It takes you a lot of courage and determination in making the decision to undergo a weight loss surgery. This in particular happens if you have a bothersome medical condition that can be overcome with weight loss. Other than assisting in the battle against extra pounds, these surgical procedures can improve the quality of your life and increase your lifespan.
However, it is of great importance to first understand that other aspects of your life will also change. These include your eating habits, self-esteem, and relationships with others, just to mention a few. Whereas weight loss surgery might appear as the simplest way out, you will still need to apply more effort if you want to keep off extra weight through restricted meals and regular workouts.
While you will still be required to make lifelong healthier food choices, weight loss surgery acts as a fulcrum towards the realization of a slim, healthier, and attractive figure.
Feelings Behind Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process, and its effects become noticeable after 3 to 6 months, or longer. In the next several weeks or months after the operation, you may experience challenges which may interfere with your daily activities. These include body aches, dry skin, feeling cold, hair loss or thinning, changes in moods or feeling tired. Luckily, these symptoms eventually disappear once your body becomes accustomed to changes in weight. It is recommended to consume plenty of protein and vitamins after the operation.
Some individuals will become prone to feelings of sadness after the operation. This is from the fact that life’s reality after the operation may not match the expectations present prior to surgery. Some unexpected outcomes, like feelings, attitude, and anxiety will still be present. These include:
- Missing out on certain social events such as parties, food restrictions, or eating out with colleagues.
- You may not lose weight as soon as you were expecting.
- You might think that the craving for food and the appetite for sugary foods will die.
- Expectations to be treated differently by friends and family after losing weight may become unrealistic.
- You expected thoughts of sadness and depression to fade away after surgery and weight loss, but they are still present.
Some people may suffer from both psychological and physical complications involved in the recovery process such as a need for frequent follow-ups and infections that may result after the weight loss surgery. This is against possible earlier expectations that all will go smoothly.
After the operation, you are not required to resume to old eating habits. Instead, you will be put under liquid or pureed diet for between 2 to 3 weeks. Eventually, you will introduce soft foods and then resume normal eating. It is likely that you will resume regular meals by the 6th week.
Initially, you will be feeling full too soon after only a few bites of solid foods. This is because your reduced stomach has a very little holding capacity from just a few tablespoons shortly after surgery. Even if your stomach pouch is larger, you will find it harder to hold more than a cup of chewed solid food. (An average stomach can hold up to 4 cups of solid food). Can this have any psychological impact? Well, it will all depend on your psychological preparedness.
As you embark on the path to eating regular solid foods, each bite must be carefully chewed about 20–30 times. To be swallowed, food must be smooth or pureed first. The reasons behind this are:
- You will have to spend at least 30 minutes per meal
- The opening to your new stomach pouch is significantly smaller. Swallowing large portions can lead to blockage causing you to vomit or endure a painful sensation under your breastbone.
- Instead of the regular three meals in a day, you will have to consume at least six small servings daily.
- You are not allowed to snack in between meals.
- You might feel some pain from some foods that are not chewed properly such as pasta, sticky, or dry foods.
After the surgery, you are supposed to ensure that you consume at least 8 glasses of water or calorie-less fluids daily under some conditions.
- You will be required not to drink any kind of fluids an hour before or after you eat, or during a mealtime. Consuming of fluids will flush out solid foods from your stomach making you hungrier.
- Just like with foods, you are only supposed to take fluids in small sips and not gulp. Additionally, straws are not allowed since they bring in air.
Regulated Caloric Intake
After the surgery, your health caregiver will recommend what you should consume and what to avoid. Proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are some of the recommended foods you should consume as they assist in weight loss. You should avoid overeating as this can stretch your stomach pouch and counter your weight loss plan. Avoid foods and drinks rich in fats, sugars, fructose, and carbs. Carbonated drinks and alcohol are also prohibited.
Saggy skin and loss of muscle mass are common challenges that come after weight loss surgery. Saggy skin mostly occurs around the belly, face, arms, chest, buttocks, and other body parts.
In conclusion, we can deduce that weight loss surgery is indeed not the perfect solution in shedding extra pounds.