Weight gain happens for any number of reasons. The older we get the slower our metabolism is, and the pounds don’t melt away like they used to. Coupled with an unhealthy diet or little to no physical activity, it only takes a few years to become obese or morbidly obese.
Unfortunately, many people are unable to alter their lifestyles by themselves. Losing 10 pounds before swimsuit season is one thing. Losing more than 100 pounds of unwanted weight for health reasons is something else entirely. However, studies show that a combination of bariatric surgery, healthy eating, and exercise is a great way to lose that weight.
But it will take a complete lifestyle change to keep the weight off. Many patients may focus on the short term: the surgery, rehab time, and initial diets. Which makes sense if you think about it. If you’ve been soothing yourself with foods high in sugar and fat, suddenly removing those foods can be a shock to the psyche.
Just getting past those early months seems monumental to many patients. And it is! But high-calorie foods that offer no nutritional value are gone forever. That’s why it is so important to understand what and how much you eat will be changed for the rest of your life.
Long-Term Diet Plans
In the days and weeks after the procedure, you will be limited to liquids, protein supplements, and soft solid foods. You’ll be asked to drink at least 96 ounces of water a day, sipping instead of gulping. Remember: your stomach is much smaller now and can’t handle too much of anything at one time, even water.
In the following months, as you get used to eating less, you may struggle to meet all of your protein requirements per day. You’ll want to make sure you’re eating foods high in protein, low in sugars, and in the right amount.
At the one year mark, your diet should be well defined. You should be getting all the protein you need from solid foods. Protein shakes also may not satisfy as it did at the beginning. Solid foods offer much more satisfaction than liquid or soft foods after one year. A sample menu may include eggs in the morning, cheese sticks, or greek yogurt. This will go along with other healthy foods such as lean meats and veggies in appropriate amounts.
Just One Part of the Puzzle
No matter if it’s the first week, month, or year, your diet after bariatric surgery plays an important role. The diet plan has been created specifically for you and your needs. As your body begins healing from a gastric bypass, duodenal switch, or gastric sleeve surgery, patients are limited to a liquid diet for the first two weeks post-op.
During the first two weeks post-surgery, your body will adapt to the new liquid only intake. As hormones are released into the body, hunger pangs lessen and your stomach feels full faster. As the weeks turn to months, and solid food is introduced, new eating habits are starting to take hold.
And not just in the kitchen. In addition to completely overhauling what and how much you eat, your long-term weight loss plan involves a little sweat equity. Nearly all WeightWise weight loss surgery procedures are done laparoscopically. This means we use a series of smaller cuts instead of the one large cut used in “open” surgery.
Our patients are usually able to go back to day-to-day operations the next day after laparoscopic surgery. This means going to the grocery store, going for a walk around the block, and even returning to work. To lose up to 80 percent of the unwanted weight, you’ll need to gradually increase your physical activity.
It will be a long process – you may only be able to walk for 10 minutes before resting. At that start, that’s enough. Slowly, but surely, you’ll increase the time on those walks and the distance. You can also take a walk multiple times to a day to continue losing weight.
The surgery, meal plan, and physical activity routines are all designed to work with one another. This holistic or whole-body approach gives the patients the best opportunity to lose excess weight and keep it off. WeightWise also offers every client a patient advocate to help with the emotional side of things.
The patient advocates will help you find support groups, answer any billing or insurance questions, and give you a high five or a shoulder to cry on. As your body goes through many physical changes, emotions will flow and ebb as well. Our patient advocates are always willing to lend an ear.
Talk to Our Bariatric Surgeons
The WeightWise program has been designed to incorporate all three facets of successful weight loss for the obese or morbidly obese. Every potential client meets with one of the bariatric surgeons to talk about what is expected of the patient. This is also the time patients ask questions of their own to get a full picture of what the program offers.
Once a patient has been accepted, they will meet with a dietitian, exercise physiologist, and patient advocate. Here pre- and post-op plans are discussed as well as short- and long-term goals. We are as interested in your success as you are! Watch our free online seminar for more information and then schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.