The way you prepare for your weight loss procedure will directly affect the success of your surgery. It's more than just walking into a doctors office and telling them what you want. The journey to bariatric surgery takes months of preparation and determination. Want to learn more about what to expect when it comes to preparing for weight loss surgery? Here are the do’s and don'ts to ensure a rewarding surgery experience and a healthy start to your weight loss journey.
-Try to Lose Weight Through Diet and Exercise
Before your weight loss surgery, it’s important to still try to lose weight by changing your eating habits and exercising. Incorporating exercise in your routine allows you to build endurance and boost your metabolism. This can help your body prepare for surgery. Most surgeons require patients to try to lose 5-10% of excess body weight before their surgery. Incorporating exercise into your pre-surgery routine also allows for shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times.
Make water a staple in your daily routine (even though it should be already). Follow what your body tells you when it comes to thirst signals. Adults should be drinking 64 ounces of water a day, everyday. Keeping yourself hydrated not only affects your external appearance, but it also affects what's inside and the strength of your body and immune system. Drinking water can also curb food cravings as people often mistake thirst for hunger.
-Stay on a Consistent Diet Plan
Creating a routine when it comes to your diet can make all the difference when preparing for weight loss surgery. Focus on eating high protein meals with heavy amounts of fruits and vegetables. Eating three regular meals with some healthy snacks in between each meal strengthens your metabolism and prepares your body for all the changes that will occur post surgery. You should always eat a filling, healthy breakfast in the mornings to jumpstart your metabolism and get your energy up for your workout.
-Eat or Drink Anything with High Sugar or Fat Content
Sugar and fat is something to avoid when preparing for surgery. A big source of sugar in patients’ diets comes from sugary drinks and carbonated beverages such as alcohol, soda, juice, energy drinks and coffee. Food and drinks that are high in sugar and fat provide no added nutrition and can slow down your weight loss progress as well as make it difficult to promote healthy eating habits for yourself in the future.
-Smoke or Consume Tobacco Products
Before surgery, and in general, the risk of health problems and complications is significantly increased when you smoke or consume tobacco products. Most surgeons require patients to be three months tobacco-free before their procedure. This allows your body to purge the chemicals brought on by smoking and allows a fresh start to avoid roadblocks and obstacles.
-Expect to be alone or return to work quickly
One of the biggest misconceptions about weight loss surgery is your mobility after leaving the operating room. It is vital to have someone care for you, especially during the first 24 hours after your procedure. Helping you eat, walk or lift things will take the weight off of you while you’re recovering. Also, allow a realistic amount of time for recovery from work. Most patients need to take anywhere from 7-10 days off of work in order to rest and be fully prepared for their return.
Like many things in life; things go easier when you prepare in advance. When you set yourself up for success, you’re bound to see better, long lasting results. As always, talk to your surgeon and nurses to make sure you’re on the right track before your surgery. This way you’ll be well-equipped to take on this important part of your weight loss journey. Think weight loss surgery might be right for you? Contact The Riverside team for a consultation!