Life After Bariatric Surgery | Torrance Memorial | South Bay

Life After Surgery

Adapting to Your New Lifestyle

Weight loss surgery is a tool to help you lose weight and keep it off. To make the most of your surgery, you must also do your part. Success requires a commitment to the process and making lifelong diet and lifestyle changes. Sticking to your post-op diet is key to achieving success after weight loss surgery.

Benefits of Having Support

Establishing a strong support system is another factor that strongly influences outcomes, including maintaining weight loss after surgery.

Regular attendance at support group meetings has been shown to improve weight loss outcomes and provides you an opportunity to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Nutrition support groups offer opportunities to receive ongoing education on nutrition, exercise, and healthful behavior changes.

Torrance Memorial Medical Center offers a variety of resources, classes, and support groups that can be part of your support system, both to assist you through the tough times and to help celebrate your victories!

Importance of Nutrition

Your surgeon and dietitian will help you with your specific eating plan, but you can expect to be on a liquid diet right after surgery. After two weeks, you can begin eating pureed or semi-solid food. Most patients resume eating solid food after about four weeks.

An essential element of long-term weight loss success with bariatric surgery is the ability to adopt a new way of eating. Patients who receive counseling from a dietitian before and after weight loss surgery have been shown to achieve more clinically significant weight reduction and are less likely to regain weight. Additionally, consistent interaction with a dietitian helps maintain the momentum of healthful eating habits in the face of life’s challenges.

A strong indicator for a patient’s long-term weight loss success is whether they can implement dietary changes and lifestyle modifications prior to surgery. To ensure the success of your weight loss surgery, here are some tips to get you started on your journey: 

  1. Start thinking about your cues to eat. Surgery limits how much you eat, but not what or why you eat. Ask yourself, are you eating out of boredom, cravings, emotion, or physical hunger? 
  2. Prepare a list of non-food strategies. Use them when you have the desire to eat, but it is not driven by physical hunger. 
  3. Eat like you’ve already had surgery. Focus on a consistent meal schedule, drink adequate fluids throughout the day, and chew your food well. 
  4. Hold yourself accountable. Keep a food journal to record your daily food intake.
  5. Focus on successes, big and small. Your weight loss journey is unique to you. Don’t let another person’s progress discourage you. 

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Importance of Exercise

An exercise regimen is key to maintaining weight loss, and your team at Torrance Memorial will help you develop a plan. You'll start by walking as soon as you can while still recovering in the hospital. You will continue to increase the frequency and duration of your walks as you are able after you go home. Patients with knee or ankle problems are encouraged to swim or bicycle after they are cleared by their surgeon.

Your surgeon will explain what you can expect after surgery during your consultation. Depending on the type of surgery, a full recovery can take anywhere from six weeks to several months.

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Call our dedicated bariatric support team today or request a free consultation