There are many different ways that you can prepare for your weight loss procedure in the weeks and days beforehand. Your doctor will provide you with additional specific preparation instructions.
Preparing Your Diet
Eating a healthy diet will help prepare your body for surgery. Starting one to two weeks before your surgery, you should focus on eating as balanced and healthy a diet as possible. This includes eating three regular meals a day. At least half of your plate should be filled with vegetables. The remaining half should be divided between a lean protein and whole grain carbohydrates. You can also add a piece of fruit to round out the meal.
You can also have a light, healthy snack between meals if you become hungry. You should pay close attention to portion sizes so that you do not gain extra weight before your surgery. The following is a guide to help you identify proper portion sizes.
- 1 tablespoon is about the size of your thumb
- 3 ounces is approximately the size of your palm
- ½ cup is roughly the amount that you can hold in your hand
- 1 cup is approximately the size of your fist
You can also keep portions in check by eating from a smaller plate. This will help you avoid the temptation to overfill simply to avoid having negative space on the plate. Try to eat slowly and savor each bite. It can take a few minutes for the brain to register the fact that the stomach is full, so you should avoid immediately going back for seconds.
Restaurant servings are often two to three times the size of an actual serving. Ask for a to-go box when you get your meal so that you can immediately box up at least half of the food. You will keep your portions in check and have a meal for the next day. It is also important to get into the habit of reading food labels. Many packaged foods that appear to be one serving are actually two to three times what is recommend.
Preparing Your Bowels
It is important to have your bowels as empty as possible before the procedure. You may be asked to purchase an 8-ounce bottle of magnesium citrate and take it according to the bottle instructions. Magnesium citrate is a laxative and reactions can vary from person to person. Most people start to have bowel movements within 30 minutes to three hours of taking the laxative. You may experience multiple, frequent bowel movements, so it is advisable to remain close to a restroom.
- It is necessary to fast before your surgery. For your safety, your stomach needs to be empty at the time of the procedure to prevent vomiting and other complications while you are under anesthesia.
- Do not eat or drink anything after 10:00 PM on the night before your surgery. You also should avoid overindulging at your last meal.
- You should discontinue taking blood thinners, ibuprofen, and NSAIDs a week before your surgery. Be sure to notify your doctor if you are taking any aspirin or anything that contains aspirin.
You could experience surgical complications or even have your surgery postponed if you do not follow the instructions provided by your doctor. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about these instructions.