Preparing for any kind of weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass or laparoscopic, can be scary. The recovery process seems daunting. But when you prepare yourself before undergoing the procedure, your recovery will go much more smoothly!
Here are five tips to help you get the best results with minimum side effects.
Don’t expect to walk away from your surgery immediately thinner—it’ll take some time and effort to achieve your goal weight. Seeing results and fully recovering for the surgery will take several months, and it will also take a lot of work on your part. Even after you start losing weight, at some point you’ll probably experience a plateau before you reach your goal. Because of this, you should go into the surgery with realistic expectations. But no worries—success is around the corner!
Just like with any other procedure, you’re going to need time to heal. This means you’ll need to take time off from your regular activities, including work. Most people take seven to fourteen days off from work for weight loss surgery. If you’re getting a gastric band, you’ll need less time off work. If you’re getting gastric bypass, a sleeve gastrectomy, or laparoscopic surgery, you’ll need more time. Ask for the time off from work well in advance so you don’t have to worry about it later.
If good eating habits aren’t second nature to you now, they won’t be after surgery either. Make yourself a meal plan or go online and find a meal planning service that suits your needs. You don’t necessarily have to plan a whole calendar of meals. But find recipes and make a list of healthy meals you’ll be able to eat at different stages of your recovery. You could even go ahead and make some grocery lists, or if possible, make some meals and put them in the freezer to eat while you’re recovering. Cooking homemade meals is almost always healthier than eating out.
Emotional eating is a key reason for weight gain. If this is something you struggle with, it’s a good idea to address it before you undergo surgery. Seek out help for your mental health by going to a therapist or joining a support group. If you think taking medication might help, talk to your doctor. This is also the right time for you to start developing healthy coping mechanisms. What’s something you can do when you’re feeling down instead of eating? This is especially important because after your surgery you’ll probably experience some sadness or even depression while recovering. The stronger your good habits are before surgery, the more likely they are to stick after surgery.
Of course, this one is much easier said than done. But smoking, chewing tobacco, and using other nicotine products can cause complications after surgery. It will make you more likely to develop a stomach ulcer or experience other side effects. Some doctors may even require that their patients quit smoking. In general, using tobacco can make it more difficult for you to lose weight, so it’s best to quit.
If you follow these tips, weight loss surgery doesn’t have to be such a difficult experience. Remember that surgery is just one lifestyle change you can take to lose weight. By combining it with these tips, you can see even better results!