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Author: Dr. Luis Pasten
Date: April 13, 2023

The 7 Most Critical Mistakes Patients Make Post-Weight Loss Surgery

The 7 Most Critical Mistakes Patients Make Post-Weight Loss Surgery

If you've recently undergone weight-loss surgery, congratulations on taking a major step towards improving your health and wellness! However, the journey doesn't end with the procedure. In fact, it's only just begun.

Many patients fall into common traps after their operation that could impede their progress or even lead to complications down the line. We're here to help keep you on track by highlighting the top seven critical mistakes patients make post-weight loss surgery and provide strategies for avoiding them. So let's get started!

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Introduction

Patients who have undergone weight loss surgery often make several critical mistakes in the post-operative period that can jeopardize their results. First, they may not follow their surgeon's instructions regarding diet and activity.

Secondly, they may not attend all of their follow-up appointments or adhere to their recommended schedule of care. Third, they may not properly take care of their incisions, resulting in infection or other complications. Finally, patients may not monitor their weight and lifestyle closely enough, leading to weight gain or other health problems.

Mistake #1: Not Following Dietary Guidelines Post Surgery

One of the most critical mistakes patients can make after weight loss surgery is not following dietary guidelines. While it may be tempting to return to old eating habits, this can lead to serious complications. It’s important to stick to the new diet in order to stay healthy and avoid any issues.

Patients are typically given a list of approved foods and told to avoid others. It’s important to follow these guidelines in order to get the nutrients you need and avoid any problems with your digestion. Eating the wrong foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pain, and other issues.

It’s also important to avoid drinking alcohol or carbonated beverages. These can cause serious problems with healing and may even lead to complications like leaks in the stomach or intestines. Stick to water, unsweetened tea, and other allowed drinks in order to stay safe and healthy.

Mistake #2: Not Exercising

Patients who do not exercise post-weight loss surgery are missing out on one of the key components of a successful weight loss journey. Exercise helps to boost metabolism, build muscle, and burn calories. It also helps to reduce the risk of developing obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

Exercise does not have to be intense or time-consuming to be beneficial. Even moderate activity, such as walking for 30 minutes a day, can make a significant difference in a person’s health. Patients should work with their doctor or physical therapist to develop an exercise plan that is right for them.

Mistake #3: Not Keeping an Accurate Food Journal

One of the most critical mistakes patients make post-weight loss surgery is not keeping an accurate food journal. It is important to keep track of everything you eat and drink, as well as the portion sizes, in order to ensure you are staying on track with your diet and not overeating. Many patients find it helpful to use a food diary or app to help them keep track of their intake.

If you are not careful to keep an accurate food journal, you may end up gaining weight instead of losing it. This can be frustrating and disheartening, and can set you back on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. So be sure to take the time to record what you eat and drink each day, including any snacks or cheat meals. This will help you stay accountable and on track with your weight loss goals.

Mistake #4: Skipping Follow-Up Appointments

Patients who have weight loss surgery are required to see their surgeon for follow-up appointments. These appointments are important to monitor the patient's progress and to make sure that there are no complications from the surgery. Patients who skip these appointments are at risk for developing complications, such as hernias, infection, and malnutrition.

Mistake #5: Overindulging After Weight Loss Surgery

Patients who have weight loss surgery often see dramatic results in a short amount of time. It’s not uncommon to lose 100 pounds or more within the first year after surgery. But as with any major lifestyle change, there are some adjustment periods and pitfalls along the way. In this blog series, we’re highlighting the 5 most critical mistakes patients make post-weight loss surgery—so you can avoid them!

Weight loss surgery is a tool to help you lose weight and keep it off long-term. But it’s not a “quick fix” or an excuse to eat whatever you want without consequences. If you overindulge after weight loss surgery, you could undo all your hard work—and put your health at risk.

Here are a few tips to avoid overindulging after weight loss surgery:

1) Don’t drink your calories. Sugary drinks like soda, juice, and even alcohol can add up quickly. Stick to water, unsweetened tea, or coffee instead.

2) Avoid high-calorie foods and snacks. Sweets, fried foods, and processed snacks are easy to overeat and can quickly sabotage your weight loss efforts. Choose healthy options like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains instead.

3) Don’t eat mindlessly.

Mistake #6: Becoming Isolated or Stressed

Patients who undergo weight loss surgery are often left feeling isolated and stressed. This is due to the fact that they are no longer able to eat the same foods as their friends and family, and they may not be able to participate in the same activities. This isolation can lead to stress, which can sabotage a patient's weight loss efforts. To avoid this, it is important for patients to find a support system of friends or family members who understand their situation and can help them stay on track.

Mistake #7: Neglect

Patients who undergo weight loss surgery are often so focused on the end goal that they neglect their health and wellness in the process. This can lead to serious complications, such as nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, and even organ failure.

It is important to remember that weight loss surgery is a tool to help you improve your overall health, not a quick fix. In order to make the most of your surgery and avoid any serious complications, you need to commit to a healthy lifestyle before and after your procedure. This means eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and staying hydrated.

If you are struggling to make these changes on your own, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you develop a plan that meets your individual needs and lifestyle.

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