At the Florida Surgical Weight Loss Centers, we recognize that achieving significant weight loss requires you to make several lifestyle changes, as well as learn many new skills. Here are just a few tips to help ease your transition and to more effectively prepare you for bariatric surgery and to sustain your weight loss efforts following surgery.
Helpful Tips Before Surgery
Losing even a small amount of weight before undergoing any type of weight loss surgery can significantly reduce surgical risks, lessen surgical complications and reduce healing time. A study, published in the Archives of Surgery, found that pre-surgical weight loss was especially helpful for people who, in addition to being severely overweight, had serious weight-related medical conditions. Patients who lost 5% or more of their body weight before surgery spent less time in the hospital after surgery than patients who had not lost weight beforehand. Patients who lost 10% or more of their body weight before undergoing weight loss surgery were more than twice as likely to lose 70% of their body weight by one year after surgery when compared to patients who lost up to 5% of their body weight ahead of time.
Helpful Tips After Surgery
You’ve taken significant steps to achieving a happier, healthier life by undergoing weight loss surgery. But, bariatric surgery is just a tool to jump start weight loss — surgery alone cannot reduce weight. Achieving healthy, long-term weight loss is a life-long commitment. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals after your surgical procedure.
- Orange and yellow fruits/vegetables typically come from plant pigments called carotenoids, which are scientifically proven to boost your immune system and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Orange foods contain beta-carotene, which your body naturally converts to vitamin A to help maintain eye and skin health.
- Red and pink foods, such as tomatoes and watermelon, get their color from lycopene, a carotenoid with powerful antioxidant properties. Foods that contain this pigment are known to reduce the risk of many kinds of cancer, particularly prostate cancer, while fighting off cardiovascular disease and macular (eyesight) degeneration. Other foods in this group, like strawberries, raspberries and rep grapes, are colored by anthocyanin — antioxidants that keep hearts healthy and protect cells from damage.
- Green fruits and veggies are colored by chlorophyll, the substance that allows plants to perform photosynthesis and convert sunlight into energy. Many of these plants, particularly dark greens, also contain lutein — a carotenoid that plays a part in eye health and reducing the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They also tend to have a lot of folate, an important B vitamin.
- Blue, purple and white fruits and vegetables can also significantly benefit your health, so incorporate a wide variety of colorful foods to get the most balanced nutrition possible.
Life is short and our time is precious, especially when it comes to weight loss. We know what it’s like to be super busy — between juggling work, kids and home life, finding the time to exercise can be challenging. But there are many ways to incorporate fitness into your busy schedule:
- When you’re on the phone, it’s time to tone! Use phone time to stand and walk around. Walking and talking is any easy way to double your calorie-burn. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, sitting burns up to 87 calories an hour, whereas standing burns 134 calories an hour.
- When you’re in line, tone your behind! While you’re waiting in line, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and squeeze your glutes together. Repeat this move 15 times or at least until the line starts moving.
- When you’re at a red light, make your tummy tight! Take some time to tone and de-stress when you are in your car. Keep your hands on the steering wheel or on top of your thighs and exhale slowly as you tighten your abdominal muscles — imagine that you are sucking in your belly button towards your spine and hold it for a count of three seconds. Repeat 10 times or until the traffic starts moving. When running errands or walking around the office, get a brisk walk in! Considering a brisk walk can burn up to 300 calories an hour or more, use your errand-running time to get fit.
- When you’re at a desk, boost your chest! Pushups are a great way to tone and tighten your arms and chest. During your breaks, stand approximately 2 – 3 feet from your desk and lean in, keeping your legs straight. With your hands shoulder-width apart, place them on the edge of your desk with your arms straight. Carefully bend your elbows as your lean your upper body towards the desk and pause when you nearly touch, then push back to starting position. Repeat this mini-workout 10 – 15 times or until your break is finished.
- Fit in exercise while at work. Take 10 – 15 minute breaks throughout the day to work out. Take a brisk walk around the office, climb stairs or go outside to perform a couple sets of 10 lunges. If space is limited, do jumping jacks.