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Adjusting to life after bariatric surgery is both challenging and exciting. In the initial days, weeks and months after bariatric surgery, it’s important to walk while you recover. You should also follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions very carefully to help reduce your risk of complications.

You may also require lifting restrictions to ten pounds for at least three weeks following surgery. This will depend on your type of surgery and your physician’s recommendations.

What is Life Like After Gastric Sleeve?

Life changes drastically after gastric sleeve surgery. Confidence, compliments, and weight loss all come pouring in at once. As great as you may feel, it’s important to know how the body changes with a new, smaller stomach. Hunger can be an extreme hurdle before surgery – which is why dieting methods can be so difficult to follow. Contrary to pre-op, after surgery hunger can be difficult to even ‘feel’ or ‘notice’. The amount of food patients can eat at one time is significantly reduced.

First off, patients don’t produce Ghrelin (a hunger hormone) at the same rate as a normal person because 85% of the stomach was removed while undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. Because of the lack of hunger, patients generally know if they are hungry when their body begins feeling either tired or weak. This is why following a proper post-op diet and meal plan is important to keep your body healthy and happy.


You will need between 60 and 80 grams of protein each day to meet your daily protein requirements. The actual number will be given to you by your Dietitian. The reason why getting your protein requirements is so important to weight loss is because you’ll need to eat foods that satiate you. Foods with protein will make you feel more satisfied, rather than foods that don’t have a lot of protein.


Don’t fall into the trap of eating calorically dense foods! Many patients find that, as soon as they’re able to, they begin craving unhealthy foods. To stop this, keep them out of your life as much as possible. Pizza, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, and other foods high in calories should be eaten only very sparingly, saving them for special occasions and even then, only small portions.

Sticking to a diet made up of whole grains, lean meats, vegetables, and fruits will be ideal for promoting continued weight loss all the way to your ideal weight.

Emotional changes

When people begin to lose weight quickly, they naturally adopt a new way of thinking, because they experience firsthand what it means to feel better and be healthier. Surgery provides a tool that reinforces the positive lifestyle changes that the person must commit to.

Life after bariatric surgery will not necessarily be the same for all patients. For some the changes happen naturally and easily, while others encounter major challenges.

Social changes

One of the challenges that people face involves social situations. It is very likely that the patient is used to going out with friends or having “get togethers” in which food is the main guest. Prior to the surgery the patient must make peace with the fact that using food for comfort or entertainment or bingeing on their favorite treats will no longer be possible.

Physical changes

Dramatic weight loss causes excess skin to accumulate in different areas of the body, like the neck, breasts, abdomen, back, buttocks, arms and thighs. This excess loose skin may cause discomfort and irritation, to eliminate these issues patients should contemplate plastic surgery after reaching their goal weight.


Though probably difficult for you now, increased physical activity will become part of your daily routine as you lose weight. With weight-loss, you’ll have less joint pain, less shortness of breath and more endurance.

Add cardio and weight training into your daily routine 

We encourage all patients to adopt an exercise regimen such as walking, swimming, aerobics or any other form of physical fitness. This not only increases caloric expenditure, but metabolism as well, thus helping with weight-loss and maintenance.

We also suggest weight training since building muscle tissue (muscle tissue burns calories 24 hours per day) increases and helps maintain maximum weight-loss. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily is required.