Life after bariatric surgery involves many important changes such as healthier diets, regular exercise and healthy lifestyle choices. Losing weight is the chief goal of bariatric surgery, but there are many ways that your life will be different after the procedure.
For instance, to achieve your weight loss goals, you’ll have to adopt a healthy diet, a good exercise routine, and good eating habits, and these practices alone will transform your life after surgery.
Knowing what to expect is extremely important for anybody considering weight loss surgery, and today you’ll find out more about life after bariatric surgery.
1. Recovery and Weight Loss
Each bariatric procedure is unique and has different healing times, but in general, you’ll experience a full recovery within three to four weeks (with the exception of a gastric bypass, which can require up to 12 weeks for recovery). Similarly, each procedure will have different weight loss outcomes, but you can expect to lose anywhere between 40 and 90 percent of your excess body weight within two years of surgery.
2. You’ll Eat a Healthier Diet
Diet is essential for post-bariatric patients, and changing the foods you eat and the way you eat will have a direct impact the amount of weight you lose, how healthy you are, and how successful you are at keeping the weight off.
The foods you’ll want to eat are fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, protein shakes, and vitamins and supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies. You’ll also have to avoid certain foods, such as caffeine, sugar, high-fat foods, and carbonated beverages, and you should only consume alcohol in moderation.
3. You’ll Be More Active
Exercise is one of the greatest tools to help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals, but it’s also good for your overall health and can improve many health conditions and increase longevity. Start by including walks into your daily activity, and work your way up to getting at least 150 minutes of moderate movement every week. You should also focus on different types of exercises, including strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular workouts.
4. You’ll Be Healthier Overall
Obesity has been linked to some comorbid health conditions, and many of these will improve or resolve as you lose your excess body weight. Although losing weight won’t necessarily fix all your pre-existing health problems, you’ll likely see an improvement in any number of conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- High cholesterol and blood pressure
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Moreover, thanks to your improved diet, healthier eating habits, and increased activity levels, you’ll also be in better physical shape, experience better mental health benefits, and have higher self-esteem and self-confidence.
Common Challenges to Prepare For Life After Bariatric Surgery
For the most part, life after weight loss surgery will dramatically improve. However, there are some challenges you may face, and it’s important to be aware of what they are so you can be prepared to overcome them. These include:
- Sagging excess skin, which can be fixed with surgery
- Weight loss failure, which can be prevented with diet, exercise, and proper eating habits
- Relationship changes, which may happen as your lifestyle and confidence levels change
Knowing what to expect from your life after bariatric surgery can help you prepare for all the great things to come, but also help you get ready for some of the common challenges people face after the procedure.
Most areas of your life will be impacted by the surgery, including your diet, your health, your activity levels, and even your relationships, but it’s always important to remember that embracing these changes will help you achieve your weight loss and life goals.