Life After Bariatric Surgery

The prospect of life after bariatric surgery is extremely exciting, especially for patients who have struggled with weight loss for years and not seen progress. Many patients are eager to finally lose weight, shop for new clothes, and embrace a thinner, healthier figure.

It’s good to remember, a successful surgery is only the first step toward life after bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery brings significant change to the body, and that means adopting a new lifestyle with a completely different approach to diet and exercise. At Virginia Bariatric Surgery Center, our support and guidance don't stop after you’ve recovered from surgery. Instead, we continue to work with you, providing one-on-one resources to ensure the best possible outcome, maximizing weight loss and promoting long-term success.

Life After Bariatric Surgery

Acclimating to life after bariatric surgery requires a new approach to eating, exercising, and overall health. Before surgery, your surgeon and supporting team members will speak with you in-depth about what to expect, including the changes you will need to make to your diet, the exercise required to maintain weight loss, and the other physical changes you can expect.

Dietary Changes

Due to the changes to the digestive tract, patients must be prepared to take a new approach to diet.

When eating, patients often feel full faster due to the reduced size of the stomach. While a normal stomach holds approximately 4 cups of food, a post-surgical stomach holds the equivalent of 1 cup. In order to regulate intake, patients should chew food thoroughly and are advised to avoid drinking during meals. Some physicians suggest six smaller meals rather than three larger ones to help control hunger.

In addition to changing eating habits, most patients must also alter their diets. While specific dietary requirements vary based on surgical procedure or weight loss goals, most patients are urged to avoid foods high in fat, sugar, or carbohydrates, as well as drinks containing sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Carbonated drinks and alcohol should also be eliminated.

Exercise Requirements

Exercise is a critical part of seeing progress after bariatric surgery. Although diet is generally perceived as a larger part of the weight loss equation, exercise is required for maximum results.

Specific fitness regimens will vary from one patient to the next. Average recommendations include at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, including jogging, hiking, swimming, or using exercise equipment at the gym. All patients should balance aerobic exercise with strength training for best results.

It is important to note that as weight loss progresses, your workout routine may feel less effective. As your body becomes stronger, smaller, and more efficient, the activities that produced results immediately following surgery may no longer yield those same results. As such, patients are encouraged to increase intensity and duration in order to see continued progress.

Moving Forward

Weight loss surgery is a major accomplishment and an adjustment period often occurs as patients adapt to a new way to live. If you are ready to embark on your own personal surgical weight loss journey, Virginia Bariatric Surgery Center is here. We will guide you every step of the way.

Please contact us today at (703) 709-9771 to learn more about the pre- and post-surgical process, our available bariatric procedures, and what our facility offers.