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How To Get Fit After A Bariatric Procedure

Posted on August 13 2018

How To Get Fit After A Bariatric Procedure

Getting a major surgery like bariatric surgery can be a massive step in transforming your life. The fact that it is such a big step should make you feel more committed to getting and staying fit after the recovery period is over. It can be challenging to manage post-recovery fitness, because you may not know how your body will adjust, you might be unsure of what foods are acceptable to eat now, and you may not know how to get started on exercising and working out each day.

After you make it through the recovery period, there are some easy steps you can take to stay on track, and that's precisely what this article will discuss. Let's first look at what the different kinds of bariatric procedures are before moving onto fitness and health tips.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are generally four types of bariatric surgery that you might have gone through or are planning to go through in the future. Those types are a gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric band, and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS).

Gastric bypass: This creates a smaller pouch of the stomach that allows you to eat less. It also decreases the amount of small intestine that is absorbing food and nutrients.

Sleeve Gastrectomy: This procedure removes a significant portion of the stomach, and leaves you with a smaller sleeve to use instead.

Adjustable Gastric Band: This procedure is done to place a band around your stomach near the upper portion. A band effectively creates a smaller pouch that fills with food much quicker.

BPD/DS: This is probably the most complicated procedure as it has two different parts. The first is that it uses the gastric sleeve technique to remove a significant portion of the stomach. Then, a majority of the small intestine is bypassed, similar to what happens in the bypass procedure.

Necessary Diet Changes

Regardless of what procedure you and your doctor decide is best, you are going to end up with a smaller stomach. This is going to significantly impact your eating habits because you are going to be eating smaller meals and you will be eating more often than what you might have been used to previously. In addition, eating larger meals when your stomach is smaller has the potential for some dire consequences.

Aside from smaller meals, you are also going to need to pay attention to your protein intake. Protein is going to be crucial especially during the recovery phase. The reason for this is that protein helps your body produce new cells and radically speeds up the healing process. Protein also helps your body feel fuller, which can be a great benefit when you are eating less.


During the recovery stage, you are going to want to take it easy with exercise. You don't know how your body will react to the surgery or the changed eating habits, and you want to make sure you prevent injuring yourself. An injury could dramatically slow down your getting fit journey. It's best to focus on the range of motion exercises and light stretching at this point.

Once your doctor clears you for walking, you should ease yourself into exercise. This is especially true if you aren't very familiar with working out. An ideal first workout that won't significantly strain your body is walking. Walking is also a great exercise that you can use to measure your progress as you can walk further or experience less shortness of breath as you walk. Another great workout is swimming because it has minimal impact on your body and joints. It also burns a higher amount of calories. You should be sure you have your doctor's clearance for this because immersing any surgical site in water can lead to infection.

As you can see, there are a total of four different bariatric procedures. The approaches are different, but the end goal is the same, and that is to reduce the size of your stomach. The changes you may experience afterward can vary greatly, but some things you might expect are needing to eat smaller and more frequent meals, and including higher amounts of lean protein in your diet. These things can help you adjust quicker and prevent complications from occurring related to surgery. Exercising will also be vital for you, but it's best to have clearance from your doctor first to avoid any injuries.



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