By Dr. Trace Curry
Patients always want to know what they need to do to be successful after weight loss surgery, it’s one of the most common questions I’m asked. In my experience treating thousands of patients over the past 20 years, it all boils down to the three M’s:
I listed motivation first as it is the key. If you are not motivated to lose weight and improve your health, even the most powerful weight loss procedure will not work in the long run. Weight loss surgery can be life saving, by reducing or eliminating current or future medical issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. You must have the motivation to make permanent lifestyle changes that include the changes listed below. It’s worth the effort!
If you feel like you motivation is fading, even if you are 10 years out from surgery, reach out to us so that we can bring you in to meet with the team and formulate a plan to get you back on track.
Menu is the second item in the list because if you are not eating the right types of foods, you simply cannot move enough to burn off the excess calories. First off, you need to “get the white out” of your diet! White food refers to foods that are white in color, meaning that they have been processed and refined. Things includes things like table sugar, flour, pasta, rice, bread, crackers, and cereal. Secondly, eliminate liquid calories from your diet. Everything you drink after surgery, with rare exception, should be zero (or very low) calorie.
Keep in touch with our expert registered dietitians for suggestions on healthy substitutions for these items in your diet.
It’s very difficult to be sedentary and maintain your weight loss in the long run. These operations frequently have enough power to provide significant short-term weight loss without exercising at all. However, once you reach your nadir (your lowest weight achieved after surgery) if you are not active AND exercising you will regain weight. In some cases you could regain all your weight, especially if your motivation and menus are lacking. No matter what your physical condition is, you must start somewhere! Everyone’s definition of exercise is a little different, so just pick something you can do and build on it from there. I highly recommend getting a good fitness tracker so that you can make sure you are reaching your move goals and modifying them as your health improves. I’m partial to the Apple Watch as it does a good job not only to encourage you to exercise, but also not to be sitting for the rest of the day!