Category Archives: After Bariatric Surgery
You may have had bariatric surgery after years if not decades of yo-yo dieting – losing a significant amount of weight only to gain it right back – sometimes even reaching higher weight heights than you had before. Weight regain, sadly, is a very normal part of an obese person‘s life. It may also be the case that after bariatric surgery, you saw several months or even a couple years of consistent weight loss allowing you to reach your ultimate body weight goals. When you finally hit that number, it can be a thrilling experience and the culmination of years of hard work and difficult decisions. However, once you hit your goal weight, you’ve only just begun your journey. Staying at your new lower weight requires as much dedication as the weight-loss leading to that point. It is at this point where many patients begin to regain some weight.
From well before bariatric surgery to long after, one common theme is protein. Bariatric patients require at least 60 to 80 grams of protein each day. This may seem daunting, but patients quickly find that it is not terribly hard to achieve this goal with thoughtful eating. With time, knowing exactly how to get to your protein requirement becomes second nature. However, not all proteins are made the same. Here are mistakes some patients make that reduce the effectiveness of their protein consumption regimen.
It may seem trivial, but grocery shopping is one of the first lifestyle changes you have to get used to after surgery. For one, grocery shopping after bariatric surgery will never be the same as what it was before the procedure. There are many reasons for this, not least of which is that many products sold in the grocery store are simply unhealthful. These products may have caused the excess weight or obesity in the past and may be some of your favorite foods. However, grocery shopping does not have to be torture. Rather, it can be a catalyst for jump-starting healthy eating habits, not only for yourself but your entire family. In this blog, we will discuss the various tips and tricks that you should use when going to the grocery store. This will help ensure that it is both a successful and enjoyable experience.
It may be one of the last things on your mind, but during stressful times such as these, we tend to find comfort in the familiar. Our lives have been affected, in many cases, to such a degree that going back to old habits becomes easy. For those suffering from excess weight or who had bariatric surgery, this may mean eating during times of extreme stress. After all, for years, or even decades, eating was our way of coping. Our bodies are very good at remembering those feelings and sensations, despite how destructive those actions were to our health. While we can tell ourselves that we deserve to indulge a little bit more during these crazy times, the weight can pile on pretty quickly and put us in a position where it is difficult to turn around. Unfortunately, as we all know, it is much easier to put on weight than eliminate it.
A very real and common challenge for postoperative gastric sleeve patients is building muscle. Firstly, this challenge may come with age — muscle tone decreases and as anyone over the age of 40 knows, it becomes more challenging to build muscle. Second, because of excess weight, most patients have not exercised properly in years. This can often mean that muscles have atrophied due to underuse. Lastly, patients will be consuming far less food than they did previously, which makes fewer calories available for burning during vigorous exercise. While it may seem like a struggle, the gastric sleeve, and bariatric surgery in general, actually offers the opportunity to build muscle more efficiently than if the patient were pursuing a diet and exercise regimen alone.
Excess skin is a common, almost unavoidable, part of the post bariatric surgery lifestyle. Sagging or excess skin is caused by one of any number of issues including genetics, the amount of weight lost, age, and the specific procedure being performed. But that stretched skin does not have to be a drag on your life.
Dumping syndrome is a somewhat common problem that primarily affects bariatric patients that have undergone gastric bypass surgery. Dumping occurs when food and water pass through the stomach and into the small intestine too quickly, causing nausea, dizziness, vomiting and general discomfort in the patient. Its symptoms are very similar to low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. It is also called rapid gastric emptying.
You might think that, as a weight loss surgeon and advocate for healthy eating, I’ve lost my mind saying that fast food is OK after weight loss surgery. It goes counter to everything we’ve learned since we decided to have surgery, right? Not exactly. To be sure, fast food should not be a regular indulgence…but it doesn’t have to be a complete disaster. A renewed interest in personal health has brought about strides in the right direction as it relates to fast food. Not only are there dozens of new fast food outlets that have truly healthy offerings, but even supermarkets are getting in on the game. Prepared foods are no longer the concern that they once were.
Weight loss surgery has proven an effective for weight reduction, but it is important to realize that bariatric surgery is not magic, requires many lifestyle changes and there can be complications. About half of all bariatric patients will have some weight regain after their active weight loss phase over the first year or two after surgery. This might seem alarming, but statistically post-op weight regain does not mean what you might think. In most, only about 5% of excess body weight is regained two or more years following surgery. Naturally you will not be in an active weight loss phase forever.