Bariatric surgery has helped thousands of people take off their excess pounds and helped them discover the healthy and beautiful life they have envisioned. Weight loss surgery has also been a lifesaver for many individuals, as the loss of fat after surgery averts the effects of numerous life-threatening diseases that are triggered by obesity.
Recovery period for every surgery differs from person to person. Recovery depends primarily on the type of surgery and the physical and mental condition of the patient. You should be physically and psychologically strong to be a candidate for bariatric surgery, as these states have a profound effect on your recovery.
After your surgery, it is necessary to follow your surgeon’s instructions thoroughly to ensure a risk-free recovery period. You should follow a nutritious diet, get plenty of rest, and take prescribed medicines on time to bring your body back to its highest health level.
Below are some guidelines regarding diet, exercise, and physical activity during your bariatric surgery recovery period.
Your Diet During Recovery
You will face huge modifications in your diet after bariatric surgery. You will follow a liquid diet post-operatively that slowly progresses to solids. If you were previously in the habit of overeating and eating junk or processed foods, then this may be the most challenging part for you. You have to curb yourself from emotional eating. Rather, you have to start eating small portions for each meal. You will eat these small portions several times a day to keep your nutritional demands in check. This is mainly because after bariatric surgery your stomach is reduced to a small pouch and will not be able to accommodate large portions of food at one time. In the case you try to eat more than your capacity, you will get very sick and may vomit.
For the first week, you will not be permitted to have solid foods in order to allow the healing of your stomach. Your surgeon will keep you on a liquid diet that will mainly include low-calorie fluids. It is important to stay hydrated during your recovery period. Intake of only water may lead to severe consequences and may cause imbalance in electrolytes.
To prevent yourself from dehydration you should drink at least 48 to 64 ounces of low-calorie fluids throughout the day. Your surgeon will advise you on the quantity and type of fluids that would be best for you after surgery. You should strictly avoid carbonated beverages, high-calorie drinks and alcohol.
You will be able to eat soft foods about 2–3 weeks after surgery. If soft foods make you feel sick in the beginning, go back to the liquid diet for a day or two then try again. Take your time and don’t rush things. If your nausea gets worse and you have gastrointestinal pain that lasts for more than two hours, you should consult your surgeon immediately.
Once your body gets accustomed to soft foods, you can start your solid food diet. Your regular meal should contain foods that are rich in proteins since proteins play an important role in repairing and regenerating the body. You should include foods like eggs, dairy products, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Avoid eating vegetables that are raw and hard, fruits with skin, hard bread, pretzels, and tough meat as they will be tough on your digestive system. Foods rich in sugar, fats, and calories can cause dumping syndrome where a person feels heavy, nauseous, experiences stomach discomforts, diarrhea, and queasiness. Your surgeon will also prescribe high quality supplements like a daily multivitamin that will take care of your body’s nutritional demands.
Physical Activity During Recovery
You should not perform any intense exercise after surgery as this may injure your incisions and extend your recovery period. You do need to be physically active to keep your body moving and make you feel healthy during your recovery. You may start walking short distances to avoid the incidence of blood clots and pneumonia.
After the first two weeks following surgery, you may start doing simple aerobic exercises like jogging to increase your energy levels, burn fat, and enhance flexibility. Nevertheless, be careful with the healing incisions. Most strenuous exercises like lifting weights, cycling, and swimming should only be done after six weeks post surgery when you are mentally and physically well.
Your body recovers and heals best while you sleep, so make sure that you are getting enough rest during the day and sound sleep throughout the night. Also, adhere to a healthy diet after your surgery. A well-balanced and wholesome diet gives your body the required nutrients to restore itself. You must strictly follow all directions of your surgeon to make your recovery period relaxing and comfortable.
A valid weight loss surgery option can completely change your life if you are willing to change your eating habits and lifestyle to keep away the extra pounds forever.