Stay on the Bariatric Weight Loss Track During Your Vacation

By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD FASMBS

Medical Director, Sterling Surgicare 


Getting away during the summer is a long-awaited joy. But it can be a little concerning to people who may be traveling after having weight loss surgery. Your daily nutrition and exercise routine is upset and the foods and drinks you rely on may not be readily available. I’ve  compiled our most recommended guidance to help keep you in control of your environment during your time away, whether you’re recently post-op, midway, approaching goal weight or on weight maintenance.

Post-Op Travel Guidelines

Plan on staying close to home for the first eight to 12 weeks after your 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; they 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 and create a standard best practice you will follow at meal and snack times—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 should you find yourself in a setting with no healthy foods available–or you’re hungry.

READ: Bariatric Snack Management 101

Find Ways to Exercise

Most hotels, resorts and cruise ships offer a plethora of fitness amenities. Take advantage of unique opportunities to burn calories—play tennis, join a group fitness class, take a morning hiking tour, try 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!

READ: “Get Up, Get Out, Boost Your Calorie Burn”

You Control 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. Tip: The most expensive and healthiest food will be less visible and harder to reach. Peruse first, choose what suits your nutrition plan, then use a smaller plate to enjoy a filling and satisfying meal.

Even if your location has changed, you still have control over what you eat, drink and how you move your body every day. If others choose to gorge themselves, that’s their decision. You have chosen a healthier path to weight loss. Enjoy the power over food. You’ve worked hard to achieve it.

Enjoy every minute of your vacation. You’ve earned that too.

Are you considering surgical weight loss–gastric bypass, gastric sleeve (VSG), gastric banding or a bariatric revision? Call our friendly team of weight loss surgery experts at 732-217-3897 and find out how to start your journey to better overall mental and physical health in 2022. We can’t wait to meet you!