6 Things You Need to Stop Doing After Weight-loss Surgery   

6 Things You Need to Stop Doing After Weight-loss Surgery

Close up shot of a person preparing a healthy salad.

November 29, 2023

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Amit Trivedi, M.D.

Weight-loss surgery is life changing. It gives people a new lease on life—and on all kinds of things they never dreamed of doing before. 

But to have success, there are a few things you shouldn’t do … and they’re not what you might think. 

Our expert, Amit Trivedi, M.D., chair of Surgery at Pascack Valley Medical Center, reveals six things you should stop doing after weight-loss surgery.

1. Don’t Skip Meals

Initially after the weight-loss surgery, you will be on a regimented diet, consuming small amounts every hour to avoid dehydration. As you continue to recover, you will begin to slowly add food back into your diet and return to a more normal eating schedule. 

Due to your new smaller stomach size, you may forget to eat or want to accelerate your weight loss, but you should never skip meals.

“Meals keep your metabolism going,” says Dr. Trivedi. “Think of it this way: When you skip meals, your metabolism starts to shut down, meaning your body will start to conserve any food it does receive since it doesn’t think that it has a reliable source of energy.”

2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It’s easy to see other people’s positive results and get frustrated if you aren’t seeing the same significant weight loss. But remember, everybody’s body and weight-loss journey is different.

“Be the healthiest version of yourself,” Dr. Trivedi says. He tells patients to think about the last time they were at their current weight and focus on how good that feels. “You may be turning back the clock by decades,” he says. “That’s what you should focus on.”

3. Don’t Pressure Yourself

Don’t feel pressured to weigh yourself constantly. Dr. Trivedi says it’s up to each person to decide if they want to weigh themselves. Some people need to see progress, so weighing themselves helps keep them going. Others don’t want the added stress of seeing daily changes at home. The choice is yours, but you don’t need to pressure yourself one way or another. Figure out what works for you, and do that.

4. Don’t Consume Carbonated Beverages

Initially, you will be on a restrictive diet. But over time, foods can be added back. “Consume protein first and everything else in moderation except carbonated things,” Dr. Trivedi says. Carbonated beverages cause gas pressure to build in the stomach, and due to the stomach’s reduced size, it will feel uncomfortable. Carbonation can also increase the acidity of the stomach, which will lead to discomfort.

5. Don’t Miss Follow-ups

Dr. Trivedi compares weight loss to learning to play a musical instrument: If you have a violin and take violin lessons, you can make music. If you have weight-loss surgery and maintain proper follow-up, you can lose weight. If you stop practicing and taking violin lessons, the music you make isn’t going to be very good—the same can happen with weight loss. 

“Unfortunately, morbid obesity isn’t curable at the moment. It’s a lifelong job to keep the weight off,” says Dr. Trivedi. “Follow-ups with your doctor are the key to long-term results to weight loss.”

Support groups can be a helpful resource to keep you on track. “You’re not in this alone,” says Dr. Trivedi.

6. Don’t Skip Exercise

Initially after surgery, you need to avoid strenuous exercise and lifting. But exercise is important to maintain muscle mass and good health. It’s easy to believe that if you are losing weight that you don’t need to exercise. But exercise has many benefits other than just keeping weight off. It’s an important habit to cultivate to achieve long-term weight-loss success.

What to Expect in Weight-loss Surgery Recovery

Dr. Trivedi details what you can reasonably expect over the course of the first year after weight-loss surgery:

1 Month Mark

  • Incision heals
  • Return to work
  • Start or resume exercise
  • Loss of 15–25 lbs.
  • Cleared for Travel

3 Month Mark

  • Reduction in medication such as blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
  • Decreased shortness of breath 
  • Increased endurance
  • Noticeable weight loss
  • Decreased arthritis pain

6 Month Mark

  • Increased resolution of comorbidities
  • Need to buy new clothes
  • Ability to do more things, including things you never thought you would be able to do
  • Achievement of a weight you haven’t been at in years

12 Month Mark

  • At or close to goal weight
  • Overall improved health 
  • Transitioning to a long-term healthy lifestyle for continued success

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

Newsletter

Subscribe to get the latest health tips from our expert clinicians delivered weekly to your inbox.

We use cookies to improve your experience. Please read our Privacy Policy or click Accept.
X