Bariatric surgery will change your life. Bariatric surgery is a tool to lose weight, but it’s up to you to keep it off. The products below are valuable for various reasons. Tools that keep you hydrated, focused on meal planning, and make it easier to stay on track help make the journey after surgery easier. These are the tools that help you keep it off.
Staying hydrated after bariatric surgery is extremely important for three reasons:
- Fluids are an important part of the body’s healing process.
- Dehydration can be life-threatening. ER visits for dehydration are common after bariatric surgery.
- Water helps ward off hunger and may improve skin elasticity which may help with wrinkles and sagging skin.
It’s difficult to get enough fluid after surgery. For the first week after surgery, you’ll likely be asked to drink 2 to 4 ounces of water every hour. For the following weeks you’ll need to get your daily intake up to 64 ounces. Most programs suggest that you don’t drink anything 30 minutes before and after a meal and your new stomach will limit the amount of water you can drink in a single sitting.
The Sportline HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle tracks your daily water intake and reminds you to stay on track. You should note that this bottle has a straw and straws are typically not encouraged during the first few weeks after surgery as it’s easier to swallow air and drink too much too quickly. But the technology is cool and it’s a great tool after you get past those first few post-surgery weeks.
Simple, sophisticated, and easy to clean. The Nalgene Translucent Wide Mouth Bottle is affordable and has easy-to-see graduations so you know how much water you drank and how much more you have left.
There are many water bottles out there with motivational quotes. “Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring.” I love this quote. If you have kids, you are a role model. You likely chose to have bariatric surgery because of your family and your desire to be healthy, live longer, and teach healthy habits to your kids. While we haven’t tried this bottle, it has positive reviews and we love the message.
Food & Diet Compliance
In the weeks following surgery, staying hydrated is your primary goal. As you are able to incorporate more food into your daily routine, managing your food intake becomes very important. The products below help you organize, plan, and stay compliant with your doctor’s post-surgery diet guidelines.
The Jaxx FitPak products are very popular among bariatric patients. The FitPak comes with containers with graduations that make it easy to measure the amount of food in each container. Small containers are perfect for snacks, while the larger containers can be used for meals.
The Jaxx FitPak has a convenient carrying case that includes 5 pockets for your vitamins and supplements. If you drink your protein shake during the day you can add the powder to one of the containers, plastic bag, or to the empty shaker bottle and mix up your daily shake at work!
This is a simple and less expensive solution to portion control after bariatric surgery. The Meal Prep Haven 7 piece set comes with color coded containers of different sizes making it easy to choose the right container for the right food type post-surgery.
As your progress in your diet, you’ll likely move to slightly larger containers for your proteins. The smaller containers can be used for a healthy vegetable and the smallest containers should be reserved for your healthy carbohydrates.
Many bariatric programs recommend weighing your proteins and other food types to simplify portion control. For example, a common goal between 6 to 8 weeks after gastric bypass surgery is 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat for lunch and dinner. That goal may increase to 4 ounces after 8 weeks.
A simple to use scale is perfect for creating your meals and staying within your programs guidelines. This scale is simple, affordable and works well!
The NutriBullet is a powerful blender that’s easy to use and will liquefy anything. This is perfect for the soft food and full liquid phase after gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery. It also remains very useful long-after the first few weeks post-bariatric surgery. Adding a carrot and greens to a protein shake is done easily with the NutriBullet. Unlike a juicer which extracts the fiber of the fruits or vegetables, the NutriBullet leaves them in your drink. This increases your fiber content which helps reduce constipation (common after bariatric surgery).
Note: It’s generally not recommended to eat a lot of fruit after bariatric surgery. Most fruit has a high sugar content. This blender shouldn’t be used to make fruit juice drinks but instead to add veggies to your protein shake; to create a delicious vegetable soup that won’t upset your pouch or sleeve; pulverizing broccoli into your favorite red sauce so it’s barely detectable but the nutrients are still there.
MUST HAVE – Protein Shake Shaker Bottle
When you make protein shakes every day, you will not want to use a blender and clean the mess associated with blending. This protein shaker bottle (the Blender Bottle) is perfect for everyday use, it’s easy to bring on the road and super easy to clean.
This bottle in particular is very handy. The bottom portion of the cup unscrews so you can carry your protein powder with you until you’re ready to mix and drink. The metal ball does the mixing while you do the shaking. It’s super easy, cheap, and is a must have for any bariatric surgery patient.
Exercise and Weight Tracking
New ‘wearable’ devices hit the market every other month. The Fitbit suite of products are tried and true, innovative, and up-to-date. Their wearable pedometers and wi-fi scales integrate with the Baritastic App. They are easy to set-up and have design options for the most discerning fashionistas.
The Fitbit Charge HR monitors your heart rate, the steps you take throughout the day, the time and your sleep! Work your way up to achieve your goal of 10,000 steps each day. You don’t have to run a marathon, join a gym, or become a tri-athelte. Just move every day; around the house, at work, with your kids on the playground.
Fitbit users can ask their friends to help motivate you on your journey to better health. If you download the Baritastic app and then join the social group, you can post and ask for other bariatric patients to friend you on Fitbit.
The Aria scale syncs to the Aria app. You can step on the scale daily and, once connected to the app, all of your weight loss data will show up in the app. The scale integrates with other popular apps including Baritastic.
While stepping on the scale isn’t necessary and sometimes counterproductive, it is important to keep track of your progress. The journey to better health after bariatric surgery doesn’t happen overnight and staying committed, on-track, and compliant is difficult as you hit weight loss ‘stalls.’ Seeing the progress from your pre-surgery weight to your current weight can help keep you focused on your long term-goals in spite of short-term set-backs.
Preventing Hair Loss
Losing weight fast creates hormonal changes that can lead to hair loss. Hair loss (shedding) is common after bariatric surgery but it’s typically temporary. Hair growth should return after your weight starts to stabilize (18 months plus). Ensuring you are getting enough protein and staying compliant with your vitamin and supplement regime will help reduce hair loss after bariatric surgery.
Note: There is no scientific evidence that shows that topical biotin will increase hair growth (that we are aware of). However, a good shampoo doesn’t hurt and the feedback and reviews from this shampoo are excellent. Shampoos and conditioners can coat and increase the thickness of the hair shaft and make your hair look ‘fuller.’
This shampoo is free of harsh chemicals, it’s gluten free, and full of organic ingredients to help improve the health of your scalp.
Biotin supplements have been shown to support hair and nail growth. Many bariatric patients start taking this a month before surgery and continue after surgery (per your doctor’s guidelines). The BariMelts Biotin dissolves in your mouth so you shouldn’t have any issues taking this shortly after surgery. No artificial sweeteners. This is a simple daily supplement to help fight hair loss after bariatric surgery.
After bariatric surgery you will be tired and uncomfortable. You’ll likely spend most of your time in the house while your body is healing. Walking is encouraged, but you shouldn’t lift anything over 15lbs for the first few weeks. The main focus here is preventing dehydration. So sip your water slowly, and try to get between 2 and 4 ounces per hour.
Below are a few products recommended on a regular basis from post-op patients.
After surgery there is often a strange feeling that your insides are bouncing around. They can feel loose, as if your insides will spill out when you stand up. When you cough or laugh, the binder will help your abdomen from moving and reduce pain.
Below is a post-op patient that recommended this product on the Baritastic Social group.
“Just wanted to suggest that if your surgeon doesn’t send you home from the hospital with an abdominal binder, consider purchasing one yourself. I wore mine for 3 weeks post op, constantly. It helped make me feel like my guts weren’t going to spill out, eased the pain and helped secure the occasional ice pack to stay in place. It was the number 1 thing I would not go without!”
Learning all you can before surgery is important. Knowing what to expect, how to prepare, and how to stay on track is vital to the long-term success of your journey.
We’ve created a separate page that shows our favorite bariatric surgery books.
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