So you are planning on having bariatric surgery. You have everything in order to set up your surgery and start your new life. The only question left is; What challenges will I face after bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a powerful tool to stimulate weight loss by feeling satisfied and not physically needing to eat. It is is an effective way to control how much you eat and what you eat. However, there are possible consequences of dehydration, constipation, and mental hunger.
1. Get Your Fluids In!
Dehydration is one of the biggest challenges after bariatric surgery. It is much harder to drink water than you think it would be. You are the best advocate for your body. Understand different feelings or behaviors that are related to dehydration so you know when you need to drink more water.
Prevent dehydration after weight loss surgery to avoid dizziness and fainting. Staying hydrated will really help maintain a healthy balance and appetite. Check out a full post-op diet guide after bariatric surgery.
- Have fluids with you constantly
- Drink all day long
- Do not drink while eating meals
Read more: Dehydration After Gastric Sleeve
2. Pipes Clogged and Constipation
Changes in bowel movements (BM) is another frequent problem people face after weight loss surgery and is closely related to not getting enough fluids in. Sometimes constipation doesn’t start until a week after bariatric surgery so it is important to prevent it before it happens.
Slowing of the bowels is caused by a decreased amount of food and hydration as well as hormonal changes after bariatric surgery. Constipation may also be caused by anesthesia and pain medications, antidepressants and tranquilizers, iron supplements, or from the weak abdominal muscles.
There are many quick fixes. Stay in touch with your nutritionist to see the best vitamins and foods to consume in order to avoid constipation. Physical activity and staying hydrated can make a huge impact on constipation.
Taking laxatives and stool softeners, like Milk of Magnesia and MiraLAX, will help ease the bowel obstruction.
3. Battling Emotional Hunger and Cravings
After bariatric surgery, it is difficult to see the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. Habits are extremely hard to break. They take time and dedication. This is why it is crucial to stay focused on your nutrition at every meal. Understand the difference between “feeling” hungry and “being” hungry. It takes time to get to know your new stomach and relearn eating habits.
Post-Op Bariatric Surgery Tips
In order to succeed after bariatric surgery, you must be prepared for the operation. Being fully aware of the obstacles people may face after weight loss surgery, you can use them to your advantage and succeed.
Tips: Eat 3 small meals throughout the day and 1-2 snacks between.
- Meal: 3 oz protein, 1 Tablespoon fat, 2 oz beans, vegetables, or whole grain.
- For help with planning meals, take a look at this Pinterest Board https://www.pinterest.com/
- Snack: cheese stick, protein shake, almonds, greek yogurt.
- Drink 64 oz water or sugar-free beverage. Avoid all raw fruit with skin, fibrous vegetables, and popcorn.
Pay attention to your body. Your body will guide you through this process. Try each new food one at a time. Chew completely and slowly, pausing between bites. Chew until applesauce consistency before swallowing.
Don’t forget that these are common challenges that just about everyone faces after the bariatric operation. It is not easy, but you are not alone. It can be difficult to learn how to eat again after bariatric surgery. You may struggle to discover foods you don’t tolerate and foods that you can tolerate. The bad habits have to change and being prepared is the first step to succeeding!