By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS
Well hello spring! We’ve already had the windows open for a few weeks, reminding us that the hot days of summer are just around the corner. Of course, we all want to look and feel our best once we peel off all those heavy layers of winter clothing.
Right now–today–is an ideal time to boost your healthy habits, starting with what you eat and drink.
But there’s a close second priority to helping to achieve and maintain your weight loss goals–
You need to move your body on a regular basis.
When you do, you’ll be rewarded by burning more calories and increasing your metabolism, which helps you burn more even calories around the clock.
The role of fitness during and after your weight loss
During the first year after your weight loss surgery, the weight comes off fairly steadily. But after you significantly lower your BMI or reach goal weight, weight loss slows. Perhaps you’ve even gained some weight back years after surgery.
If you are two+ years post-op, a consistent and active lifestyle is your ‘secret sauce’ to warding off regain.
The opportunities for exercising outside have expanded exponentially because of the pandemic. It’s easy to find an outdoor group cardio sculpt or Zumba class—they are everywhere! Perhaps you’ll start biking again for the first time in years or rekindle your enjoyment of tennis or golf.
If you have lost significant weight, enjoying these activities will be easier on your joints, and you’ll be surprised to experience how you can move more freely.
It takes two
Remember, while many of our bariatric warriors choose walking as their exercise of choice, you need to add at least one additional form of exercise to keep metabolism firing on as many cylinders as possible.
What kind of activity will you pursue and how—specifically—will you fit it into your daily schedule? How long should your workouts be and how strenuous?
For the first four-six weeks after surgery, focus on flexibility exercises, deep breathing and resuming normal daily activities.
Gradually build in regularly-scheduled, low-intensity aerobic exercise (walking, biking, Zumba or swimming).
Expect to feel fatigued up to eight weeks after surgery. Your body is in the process of adjusting to your significantly lower caloric intake. Therefore, do not perform high-intensity workouts.
As weight is lost and the level of fitness improves, you will be able to take in a few more calories and exercise at higher levels of intensity.
Don’t forget weight training—lifting light weights is key to maintaining lean muscle!
Muscle is good for boosting metabolism, whereas fat is the culprit. Keep in mind, I’m not suggesting you lift heavy weights—multiple reps using light weights will reap positive results.
Maintaining muscle is key to protecting long-term weight management.
Track Your Fitness Efforts
Using whatever digital or written method works for you, write down your daily fitness efforts each day. It will inspire you and serve as valuable insight for your bariatric team to review during office visits.
I also encourage patients to write down how they feel after working out; many report that physical fitness releases positive endorphins, decreases appetite and significantly boosts daily energy.
During your bariatric journey, your weight loss will speed up and slow down. Stay true to your activity schedule regardless and keep challenging your limits.
Make friends with fitness. It will always serve as the backbone of your long-term weight loss maintenance.
Is 2021 the year you turn your health around?
People seeking surgical weight loss receive first class service beginning with your first call to Sterling Surgicare. We’ll help you confirm your bariatric medical insurance coverage, explain the self-pay process and confirm an appointment for you to meet (in-person or via telehealth) with Dr. Adeyeri during the next week!
That’s right–you won’t wait months for your first appointment, just a couple of days!
Call our friendly and respectful team at (732) 217-3897 and let’s find out together if bariatric weight loss surgery is the tool you need to get your health back on track and to meet your weight loss goal. 2021 has never looked brighter–let’s get to work!