5 Tips for Life After Bariatric Surgery
Confronted with a choice between bariatric surgery and constantly worsening chronic health issues, you chose the former. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but in the aftermath of your potentially life-extending operation, you’re finding the changes difficult to cope with.
Use these tips to get through a time when you’re having to learn an entirely new way of life, and a new relationship with food and nutrition.
1. Compensate for Reduced Absorption of Nutrients
Much as you’re finding your drastically curtailed diet frustrating, stick to doctors’ orders in the knowledge that failing to do so will cause unpleasant complications. Compensate for poor absorption of nutrients with protein shakes and look for the best supplements by going through the best bariatric vitamins reviews you can find.
While some people can afford to decide whether to use supplements, they’re a must for you. Getting nutrition without adding calories to your very low daily allowance will be a balancing act, but you will get used to it in time.
2. Keep a Food Diary
Although it's possible to make some generalisations about how you should eat after bariatric surgery, your food journal will become the best tool for understanding how your system works now, and what it does and does not like.
You’ll use it to track what you ate, how much you ate, and at what times of the day. Make notes on how you felt each day and look for patterns. You can also show your food journal to your medical team and discuss any conclusions you may have drawn with these experts.
3. Make Sure Friends and Family Understand Your Needs and Challenges
You will need help and understanding from friends and family. You will experience food-cravings, for example.
They need to understand that you must avoid triggers, so discussing recipes, offering to meet you at the nearest coffee shop or McDonalds, or, in a worst case scenario, giving you chocolates as a gift, are absolutely out.
You can’t get their support if they don’t know you’re facing a challenge, so if you don’t feel comfortable talking about your surgery, simply tell them you’re on an extremely restrictive medical diet.
4. Get Moving
For at least six weeks after your surgery, you shouldn’t do strenuous exercise, but walking should be just fine.
Check with your doctor before taking up more intense types of exercise, particularly if your joints have already been damaged owing to excess weight-bearing. Swimming and cycling are low-impact forms of exercise that will help you to build up fitness - but never overdo it.
The trick is to start small, challenge yourself just a little, and gradually work your way up. In time, your increased energy and physical capability will be among the rewards you enjoy most.
5. Enjoy Life to the Full
There’s a lot more to life than food, and once you’ve adjusted to your new eating habits, you’ll be in a better position to enjoy the things that make life worth living.
And, with declining weight and better health, you’ll be in a better position to explore new horizons while enjoying better health and increased vitality.
That’s worth working towards, so don’t let your “darkest hours” after bariatric surgery defeat you. Reward yourself with little luxuries like skincare and beauty products. Persevere, and come back fighting fit!