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Life After Weight Loss Surgery: Why It Is Not Perfect

Life After Weight Loss Surgery: Why It Is Not Perfect

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.

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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.

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Dietary Changes

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:

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  • 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.

Bodily Changes

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.

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In conclusion, we can deduce that weight loss surgery is indeed not the perfect solution in shedding extra pounds.

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Kathy Mitchell

Health, Beauty and Fitness Adviser

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Last Updated on October 5, 2020

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

How Much Weight Will I Lose?

The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

Can I Work out While Fasting?

Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

Is Fasting Safe?

As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

Conclusion

Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

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Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

Reference

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