One of the most common concerns in weight loss surgery patients is excess skin. It is common for patients to lose up to 65% of their body weight in the first year after their surgery. In some patients, this could be 100 pounds or more, leading to “sagging” skin. While cosmetic surgery is an option, many weight loss surgery patients choose to tone and tighten their skin in other ways.
Healthy Diet Comes First
In addition to exercising, eating a healthy diet is not only necessary to the success of weight loss after bariatric surgery but it can also help tone. There are high levels of sodium in processed foods, and that can lead to retaining water. On the contrary, fresh foods can help to accelerate fat loss. Some foods such as soy and berries have also shown to encourage the production of collagen, which can help tighten and tone skin. Protein, the most important macronutrient after weight loss surgery, will help retain muscle mass. Also, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn.
With the clearance of your bariatric surgeon, you should start an exercise program that incorporates strength training three to four days each week. Start with exercises that are low impact, such as lunges and squats, and low weights. Add variety to your workout by incorporating each muscle group throughout the week. Building up your muscle tone will help tighten and firm your skin.
Don’t Forget Cardio
Strength training is great, but a well-rounded exercise program also includes cardio. As with strength training, begin a cardio routine as soon as you have the clearance from your surgeon. Start slow. Begin by walking. Swimming, once your wounds have healed sufficiently, is also a great way to get you moving while burning calories that will help lose more fat than muscle. Dancing, aerobics classes, jogging and yoga can also be incorporated into your workout routine
If you’re new to exercising, here are some tips to help you get started.