Summer Vacation Tips after Weight Loss Surgery

vacation after having weight loss surgery

By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD FASMBS

Getting away during the summer months is a long-awaited thrill for most of us. But it can be a little concerning to people who may be traveling from home for the first time since weight loss surgery.

This month, we are outlining simple and effective tips and tools to lessen the burden and keep you in control of the situation.

Depending on where you are in your weight loss journey—post-op, midway, nearing goal weight or maintaining, these tools will apply to you.

Post-Op Travel Guidelines

Plan on staying close to home for the first eight to 12 weeks after your bariatric operation.

Thereafter, if you are traveling by car or airplane, you’ll need to walk around every 45 minutes to an hour to offset the risk of blood clots.

Everyone’s bariatric medical case is unique, so let your doctor know if you’ll be traveling by car or air within six months of surgery; he or she may have specific travel guidelines for you.

Tip: Reach out to your bariatric surgeon if you need a doctor’s note for the TSA approving you to transport liquid protein shakes or other doctor-ordered beverages through airport security.

Prepare for Success

Plan ahead, create a system you will follow at every meal—just like at home. Prioritize the protein. Eat small portions intermittently, stay hydrated, and take your daily vitamins. Bring along a protein bar, raw nuts or tuna packets, just in case you’re faced with a menu that does not suit your needs.  

Bring a box of sandwich-size plastic baggies. When you see bari-friendly foods at the buffet, take a few durable items which can fill-in if you find yourself in a setting with no healthy foods available.

Find Ways to Exercise

Most modern hotels, resorts and cruise ships offer a plethora of fitness amenities. Take advantage of unique opportunities to burn some calories–tennis, group fitness classes, hiking tours, volleyball or badminton, water sports, golf, bike tours—be adventurous and make new memories.

Don’t take the motorized bikes to tour new places—sightsee on foot and get your daily step goal in—even on vacation!

You are in Control of What You Eat

You may have used vacations in the past as an excuse to indulge by consuming copious amounts of unhealthy food and cocktails. This time it’s different.

Beware of the bountiful buffet. The most expensive and healthiest food will be harder to reach and presented on smaller serving platters. Peruse first, choose what suits your nutrition plan, then use a smaller plate to enjoy a filling and satisfying meal.

If others choose to gorge themselves, that’s their decision. You, and you alone, have chosen a healthy path to weight loss.

You may be on vacation, but you still have control over what you eat, drink and how you move your body every day.

Enjoy the power over food. You’ve earned it.

Enjoy the vacation. You’ve earned that too.

About Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri

Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS is a US board-certified and fellowship trained laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgeon. He is the medical director at Sterling Surgicare, with medical offices located in Holmdel and Old Bridge, NJ and medical director of the Institute for Weight Loss at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge. To learn more about bariatric weight loss surgery or other GI operations, call our friendly and professional surgical team at (732) 217-3897.