Lifestyle Changes And Maintenance After Bariatric Surgery: What You Should Know

Bariatric surgery, including sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, can be an effective tool for achieving significant weight loss and improving overall health. However, the procedure is just one step in a journey toward a healthier lifestyle. After surgery, it’s important to make ongoing lifestyle changes and commit to long-term maintenance to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Here are some lifestyle changes and maintenance requirements to consider after undergoing bariatric surgery:

Lifestyle Changes

Dietary Changes

One of the most significant changes after bariatric surgery is the need for dietary adjustments. Following surgery, patients typically start with a liquid diet and gradually transition to solid foods over several weeks.

Even after the transition, the recommended diet for bariatric patients is significantly different from a typical diet. Patients will meet with Total Medical’s registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist Casey Olsen to devise a personalized meal plan.

Patients are typically advised to consume smaller, more frequent meals that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats. Foods that are difficult to digest, such as red meat and raw vegetables, should be avoided or consumed in moderation. Patients should also limit their intake of sugary and high-calorie foods and drinks.

Additionally, bariatric surgery can alter the absorption of certain nutrients, such as iron and calcium, so patients may need to take supplements to prevent deficiencies. Follow @TotalMedicalWeightLoss on TikTok for more helpful hints from Casey and the team!

Physical Activity

Physical activity is an important component of weight loss and maintenance after bariatric surgery. Patients should aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, on most days of the week.

However, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. Patients should consult with their healthcare provider before starting any exercise program.

Behavioral Changes

Bariatric surgery is not just a physical procedure – it also involves significant psychological and behavioral changes. Patients may need to address underlying emotional issues related to food and their relationship with their body.

Additionally, patients should be prepared to make significant changes to their daily routine, such as planning meals and snacks, avoiding situations that may trigger overeating, and finding alternative ways to cope with stress or boredom.

Maintenance and Support

Bariatric surgery is not a one-and-done procedure. Patients need to commit to ongoing follow-up care to ensure the success of the surgery and maintain good health.

Follow-up care typically involves regular appointments with a healthcare provider or bariatric specialist, including monitoring of weight loss, nutritional status, and any potential complications. Patients may also need to attend support groups or counseling to address any psychological or emotional issues related to their weight loss journey.

Maintaining a healthy weight after bariatric surgery requires ongoing effort and commitment. Patients need to continue to make healthy dietary choices and engage in regular physical activity.

Additionally, patients may benefit from ongoing support from their healthcare team or support groups. Many bariatric surgery centers offer resources and programs to help patients stay on track and maintain their weight loss success.


According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, patients who have undergone bariatric surgery can experience significant weight loss and improvements in their overall health, including a decrease in the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. However, the society also notes that successful weight loss and maintenance requires a long-term commitment to lifestyle changes.

Similarly, the University of California San Francisco notes that while bariatric surgery can be a powerful tool for weight loss, patients must be committed to making significant dietary and lifestyle changes and to following up with their healthcare provider to achieve and maintain their weight loss goals.

In conclusion, bariatric surgery can be a life-changing procedure for individuals struggling with obesity. However, it’s important to recognize that the surgery is just one step in a long-term journey.

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