If you’ve just undergone a medical weight loss surgery, then you probably know that the hard work is just beginning. After medical weight loss, it is crucial for you to make serious lifestyle changes in order to stay healthy, maintain the weight loss and promote further weight loss.
Here is a list of essential tips you should follow post-weight loss surgery:
Don’t drink your calories
You’ll have a limited caloric intake after weight loss surgery in order to help you lose weight. You’re working against your surgery by taking in liquid calories that provide no nutrition and slow down weight loss. Every calorie will count when you focus on protein, fruits and vegetables. Within the first few days after surgery you might be encouraged to drink smoothies and other protein rich drinks.
Sugar is an empty calorie and will make your blood sugar climb, cause hunger pangs, provide no nutrients and, if you’ve received a certain type of gastric bypass surgery, cause dumping syndrome. You should avoid sugar and any foods that list sugar in the first three ingredients.
Don’t drink fluids immediately before, during or after your meal
You need to reserve the small amount of space in your stomach for high-quality, nutrient-rich food. If you drink before and during your meal your stomach will be full of fluid and then washed out before you can absorb nutrients.
Don’t stop taking medications without approval
Diseases can improve with surgery and weight loss, but that doesn’t mean you should stop taking medication. Contact your physician prior to stopping medications and don’t start any before getting approval in the weeks following surgery.
Get rid of alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol is full of empty calories with nutritional value that can contribute to stomach ulcers. You are also more sensitive to alcohol after weight loss surgery. Similarly, caffeine will also increase your risk of stomach ulcers, along with making it difficult to stay hydrated, altering your mood and increasing your heart rate.
Increase protein and whole foods
Protein and whole foods should be the primary focus when you sit down for a meal. It helps maintain muscle mass and will keep you full for longer after meals. In addition to protein, minimally processed foods like fruit, vegetables and healthy protein are ideal for your diet. Avoid anything boxed or canned when a fresh alternative is available.
Avoid simple carbs
White bread, pasta, sugar and white rice are all simple carbs that you should avoid. Wholesome alternatives like brown rice contain fiber and other nutrients that white rice does not. Simple carbohydrates elevate blood glucose levels and trigger hunger pangs and cravings.
Don’t get pregnant within the first 24 months after surgery
Your body is in high weight-loss mode for at least a year after surgery and during this time, supporting yourself and a baby would be unhealthy and dangerous for a developing fetus. Use a reliable method of birth control and consult your surgeon before attempting to become pregnant.
Don’t make your exercise program wait until you have lost all the weight. Even if it’s just a few steps at a time, you need to start now to get in the habit. As your stamina increases throughout weight loss, you can start exercising longer and harder.