How do I Lose Weight Before Surgery?
Sometimes you might be planning on a plastic surgery or cosmetic procedure, only to discover that you will need to adjust your weight before you can have surgery. Losing weight can even be required before having Bariatric Surgery or Liposuction.
Why is that? If you are too far over your ideal weight before any form of body surgery, or bordering on obesity, you won’t tend to get a great result. Surgery also carries higher risks if you’re not at a healthy weight yet. Additionally, Bariatric Surgeries such as gastric sleeve or gastric band procedures can help you lose a lot of your excess weight, but not all. So you’ll need to try to lose weight yourself, beforehand. You’ll also need to reach a stable, readily maintainable weight before scheduling additional surgery such as body lift and body contouring procedures.
If you want to become a Surgical Candidate with the best chances of good surgical outcomes – and minimal surgical risks – you’ll need to take some personal steps to release those excess kilos.
Read below for tips to help lose some of the excess weight. And you may find that you’ll do better if you get a Support Team behind your efforts. This can include motivational family members or friends, a caring GP, a Nutritionist, a Psychologist and other coaches who can help you stay on track with making major lifestyle changes.
Do you need to be at an ideal weight (or goal weight) before proceeding with your surgery?
If you are planning on plastic surgery after losing weight – either on your own or through the help of Bariatric Surgery – you will likely need to plan your surgical journey to be adequately prepared. Body Contouring can take several years and require several different procedures, some of which can be combined and others which may best be done independently (such as an Arm Lift procedure). Dr Geoff Barnett can help you create a custom body shaping surgical plan to get you where you’re wanting to get to, in terms of firmer contours and less redundant skin after weight changes.
But it still helps to have realistic expectations of what surgery can – and cannot – do for your body. That often means you’ll need to get your body more fit and healthy before you can consider further surgery to reduce stubborn fat or redundant skin folds.
Who needs to lose weight before surgery?
- Obese people are at a higher risk of suffering from heart and lung diseases, as well as skin diseases and other chronic conditions.
- This includes joint pain and reduced mobility due to being dangerously overweight.
If you have been obese or are significantly over a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI), you will have a lot of accumulated fat in your body. Being overweight (or obese) leaves you prone to developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea and gastro-intestinal problems. It even puts you at higher risk for various types of cancers.
How does a person become obese?
- Obesity is usually but not always – and often not solely – caused due to consumption of excess food or and under-expenditure of calories.
- It may also relate to genetic traits and metabolic dysfunction, chromosomal disorders, sedentary lifestyles, emotional problems, hormonal problems, certain medication effects or a long-term lack of regular exercise.
Sadly, it is much easier to gain weight than to lose it!
Sit down jobs do not assist us in our goals to lose weight, and also leave us at higher risk of weight gain and unhealthy eating patterns.
Why is it difficult to lose the last stubborn 10 kilos?
Diet – rather, your nutritional intake – along with regular exercising – can help you to lose weight somewhat easily when you start using reasonable meal portions, drink plenty of water, and cut back on foods that are laden with calories but little actual nutrition.
If you begin to exercise regularly and start eating healthily, reasonable portion sizes, stay hydrated and cut out soft drinks, you’ll likely find you’ll reduce your weight significantly and somewhat readily.
What about those last 10 kilos to lose weight before surgery? Why are they so difficult to shift?
When it gets down to the last 10 kilos, however, it often becomes very difficult to get them off to reach your desired weight and body shape. The actual number on the scale is less important than having a healthy BMI and a good muscle-to-fat ratio, but it’s all related.
If you’re tracking your weight changes in kilos, it seems the first 10 kilos tend to come off somewhat fast, then every subsequent 10 kilos takes a bit longer. Every stage seems to slow down a bit with time. Then the last 10 kilos seems to be stubbornly resistant to your efforts!
This is often the case even if you used gastric sleeve or gastric band surgery and other measures that limit your intake of food. It seems for most of us, the last stubborn kilos are the hardest to shift. But the good news is, they’re not impossible to shift, it may just take a bit more patience and dedication over time. And for some of us, we may need body lift surgery to remove redundant skin and fat from certain areas of our bodies after significant weight loss.
Since any surgery that a person undergoes can have a number of complications as well as long periods of down time, many people opt for non-surgical weight loss techniques. And even patients who use Bariatric Surgery to treat obesity still need to manage weight loss by major lifestyle changes before AND after surgery.
Non-surgical weight-loss techniques to lose the last stubborn 10 kilos – Tips from a Nutritionist
- Get more sleep – Most of us need at least 8-10 hours of sleep every night. Research has shown that sleep helps to burn more calories and that when we lack sleep, we often eat more and have slower metabolism. The combination means we often gain weight (or stop losing weight). When you sleep, your fat loss metabolism is improved and your appetites or hunger seems more easily regulated. On the contrary, when you do not get enough sleep, your body produces hormones that leave you feeling hungrier more often. When you wake up sleep-deprived, not only is your fat loss decreased, you also feel hungry. Less sleep is a complete no-no when you’re trying to get healthy, control your portions and lose weight. And if sleep apnea is a problem for you, it might be part of why you’re obese! Get tested to see if you are getting quality rest that leaves you more able to control your appetite.
- Eat healthy whenever you’re hungry – Whenever you’re hungry, always aim to eat something nutritious and healthy. Try a combination of healthy fats, vegetables and a protein source (fish, meat or non-meat based protein options). Not only will this balance help to satisfy your hunger, it will also make you feel fuller for longer.
- No liquid calories – You have to cut down all your liquid calories. Say goodbye to all your aerated drinks, soft drinks, mixers and alcohol drinkes so that you don’t get unnecessary calories. Try swapping to plain water whenever you can – or try healthy liquid alternatives such as coconut water, fresh fruit juice, and herbal teas like green tea or peppermint tea. Be sure whatever you are drinking isn’t laden with hidden added sugar. Avoid most pre-packaged juices (laden with sugar or preservatives) and smoothies made with milk-based products often have extra calories you’re not counting on.
- Do not stop exercising – Just because you’re not shedding any weight, do not stop your regular exercise. Exercise helps you to stay fit and prevents you from gaining the weight that you have lost with so much effort. At the same time, it is very important not to overdo the workout. When you feel that the weight is not being lost, you need not work out more strenuously in order to make it happen. Just continue with your regular workout regime. If you exercise more than you should, your body will be fatigued and it can also lead to muscle weakness. If this happens, you might be tempted to eat something which is not good for your health.
- Eat healthy snacks – When people are able to lose the initial few kilos, they think that they have earned themselves the right to indulge in some sugary snacks, fried foods or desserts. The way around this is to only eat healthy snacks, such as nuts, fruit, dried fruit, porridge or salads.
- Don’t be disheartened – Don’t lose heart if your weight loss suddenly slows down – or seems to stop – at a particular number on the scale. Losing your first 10 kilos or more is usually = much easier than you first thought because making changes can make a major difference. But then it can become challenging. In spite of all your efforts, if the weight doesn’t seem to budge for you, still keep going. Mix up your exercising, find a new distraction and start paying attention to what foods seem to stall your weight loss and which ones help.
Read the 7 Ways you can Improve your BMI by clicking on the link below.
Am I At An Ideal Weight for a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?
Remember, also, that even small lifestyle changes towards healthier eating and portion control, and regular exercises (such as walking and counting steps) can have a cumulative effect over time. So don’t despair if it’s slower than you wished it would be.
Just follow our advice and foster as much patience and persistence as possible. Give yourself credit for how far you’ve already come in your weight change journey. Get good sleep and drink a lot of water to stay well hydrated.
That’ll be the key to losing those last stubborn 10 kilos!
If you’ve already lost weight and are wanting liposuction, a body lift or body contouring to help remove redundant skin, send an enquiry form today to start your journey towards a firmer and more natural-looking body shape.
Dr Geoff Barnett is a Plastic Surgeon who focuses on upper arm fat/liposuction and skin reductions (arm lifts or Bilateral Brachioplasty), thigh lifts, body lifts, belt lipectomy surgeries and other types of abdominoplasty procedures and breast reduction or breast lift surgery.
Need help choosing a surgeon? Here is some Important information. For further information please Email or you can Download our PDF Guide: All About Brachioplasty. You can also talk to a Patient Care Advisor that can answer your questions from 8am-6pm Monday through to Friday on (03) 8849 1444.
Dr Geoff Barnett is a highly qualified and experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon.
Learn more about Dr Geoffrey Barnett | Email | Ph (03) 8849 1444