Stay Focused, Stay Healthy: Tips for keeping the weight off after bariatric surgery

Though weight loss surgery is a huge jump in the right direction, maintaining your new weight after surgery can be challenging. After bariatric surgery for weight loss, help can come from many different places, but it’s important to understand that elements of your lifestyle may need to change in order to keep off the weight you’ve lost. You should always defer to your bariatric surgeon’s judgment on your body’s needs post-surgery, but these organizational tips may help to give a crucial sense of order to your life after bariatric surgery.

Plan Meals

Organizing your diet will be key in successfully keeping weight off after surgery and remaining healthy. Try coming up with weekly meal plans based on the dietary guidelines given to you by your bariatric surgery team. Planning ahead will ensure that you’re getting the correct amounts of protein and essential nutrients while also saving you the hassle of thinking up what to eat for dinner each night. Make time to cook healthy and appropriate meals for yourself and avoid the temptation to eat unhealthy foods just because you don’t have time to do better.

Make Time to Exercise

Exercise will also be an important part of your daily routine after you recover from bariatric surgery, and again, you should ask your bariatric surgeon what will be appropriate for your individual needs. Doing exercises that are beyond your means or overexerting yourself could do your body harm and cause setbacks to your weight loss progress. However, it is important to make time for exercise each and every day. Take it slow and steady—build a foundation with simple exercises and gradually increase the intensity of your workout by doing a little bit each day.

Making time for things like proper cooking and exercise can be difficult with the hectic schedules of our daily lives, but remember that your most important commitment after weight loss surgery should be to the pursuance of a healthier lifestyle. As time goes on, it can be easy to lapse into unhealthy habits. Do your best to resist these urges, and don’t hesitate to ask your bariatric surgeon about the benefits of behavioral counseling and support groups if you feel you need help.

Set Realistic Goals

Though bariatric surgery will help you lose weight quickly, this isn’t a race, and you won’t reach your desired weight overnight. It’s also important to note that rapid weight loss isn’t always good for your body—losing weight too quickly can actually result in the loss of lean body mass like muscle and bone. Ask your bariatric surgeon what kind of progress to expect and manage your expectations accordingly.

With commitment and diligence, you can live a healthier life after bariatric surgery, but you will need to take control of your life in order to achieve long-term success. If you can manage your life well, you can manage to stay healthy for the rest of it.