even before the surgery. Since stress can be a significant factor in whether or not patients follow their post-surgical diets and exercise plans, cultivating healthy habits before surgery can be critical to your ultimate weight loss success. 

Exercise and yoga or meditation are quite effective for lessening feelings of anxiety and stress. Finding healthy coping mechanisms is crucial to losing weight.

Reading, meditation, and quality time with friends are excellent activities to engage in when you're stressed or anxious.

A good sleep routine is another factor in pursuing a healthy lifestyle, as inadequate sleep has been linked to weight gain. Ways to improve sleep habits include avoiding caffeine in the evening, exercising in the morning or afternoon, and planning a peaceful sleeping environment. Establish a regular bedtime and try to get an adequate amount of sleep every night.

Weight Plateaus

It is normal for patients to experience plateaus, where weight loss stalls or weight gain even occurs. However, it is important that you not let frustration lead to stress eating or other unhealthy habits that could undo your bariatric surgery's effects. Patients who have difficulty overcoming weight plateaus are encouraged to work with their local doctor and nutritionist, as well as their support groups.

Consider the following tips when encountering a plateau:

  • Increase your exercise level
  • Avoid sugar
  • Focus on high-protein foods
  • Eat only when feeling hungry
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Alcohol and Smoking

Patients should generally refrain from drinking alcohol after bariatric surgery. Alcohol contains empty liquid calories with little nutritional value. In addition, after certain bariatric surgeries, your body absorbs alcohol more quickly, leading to higher blood alcohol levels. 

Patients who plan to undergo any surgery, including bariatric surgery, should quit smoking six weeks before the procedure. Smoking compromises circulation and interferes with healing. Smoking before surgery can also increase the risk of fatal blood clots, pneumonia, and other complications.

I was treated by Dr. Fernando Garcia. I went in for the gastric sleeve. I stayed at the Florence Hospital and the Marriott Hotel. The staff everywhere was absolutely excellent. Beginning with Martha who helped me get everything set up,  the nutritionist, the follow-up doctors, the nurses, and even the cleaning staff was amazing. I’m recovering well. I'm only nine days out and so far everything is good. There’s always a few bumps in the road when you’re on a major diet change like this.  Major change is difficult for all of us. If you’re looking for a safe place that you can go and have gastric surgery these are definitely the folks you want on your team.

— Shonda Frazier Hortness

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What Is the Success Rate of Bariatric Surgery?

Research shows that most patients undergoing bariatric surgeries manage to keep off most of their excess body weight ten years after their surgical procedure. Small amounts of weight regain after roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery or gastric sleeve are normal and expected. However, some patients experience unsuccessful weight loss after purely restrictive procedures like laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. If you have done everything right and have not experienced sufficient weight loss, consider exploring other types of weight loss surgeries that may help you reach your goal.

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Why Choose Tijuana Bariatric Center?

At Tijuana Bariatric Center, our track record for excellence – 98% success rate across all treatments – and glowing testimonials speak volumes regarding patient satisfaction. Our skilled, board-certified surgeons are experts in their fields, and have performed over 10,000 surgeries, delivering life-saving changes to patients struggling with obesity and its related comorbidities.

While the surgical component of the weight loss journey is extremely important, patients rarely succeed without emotional and social support. For this reason, we have crafted a holistic approach that includes in-depth education, personalized nutritional counseling, and extensive email follow-up, as well as ongoing access to our online Facebook support group.

Our core mission at Tijuana Bariatric Center is to make weight loss surgery affordable and accessible for those patients who need it most. Through transparent pricing and easy-to-navigate financing, we help patients to begin their transformational journey today rather than tomorrow. We are the only provider in North America to offer up to $3000 in medical tourism and insurance included with every procedure. Our goal is for patients to not only lose weight but to recapture their joy in living and be able to create meaningful fulfilled lives.

Maintaining Long-Term Success

At Tijuana Bariatric Center, a qualified team member will guide you through your surgical procedure and provide you with the tools and information you need to achieve weight loss success. Whether you need more details on a proper post-bariatric surgery diet, tips on healthy habits, or information on what you can do to prevent weight gain following your bariatric surgery, our team of specialists is available to help.

To learn more about the long-term success of excess weight loss, contact us today at 1-800-970-0577.

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