make your bariatric journey work

About our community

Bariatric Surgery the easy way out?

Uhm....we don't think so! And that's why we give you a proven framework to make YOUR bariatric journey work.

Yes, it's all here...at the tip of your fingers!

SHOW ME THE COMMUNITY! >

I am Pre-Op

Get ready! Because your whole life is about to change. Preparing for bariatric surgery feels nothing short of a full-time job, right? From your sleep studies to your psych evaluations; from your dietitian's appointments to mentally preparing for taking that huge leap of faith, it's a lot to deal with all at once. Let's pause for a hot second and read our 7 tips to prepare for bariatric surgery. You got this!

READ 7 PRE-OP TIPS >

I am Post-Op

So you had bariatric surgery, now what? Nobody can really prepare you for that post-op rollercoaster ride. Some days will be great and on other days you don't even know how you'll get your protein in. Some days you look in the mirror feeling accomplished and on other days you barely recognize your own reflection. Let's just take it easy and start with a few bariatric basics to spark that motivation again! 

SHOW ME THE BASICS >

Bariatric Book Collection

Here's a hard truth about bariatric surgery. If you don't change your habits, in essence, you're missing out on the real deal. You see, the transformation after bariatric surgery goes way beyond the #transformationtuesday pictures you see on social media. Real change happens within. When you're ready, get started with our signature bariatric book collection to work on new habits, bless your taste buds and stay motivated!

GO TO BOOK COLLECTION >

This is how you go back to the Bariatric Basics
This image is a metaphor for the bariatric basics
Last updated April 25, 2022

Bariatric surgery isn’t about losing weight fast. It’s about creating habits that last.

But let’s be real. This journey is tough. Some people may say you took the easy way out, but this road is far from easy.

So, what do you do when you feel like you hit a brick wall? What principles can you fall back on, no matter where you are in your journey?

It’s the bariatric basics!

And in this blogpost, we give you a full breakdown of 6 basic habits to stay on top of your post-op lifestyle. These basics are not exhaustive, but it’s a great first start.

this picture describes 6 tips for going back to the bariatric basics after bariatric surgery. And these tips are: protein first, stay hydrated, keep it moving, eat more fiber, prioritize yourself and keep a journal.
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Bariatric Basic #1 – Protein, protein, protein (it’s a priority!)

It may sound like a broken record, but we have to repeat this over and over again: Protein is the most important macronutrient after bariatric surgery.

And to recap, here’s why:

  • Protein helps with post-op recovery and the healing process
  • Protein is the building block for your muscle mass
  • Protein curbs appetite as it promotes satiety
  • Protein helps to prevent hair loss

Meeting your protein goals after Bariatric Surgery can be very challenging to say the least.

You may not be able to tolerate all high-protein foods well and because of restriction, it’s hard to get all that protein in. One simple rule to follow when you sit down to eat, is to eat your protein first.

Another tip is to build your meals around your protein food source. For example, you’re having meatballs with spaghetti instead of spaghetti and meatballs. Make protein the star of your meals.


Bariatric Basic #2 – Stay hydrated, it’s an absolute non-negotiable

Staying hydrated after bariatric surgery is truly a full-time job. You’re busy, you may not even be that thirsty and water doesn’t sit so well with you anymore.

Nevertheless, it’s always important to make sure you get your fluids in. No matter how far out of surgery you are.

Did you know that bariatric patients are more likely to suffer from dehydration?

If you feel like you haven’t been paying enough attention to your hydration goals, it’s time to focus on them once again.


Bariatric Basic #3 – Make movement part of your lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is an active lifestyle.

Does that mean you have to go to the gym 6 days a week? No, it doesn’t (and if you do – well, hooray to you as long as you’re actively resting too!).

Find time in your day to move with purpose. To move intentionally. It can be training for a 5k marathon or it could be active play-time with the kids. It could be intentionally taking the stairs instead of the escalator when you’re in the mall, or it could be swimming laps at your local swimming pool. All movement is great movement. As long as it’s safe for your body and it’s sustainable in the long run.

And remember, you don’t have to fall in love with exercise from the get-go. Getting started is hard. It’s difficult to build up momentum (especially if you’re a newbie when it comes down to exercise). Give yourself grace, and take small steps. Focus on the progress, instead of just the results. Because the results usually lag anyway making it more challenging to keep your motivation high.  

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Find an activity that you actually LOVE. If going to the gym isn’t the right move for you – find something else! As long as you keep it moving!

Bariatric Basic #4 – Eat more vegetables

Protein comes first, but that doesn’t mean that other (macro)nutrients aren’t important anymore. Your meals evolve over time. Starting with clear liquids and protein shakes in the early stages of your recovery, to wholesome solid meals where protein plays a great role, later on.

Once you’re further out, there’s two things that change:

  1. Your portions increase (you can eat more)
  2. You can eat a greater variety of different types of foods (food aversions and food intolerance can still remain over the years, this is different for everybody).

Vegetables are jam-packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals to help you stay full longer and well-nourished. But it’s not just broccoli and carrots that contain that much needed fiber. Fruit, whole grains and legumes help to support your overall (gut) health too.

Remember how bariatric surgery increases the risk of (chronic) constipation? Making sure that there’s enough fiber (and liquids) in your diet can help to alleviate these symptoms through nutrition strategies.


Bariatric Basic #5 – Prioritize yourself! (for real this time…)

When you decided to fill out your surgeon’s form committing to having bariatric surgery, you also signed to something much greater than your surgery date. The commitment to change your life for good. Bariatric surgery is a medical treatment. You came to terms that obesity is a complex disease that needed your undivided attention and care. Self-care to be precise. Where other people may think you took a short-cut, in reality, you made a difficult decision to stick to a new lifestyle. Both physically (through specific nutritional guidelines and a strict vitamin regimen) and mentally (healing your relationship with food and letting go of the feeling of failure).

Prioritize yourself. Or else, nobody will.

If you need 10 friendly positive affirmations to keep your head up after bariatric surgery, you can download your free list here.


Bariatric Basic #6 – Hold yourself accountable by using a journal

Along with bariatric surgery, comes the bariatric overwhelm. The bariatric overwhelm can look like this:

  • Committing to your protein goals
  • Remembering your daily vitamins
  • The challenge to stay hydrated
  • Navigating bariatric surgery stigma
  • Dealing with eating out in public
  • Physical side effects like dumping syndrome and nausea
  • Mental challenges like body distortion
  • Healing your relationship with food
  • Mood swings due to reactive hypoglycemia and changes in hormones
  • Learning how to eat from scratch
  • Not being able to use food as a coping mechanism any longer
  • Going to your follow-up appointments
  • Doing your lab-work
  • Continuous mindful eating and chewing well

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have to deal with many changes all at once, you could go into “freeze-mode” where you just feel too overwhelmed to properly tackle all your goals with confidence.

Breaking down your goals and organizing your thoughts in a journal, is incredibly helpful. Not only has journaling been proven to be an effective method to meet your goals better, it also helps to rewire your brain. Using helpful prompts or writing down positive affirmations or gratitude prompts, help to restructure the way you think. And this will help to lay the ground work for a new mindset too.

Bariatric Surgery Journal Your Onederland
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This is the Bariatric Surgery Journal by Your Onederland to help you keep yourself accountable for the next 8 weeks of your journey. Tap here to learn more!

Key takeaways

  • The bariatric basics may look different from person to person
  • But there are common denominators which are important, no matter where you are in your journey
  • Eating enough protein and fiber, staying hydrated, prioritizing yourself and rewiring your brain to allow a new mindset to flourish, are incredibly important after bariatric surgery
  • Start using a journal to clarify your goals, bring structure to your routines and to reframe your thoughts

About Your Onederland

Your Onederland is your go-to source for all things bariatric surgery. We give you a free platform where you can meet bariatric friends from all over the world.

And you’ll find TONS of tips, tricks and reliable resources for your bariatric journey too.

Log in or create a free account today!


Resources:

  1. Mechanik J.I., Youdim, A. Jones, D.B., et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the perioperative nutritional, metabolic, and nonsurgical support of the bariatric patient: Cosponsored by American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The Obesity Society, and American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013;21Suppl 1:S1-27.
  2. Friedrich A., Dammus-Machado a., Meile T., et al. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy compared to a multidisciplinary weight loss program for obesity-effects on body composition and protein status. Obes Surg. 2013;23(12):1957-1965.
  3. Aills L., et al. ASMBS Bariatric Nutrition Guidelines, Surg Obes Rel Dis. 2008.

*Disclaimer: The information on our Instagram page, website, blogposts, e-mails and other (social) media platforms and channels as well as the community challenges we provide have been prepared solely for general educational purposes and should not be construed or relied on, nor is intended to be used or substituted for medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. It should not be used to replace that of your surgeon, your dietitian, your therapist or other qualified medical professional or healthcare provider. Each individual and situation is fact-specific and the appropriate solution in any case may vary; therefore, these materials may not be relevant to your particular situation. While every attempt was made to ensure that these materials were accurate at the time of publication, errors or omissions may be contained therein, for which any liability is disclaimed. Should you have any health care related questions please contact your qualified health care provider as soon as possible. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking advice because of information you have read or listened to on our websites and social media accounts. Communication on any of our platforms including comments, emails, the community challenges and direct messages does not constitute a therapeutic relationship.

About our community

Bariatric Surgery the easy way out?

Uhm....we don't think so! And that's why we give you a proven framework to make YOUR bariatric journey work.

Yes, it's all here...at the tip of your fingers!

SHOW ME THE COMMUNITY  >

I am Pre-Op

Get ready! Because your whole life is about to change. Preparing for bariatric surgery feels nothing short of a full-time job, right? From your sleep studies to your psych evaluations; from your dietitian's appointments to mentally preparing for taking that huge leap of faith, it's a lot to deal with all at once. Let's pause for a hot second and read our 7 tips to prepare for bariatric surgery. You got this!

READ 7 PRE-OP TIPS >

I am Post-Op

So you had bariatric surgery, now what? Nobody can really prepare you for that post-op rollercoaster ride. Some days will be great and on other days you don't even know how you'll get your protein in. Some days you look in the mirror feeling accomplished and on other days you barely recognize your own reflection. Let's just take it easy and start with a few bariatric basics to spark that motivation again! 

SHOW ME THE BASICS >

Bariatric Book Collection

Here's a hard truth about bariatric surgery. If you don't change your habits, in essence, you're missing out on the real deal. You see, the transformation after bariatric surgery goes way beyond the #transformationtuesday pictures you see on social media. Real change happens within. When you're ready, get started with our signature bariatric book collection to work on new habits, bless your taste buds and stay motivated!

GO TO BOOKS >

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