Top Habits of Successful Gastric Sleeve Patients

When obesity is aggravating chronic health conditions and threatens your health — and possibly your life — weight-loss surgery can be a savoir. Gastric sleeve surgery is the most commonly performed weight-loss surgery in the United States, and the team at Weight Loss Institute of Arizona often recommends it when obesity poses a threat to your health. The procedure can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and effectively.

Gastric sleeve surgery reduces your stomach to approximately 15% of its original size. After the procedure, your stomach holds just 2-3 ounces, so you get full with smaller portions. You also benefit from decreased hunger sensations.

For your sleeve gastrectomy to be effective, you must commit to a new lifestyle and eating strategy. Certain habits are more likely to help you adapt to your new digestive reality and to continue to lose weight following surgery. With the right habits, you can lose 60-70% of your excess weight within a year.

Choose nutrient-dense foods

You don’t have a lot of room in your stomach after surgery, so don’t fill up on empty calories. Whole foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and protein should make up your meals. Processed foods, such as canned or frozen meals, should be a last resort — especially if you have fresh alternatives available.

Fresh, whole foods keep you full longer and ensure you get many of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need. If you’ve been accustomed to eating less healthy foods, whole foods may take some getting used to. Give yourself time to adapt; it can take up to 20 tries to truly get accustomed to and like a food.

Protein, protein, protein

Protein should be part of every meal or snack. It helps you maintain muscle mass as you lose fat, and it keeps you feeling full longer. When you sit down to a meal, eat the protein portion first, just in case you get too full to finish everything on your plate.

Plan your meals

Have the ingredients for your healthy meals on hand, and know what you’re going to eat when it’s time for a meal. Scrounging the in fridge and pantry makes you more likely to cave and end up snacking on processed choices.

Stay away from beverage calories

You’re on a liquid diet for many of the initial weeks following surgery. Following this time period, however, you should keep your liquid intake of calories to a minimum. Sugary coffee drinks, soda, juices, and sports drinks only load up your calorie intake without most nutrients.

Chew thoroughly

Yes, you’re eating less, but your small stomach can only take so much. It’s common to experience nausea and vomiting after weight-loss surgery. Chewing your food thoroughly can help prevent this unpleasant side effect. Large chunks of food don’t pass smoothly through your digestive tract and have the potential to cause pain.


As soon as your physician clears it post-surgery, get moving. Walking for even 5-10 minutes at a time, multiple times per day, is a valid option, especially if long stints seem daunting. Your stamina improves quickly.

Walking helps prevent serious complications, especially when done right after surgery. Exercise in general can speed your rate of weight loss. With time, it really does make you feel better.

Weight Loss Institute of Arizona wants to help you succeed. For all the details on weight-loss surgery and how to ensure its success, call our office or request a consultation online.

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