Post Bariatric Surgery Lifestyle

Lifestyle Changes After Bariatric Surgery

Are you considering weight-loss surgery, or have a loved one who is? If so, you may be familiar with the requirements for bariatric surgery:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of over 40, or BMI of over 35, plus a serious health condition caused by excess weight such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, etc.,
  • More than 100 lbs. over ideal weight, and
  • Inability to maintain healthy weight, even with a medically supervised weight-loss program.

While it is essential for bariatric surgery candidates to meet these physical requirements, a weight-loss surgery patient must also make a lifelong commitment to the critically important lifestyle changes that go with the surgery.

Bariatric surgery is not a magical procedure that causes weight loss under all situations.   It is a powerful tool that is used, along with the other tools, to achieve weight loss.  Let’s review the other essential requirements to achieve maximum success after surgery.

Dietary Changes

After surgery, weight-loss patients will begin a low fat, low sugar eating routine that they will continue the rest of their lives.  Initially, all calories will be consumed through liquids, while the stomach adjusts to the changes that have been made.  Next, soft proteins are added to the diet as they are tolerated.  A patient’s post-surgery diet evolves very gradually during the ensuing weeks.  A few months after surgery, the patient may resume eating some regular foods.  It is important to avoid pasta, bread, potatoes and other starchy carbs for at least six months after surgery.  Weight-loss patients should also avoid NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, which can irritate the stomach.

Post-Operative Activity

While bariatric patients will not begin an exercise program immediately after surgery, they will not be confined to bed except in special circumstances.  Movement stimulates blood flow and promotes healing, so the patient should walk a day or two after surgery.  By two to three weeks post op, a patient has typically returned to work and resumed light activity.


After receiving clearance from their weight loss surgeon, weight-loss surgery patients should begin a supervised, low impact exercise program.  Many bariatric patients were not able to exercise prior to surgery and some had limited mobility due to excess weight.  Regular exercise will stimulate the metabolism and thus aid with additional weight loss.  Additionally, consistent, moderate exercise has additional benefits such as:

  • Improved endurance, balance, and flexibility,
  • Reduced risk of many diseases, and
  • Improved overall sense of well-being.

It is helpful for bariatric patients starting an exercise program to be consistent which will reduce their chances of losing focus on exercise goals.  Here are some tips to stay on track:

  • Set goals and keep track of them through an app or website,
  • Keep your workout time consistent,
  • Workout with a partner or coach,
  • Join a gym,
  • Consider a bariatric surgery support group.

For more information about what to expect before and after weight-loss surgery, visi”>bariatric surgery patient resources area.   If you are considering weight-loss surgery contact us at Malladi Bariatrics and Advanced Surgery or call (214) 242-9737 today.

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