Diet and life after weight loss surgery
Important lifestyle and diet changes must be made following bariatric surgery to prevent nutrient deficiency. It is vital for patients to monitor their calorie intake and consume a healthy amount of fluids to maintain their health following bariatric surgery.
Adjusting to life after weight loss surgery in Florida
We get a lot of questions from people about what life is like after bariatric surgery: What can I eat? What can I not eat? How long will it take me to lose weight?
These and any questions you have are good questions. We always encourage you to ask them all because we can give you the answers that are right for your unique needs. So whether you're in the beginning phases of researching weight loss surgery or are already in the postsurgical phase, we can help.
HCA Florida Physicians' network of providers across the state includes bariatric teams that are experienced and trained in making sure you are successful.
Looking for a location?
Learn more about our related specialties.
What to expect after bariatric surgery
Although everyone is unique, and therefore will follow tailored plans after weight loss surgery, there are some things everyone can expect:
Immediately after your procedure
Depending on the type of surgery you have, you may spend the night in the hospital. However, most of our procedures can be done with minimally invasive techniques, so you can be in and out even faster.
Aside from that, you can expect to go through a recovery period as you would with almost any other surgery. Our teams will monitor you carefully, checking on you regularly and ensuring your family knows your status and is by your side as soon as possible.
Weeks and months following your procedure
You may have follow-up appointments for adjustments to your gastric band or balloon, for example. We will want to see you regularly for awhile either way, to be sure you are recovering and getting your questions answered.
Additionally, you can expect us to be in regular contact with you as we evaluate your physical and mental health. This ensures we can stay ahead of any problem areas, helping you lose the weight and keep it off.
Years after your procedure
Weight loss surgery is a very big and serious step that will help you become healthy, but not on it's own. For the rest of your life, you will need to be committed to your health and wellness in ways you may not have been prior to surgery.
Eventually, you'll find that it is easier and comes more naturally to you, eating well and exercising regularly. It's a matter of replacing bad health habits with good ones. It can seem overwhelming, especially at first, but we will be here to help you.
It's also possible you may need to take vitamins or other medications for the rest of your life after surgery. This is done to help with malabsorption or other issues related to the ways bariatric surgery changes your digestive system.
Tips for life after bariatric surgery
We've said it before but we'll say it again: be kind to yourself. No matter what type of bariatric surgery you had, you are going to have a lot of ups and downs both physically and emotionally. Eventually, though, you will feel great, and you will be glad you chose this path.
You can do this. You will do this. So give yourself leeway when you make mistakes sometimes.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind as you work to achieve your weight loss goals:
- Know that a slip-up in the morning doesn't ruin the rest of the day — get right back on track.
- Learn to be mindful of everything you eat and drink.
- Find new ways to cope with change and manage stress.
- Even a little, minor exercise a day is better than no exercise.
- Get plenty of sleep, and get it regularly.
- Take advantage of support groups in your area. (We can help you find these.)
- Similarly, try to find a "fitness buddy" who can be part of your journey and whose journey you can also be a part of.
- Plan for and learn to overcome weekend, holiday and vacation temptations.
- Tell your family and friends your goals and ask for their help in sticking to your healthy lifestyle. They may even want to join you.