Exercise & Nutrition for Bariatric Patients
After your weight loss surgery, proper exercise and nutrition habits are crucial in helping you attain your weight loss goals. The information below will give you an idea of what to expect as a patient of the Weight Loss Solutions Center, with regards to exercise and nutrition.
Exercising After Bariatric Surgery
Exercise after weight loss surgery is absolutely critical. After all, the basic reason why bariatric surgery works is that your new, smaller stomach receives fewer calories than what your body needs, forcing the body to burn up extra fat.
However, before the body burns fat, it starts burning unused muscles. Exercise is very important here. By using your muscles, you protect them, and force your body to find reserve calories in fat, instead of muscle.
Exercise begins immediately after surgery. You are expected to walk on the day of your procedure. And, for the next several weeks, you will be expected to walk several times a day. About two weeks after surgery, you may be able to participate in aerobic activity. Your team at the Weight Loss Solutions Center will let you know when it is safe to begin. Eventually, your goal should be to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day.
Nutrition After Surgery
Prior to your bariatric surgery, a nutritionist will help prepare you for a new post-operative diet. Under the supervision of your nutritionist, you may have already purged your kitchen of the foods and drinks that you can no longer consume.
As you recover from surgery, you will be placed on a liquid-only diet. This diet typically consists of pre-packaged high-protein drinks, which are low in fat and sugar. A registered dietician will provide you with information about how many ounces you should drink per day, at what times, and for how long.
After about three weeks, you may be able to move to a soft foods diet. Some patients continue to drink protein supplements during this time. After six to eight weeks of a soft food diet, patients can slowly begin to introduce foods of a regular consistency into their diet. A few nutrition and dietary tips for post-bariatric surgery patients:
- Eat slowly. Always stop if you feel full. In the early stages of your new diet, you may even take up to an hour (or more) to finish a meal, which is fine.
- Don’t drink fluids near mealtimes. A glass of water may fill your stomach up, limiting room for your meal. Don’t drink fluids for at least a half-hour before and after eating.
- Stay hydrated. At the same time, you need to stay hydrated, drinking at least six cups of water per day.
- Chew thoroughly. This helps improve digestion.
- Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. Not only are these foods opposed to your weight loss objectives, but they can cause you to feel nauseated, light-headed, and faint.
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