How do I prepare my body for bariatric surgery?
With the world being more aware of maintaining a healthy weight, medical sciences are coming up with advanced techniques. It is a good sign that more and more people want to maintain their fitness levels and lead a more healthy lifestyle. For some, they might have to take additional steps apart from diet and exercise to get back to their ideal BMI. Bariatric surgery is a great boon for those who are suffering from serious medical complications due to obesity or from being overweight.
Bariatric surgery is a group of different surgical procedures. Depending upon where you are on your weight loss journey, your surgeon will suggest the most suited surgery for you. Irrespective of whatever surgery you have to undergo, there are certain preparatory steps that you have to follow. This blog will address “how to prepare your body for bariatric surgery” in the simplest ways possible. Please remember that bariatric surgery is just one stop in the journey towards a healthy life. Saying that numerous patients have benefited from the advantages offered by bariatric surgery, and they are now leading a healthy life.
Develop healthy eating habits: Start to think about why you eat. Remember that Bariatric surgery is not going to alter your eating habits. If your reasons for eating more are boredom, stress, habit, emotions, you’ll still struggle with managing the head hunger. After the surgery, the quantity of food you consume will reduce, but it won’t change what you eat or why you eat. At least a month before the surgery, build a safe food environment to stop mindless eating. You can start developing habits like
- Eating without distractions, i.e. do not eat while watching TV, laptops, iPad etc. eating while binge-watching makes you eat more since you are not focussed on your appetite.
- Serve the appropriate quantity of food on your plate and keep the containers off the table.
- Do not store canned and junk food at home.
- Find alternative ways to cope with stress like colouring, crocheting, or best get out of the house.
- One of the most significant dietary changes after the surgery is to eat a protein-based small meal every three to four hours. So start consuming such a diet before the surgery, else transitioning into multiple mini-meals a day will be more challenging.
- Eat on a schedule. Carry healthy snacks or a nutritious meal, fluid with you wherever you go so that you are not missing your schedule.
- Start practising eating slowly down and swallow after thorough chewing. Since the stomach is not mixing and churning the food as before, you have to chew the food very well. After surgery, there are fewer gastric acids and digestive enzymes in the digestive tract.
Start an exercise regime for yourself: After the surgery, a regular workout is essential for the long-lasting results of a bariatric procedure. But if you are not used to regular exercise, it won’t be easy to jump out and start exercising suddenly. So start with simple things like going for a walk or running an errand. Then, join a gym or hire a personal trainer. They can help you stay motivated to stay on the workout plan. There are various exercise regimes that you can choose from. Try Yoga, Gym, Aerobics, Zumba etc., whichever interests you. Then, after the surgery, it becomes easy to continue on the same path.
No comparisons, please: Remember that weight loss is a very personal journey. No two people have the same results. The rate of losing weight also varies between individuals. So be careful as to whom you are validating yourself against. The best person to compare is yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Dietary habits, workout routines, metabolism, food absorption rates are very personal. The best person to consult in case of any doubts is your treating surgeon.
Find a support system: Unlike other surgeries, weight loss surgery takes a while to show its effects. Therefore, it is highly advisable to find a support group or a motivating friend on this journey. Whenever you feel demotivated or start to lose focus, such a support system will be precious. You can also share your experiences and learn from fellow fitness enthusiasts.
Be regular in your follow-ups: It is essential to build a strong relationship with your bariatric team. Your bariatric team will help you design your diet and workout routine after the surgery. Since you are engaged with them even before the surgery, they will know your whole medical and lifestyle history. So after the surgery, they are best equipped to handle your queries, track your progress and make modifications accordingly.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: After the surgery, the size of the stomach reduces. So you won’t be able to gulp large quantities of liquid-like before, which results in dehydration. So your water bottle is your new third arm, and keep sipping the whole day.
Realize you are doing this for yourself: You are the biggest benefiter after losing weight. So honestly track protein or calories, fluid intake, weight, steps, exercise, weight or measure all the food, eat off the same plate or container.
Click, Click, Click: Take pictures of yourself before the surgery. After the surgery, take pictures at fixed, regular intervals. By comparing the before and after pictures, you can see for yourself how different you are now. Your self-confidence increases, and most importantly, you will be self-motivated to do more. It can be both physically and mentally rewarding, and you will not go back to old ways!
Dr V.Pareek believes that weight loss is a team effort with you as the focal point. Dr V.Pareek’s team consists of surgeons, nutrition experts, and counsellors. Take full benefit of our team, and we will do our very best to help you be your best self. Reach us today at +91 91-777-77715 for a consultation.