Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery is only one step in the process toward a new, healthier you. Prior-to and following surgery, there are additional steps that will help you in achieving and maintaining long-term weight loss, as well as in becoming a healthier person overall:

Quit Smoking

While smoking cessation is a good idea at any time, it’s essential in the weeks leading up to your weight loss surgery. Not only does smoking cessation set you on a path for better long-term health, but it also reduces your risk of complications following surgery.

Meet with a Nutritionist

When, what, and how much you eat must change for you to achieve long-term weight loss. Weight-loss surgery can help you change bad habits, but ultimately it will be up to you to adopt a new way of eating. You don’t need to wait for the surgery itself; meet with a nutritionist and begin following the recommendations to give yourself a head-start on success.

Begin a Food Diary

Keeping a diary makes you more aware of exactly how much food (and calories) you consume in the course of a normal day, and helps you keep track of your water intake. Record not only the foods you eat, but also the amount of liquid you drink throughout the day. The point is to learn to be mindful when making choices.

Start an Exercise Routine

Small steps are still steps in the right direction. Even if you are only able to perform chair exercises, this movement will start you on a path toward a new lifestyle.  Set goals for small increases in daily activity. Establishing exercise habits prior to surgery will make it easier to get back into a routine after your procedure.

Begin Taking Vitamins

After surgery, you will not be able to consume the same amount of nutrients, at least in the form of food, as you were able to prior to surgery. Vitamins can help you obtain the nutrients you’ll need. Look for vitamins in liquid form, or those that can be crushed, so that you can continue taking them immediately after surgery when you’ll need them most.

Consult with Your Primary Care Physician

In the weeks prior to your surgery, you need to meet with your primary care doctor to confirm you are healthy enough for weight loss surgery. Your primary care doctor will continue to manage any non-surgery related health issues following your procedure.