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Lifestyle Changes After Weight Loss Surgery

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Weight loss surgery is a major step toward losing weight, and it can be a life-altering experience if you are well suited to it. However, it helps to look at the surgery itself as only the first step on a journey. Surgery, when combined with proper aftercare, diet, and lifestyle changes, can provide excellent long-term weight loss benefits.

How Will I Need to Eat After Bariatric Surgery?

In the weeks after your bariatric surgery, your dietitian will provide you with a comprehensive nutrition plan to follow.

You will need to eat a diet of liquid foods for the first couple of weeks after the surgery, followed by a gradual transition into a diet of pureed foods for the 4-6 weeks that follow.

After eating soft and pureed foods for a while, you will be ready to begin the gentle transition to more solid foods.

Stay Well Hydrated

You will need to consume a lot of liquids to stay hydrated during this time as well. Most patients will require about 64 ounces of water daily to prevent significant issues with constipation, dehydration, or even kidney stones.

Take Your Vitamins!

You will also need to ensure you get the proper nutrients, and for that, a series of vitamin and mineral supplements are usually necessary, including:

  • Multivitamin
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D

Your dietitian will most likely provide you with their recommended dosages for each of these supplements. If you make healthy lifestyle choices and stick to the recommended diet and hydration guidelines, it will help you experience better results and quality of life after bariatric surgery.

Be Sure to Get Enough Protein

After weight loss surgery, it is more important than ever to get adequate protein in your diet. This is because your body will struggle to maintain adequate muscle mass during rapid weight loss. Eating enough protein during the dramatic and rapid weight loss that follows bariatric surgery helps your body lose fat while retaining muscle.

Most dietitians will recommend between 60-100 grams of protein per day, depending on your type of operation, personal medical history, and daily activity level.

Eating enough protein after surgery will also help your body to maintain a healthy metabolism. Failing to eat enough protein may result in your body taking protein from your muscles, which can lead to insufficient muscle mass during weight loss.

How Should I Get My Protein?

The great thing about getting enough protein is that it is very easy to come by. You can get your protein from an incredibly diverse array of foods. While meat, eggs, and dairy all contain protein, you can just as easily get enough protein from plant-based foods like beans, lentils, and tofu. There are protein sources for every dietary preference, so you just need to pay attention to the amount in each serving of food you eat and make sure you are getting between 60-80 grams per day on average.

It can also be helpful to plan out your meals or make a list of your most common meals, making a note of the amount of protein per serving. You can then add up the amount of protein you are eating each day, so you know you if you are getting enough.

Avoid Sugary and Fatty Foods

Foods that are high in sugar such as cookies, pastries, candies, fruit juices, and other sugary snacks tend to cause digestive discomfort after bariatric surgery, and can also hinder your weight loss results.

Refined carbohydrates such as those found in white bread, pasta, processed cereals, and crackers also tend to interfere with ideal weight loss results.

Do I Need to Avoid Caffeine After Weight Loss Surgery?

It is a good idea to avoid caffeine for at least the first month after weight loss surgery. This is because your stomach will be more sensitive than usual during this time. After the first month, however, caffeinated drinks may be acceptable to drink provided you stay properly hydrated. Be sure to ask your dietitian before reintroducing caffeine, and remember to avoid sugary drinks like soda.

Why Do I Need to Stay Hydrated After Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric patients who return to the hospital after surgery come in for one reason more often than any other: dehydration. If your body does not get enough water, it will be unable to function properly, let alone at its best. It also requires water to burn off stored fat to produce energy.

It can be helpful to carry a bottle of water with you as you go about your day, and even more so when you leave home. Try to drink even when you don’t necessarily feel thirsty, and consume at least 64 ounces per day.

Paying attention to the color of your urine is an easy way to tell if you are drinking enough water. If it is clear and light colored, 5-10 times per day, you are most likely properly hydrated. If you need to go fewer times per day or if it is darker yellow, drink more water!

If you experience headaches, hard stools, dizziness, or feelings of thirst, drink more water. If you can’t drink enough water each day after bariatric surgery, talk to your surgeon.

Diet, Lifestyle, and Hydration All Play Important Roles in Weight Loss

If you follow the recommended diet, lifestyle, and hydration guidelines after bariatric surgery, you will be well on your way to experiencing weight loss results. Have you been considering weight loss surgery? We would be happy to discuss it with you to see if you would be a good candidate. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

  • In May 2021 I had a mild stroke(T.I.A) at the age of 39!!!! At the time of the stroke the doctors weighed me in at 335 pounds! The day of the surgery which was March 24th of this year I weighed 305 pounds. It hasn't been 6 months, and I lost 121 pounds! I eat plant-based, no bread, sugar, pizza, soda, fried foods as well as no meat. I was on diabetes medication; I had sleep apnea; I was on 3 blood pressure meds; along with 2 cholesterol meds! I'm no longer a diabetic, so I don't need the medication(You can get rid of diabetes!!) I got off all blood pressure, and high cholesterol meds; as well I no longer have sleep apnea (yes you can get rid of sleep apnea!!!!). As well I had zero complications from the surgery!! People will try to give you horror stories about people they know or heard of who had the surgery. HAVE THE SURGERY ANYWAYS!!!!!! Special thanks to Dr. Michael Williams, and his team (Michael Andrews, Dr. Curtis, and Tiffany)! Dr. Michael Williams performed the surgery!

    LLevi I

  • If you're thinking about getting a Bariatric surgery done, I certainly recommend Dr. Williams and Dr. Curtis. They are very knowledgeable and will guide you through your journey.

    I opted to get the sleeve done. My insurance required that I have a 6 month diet plan prior so I went to see Dr. Williams and Dr. Curtis every month to complete this.

    The ladies in the office are also ALL fantastic. They answer any questions you have and make you feel comfortable. I loved getting to see them monthly. They got to know me and my baby (she had to tag along for a lot of the visits) and have made this process an easy one. Rose, who handles the insurance and scheduling of the surgery has also been absolutely wonderful. She helped me to make sure that I could have surgery when my family would be in town.

    Before going anywhere else, make a visit. You certainly will not regret it! It could be the best decision you've ever made. It was for me.

    AAshley N.

  • Dr. Michael Williams is here to help in every way.. He’s extremely confident in his skilled surgical procedure. He puts you at ease and completes his job with excellence...I love the staff and the results! Dr. Michael Williams is the best practice.

    GGeorge C.

  • My bariatric surgery was the best thing I ever did for myself. I went from 252 lbs. to 130 lbs. Went from a size 32 to a size 6. My A1C has been staying in the normal range and I have been able to stop several meds. My GP practically does cartwheels when I come in because I have kept the weight off since 2014


  • I had gastric bypass surgery on March 31 2008 and, not to sound cheesy, but it's one of the BEST decisions I've ever made. I was actually pretty healthy prior to having surgery - minus being about 110 lbs over weight - so, as silly as it may seem, my motivation for the operation was about 80% fashion based and 20% of just plain ole tired of being fat! I've always loved clothes and fashion but I absolutely hated shopping. There were only 2... maybe 3 stores I could find clothes in my size. I wanted to be able to walk into any mall and shop in any and every store in the building.

    When people ask me am I happy with the results I can honestly say "Yes!!!". I am now able to do what I wanted to accomplish. My dream was to be a size 12 and I have exceeded my own goal and have maintained my weight for the last 5 months. When you set a personal goal you have to make sure it's just that - personal - because if you base your decision to have this surgery to make someone else happy or if your decision has something to do with an aspect that YOU cannot control, no matter how small you get, you may never be satisfied with the results.

    The first few weeks are hard with all the protein shakes, sugar-free this and that, baby sips, chicken broth, dry mouth, and constant worry if you made the right decision. But, it's SOOOO worth it! I PROMISE! I use to have a pair of size 14 jeans hanging on my wall; they were my "motivation" jeans. I had to give them away to Goodwill last year because they were to big - THAT was my "WOW" moment. I encourage you find one for yourself...

    Weight prior to surgery: 273
    Clothes size: 22
    Shoe size: 11
    Bra size: 40 C/D

    Weight post surgery: 148-151
    Clothes size: 6 or 8
    Shoe size: 10 or 9 1/2 (amazing!!!)
    Bra size: 34 B (not so amazing *sad face*)


  • My name is Sharon Clark and for 5 years I struggled with obesity, I was on medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, and my mobility was limited due to severe knee problems.

    I met with Dr. Michael Williams in September of 2019 and he explained the weight loss options available to me and we decided that the gastric sleeve was the best option for me. I had my surgery on December 30, 2019, and I must say that this was the best decision I could have made for myself.

    To date, I have lost 109 pounds, I no longer have high blood pressure, or diabetes, and I am able to walk without any assistance, this surgery has truly changed my life. I would like to thank Dr. Michael Williams and his staff for their support during this journey.

    SSharon Clark

  • I have been a patient of Dr. Michael Williams for almost 7 years and I have always had the best care and outcome from him.

    In September 2013 I had the gastric sleeve procedure. I weighed 300 lbs, had sleep apnea, and high blood pressure. My blood sugar was also high. After the surgery, I was on 3 weeks of a liquid diet then I slowly added soft foods. I have lost 100 lbs and have kept it off. My sleep apnea is gone, I have no more high blood pressure and my blood sugar is normal.

    I'm very grateful to Dr. Williams for giving me a second chance at a healthier life. I have referred several of my friends to him, and they have all had a successful outcome from their surgeries.

    If you're thinking about having a weight loss procedure done, I would highly recommend Dr. Michael Williams.


  • I’m simply going to say that I’ll be looking forward to being able to enjoy some extra years with my beautiful and loving wife of 43 years.


    K305-0 / W314-0
    Had lap-band surgery.

    My band was tightened to 4.0cc and I have lost a total of 35 lbs. since 22-Mar-2007.

    My band was tightened to 6.0cc.

    My band was tightened to 7.0cc.

    My total weight loss is now 50 lbs. I have definitely changed the type of food that I eat and the quantity of such. I can really eat anything that I want, but I seem to gravitate to ground steak, fish & chicken with a small amount of vegetables.

    My total weight loss is now 55 lbs. and I have stayed there for the past 6-weeks. I’ve gone from a size 3XL shirt to a size XL. My waist size is now 44” – down from 52”. My blood studies look great. I’m no longer Diabetic! My recent Stress Test was outstanding for my age.

    It was decided that another 0.5cc (7.5cc total) should be added to my band. Now if I eat too fast, my small stomach will hurt for about a minute or less. However, I can still eat a normal restaurant sized meal, if, I skip the salad & bread. My blood pressure is now normal – 115/70 to 130/80.

    K245-60 / W253-61
    It was decided to add another 0.5cc to my band. Dr. William says that I now have 8.5cc total. I now notice that I’m belching more and seem to be eating smaller food portions.

    I had a facelift, eyelid & browlift surgery - $14,000! No question about it, I look 15 years younger from the front and 68 from the rear. My 03-Mar-2008 tightening has not made any change in weight loss.

    K247-58 / W260-54
    I put on 5 lbs. during the past 2 months, so another 0.5cc was added to my band, for a total of 9.0cc. 10cc is normal and the band can be overfilled to a max of 12cc. My weight gain has been caused by eating too many calories – that simple. I notice that I’m now belching after I swallow a mouthful of water. The extra added 0.5cc hasn’t had any affect on my weight loss.

    K262-43 / W266-48
    At this point in my life, it’s very obvious that the Lap-Band is nothing more than a tool to help me loose weight. Because of lower-back problems, I have not been exercising on a regular basis. So, I end up sitting in front of my computer all day and snacking. Today Dr. Williams is going to add another 0.5cc to my band for a total of 9.5cc.

    K255-50 / W262-52
    A decision was made to add more Saline to my lap-band. My total is now 9.65cc. I now notice that I’m belching a little more than usual and eating a little less. I’m told that belching is good. Dr. Williams is talking about going to the normal 10.0cc level, but I’m not sure I want to do that. When I question his reasoning, he just smiles and ask me how often how often do I vomit – I don’t know what makes him think that I want to start... 19-Sep-2009 - Since this last adjustment, I have not loss or gained any weight. It's basically because I'm not being selective when it comes to the type of food that I'm shoving in the orifice below my nose...

  • Dr Williams is a wonderful surgeon. I'm so very grateful for all the time, hard work, and effort he made in order to become a physician and help save lives. I had a ruptured appendix and peritonitis and he took excellent care of me. Just prior to my surgery, I had multiple nurses tell me that he is the surgeon they would pick for their loved ones and that he is awesome. I agree completely. He personally checked on me every day I was in the hospital even on the weekend. For the follow up, I had no wait time. Please keep in mind the nature of his job, emergency surgeries become priority and could affect wait times which would not be his fault.
    Thank you, Dr Williams. I appreciate you and will keep you and your family in my prayers. I am extremely grateful that you helped save my life.

    JJen Gillespie

  • Dr. Williams is a very skilled surgeon. While I was at Northside Cherokee many nurses discussed he would be the one to do their surgery. I had a gastric sleeve. Don’t expect a fabulous bedside manner, he is not talkative. But he is more than willing to answer your questions without seeming rushed. I am five daysPost surgery and have really had no complications Related to the surgery. I was surprised though that neither of the hospital nor the doctors office have called to see how I am.

    SSuzanne F.

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