Diet vs Exercise After Bariatric Surgery:
Which is The Real Hero?

Exercise after bariatric surgery? You've probably heard the drill. Sweat it out to slip into those smaller clothing sizes.

But let's be real, you can't out train a bad diet.

It's like Batman and Robin; sure they work together, but one always takes the lead. And when it comes to weight loss, it's not about how much you exercise but what you eat. Food is the real caped crusader.

You can eat back the calories you burn in a single 30 minute workout in just seconds flat by downing a bag of chips or a large loaded coffee drink.

Many of my clients complain they can't lose weight because they're not exercising enough, but I have to break it to them - it's not about burning enough calories, it's about not eating too many calories.

You Can't Out Train a Bad Diet

Exercise After Bariatric Surgery:
The Sidekick to Your Diet

You see, it's like this: You're awake for a good chunk of the day, right? And let's say you do the bare minimum recommended exercise: 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week (150 minutes total). That's only 21 minutes a day, spread out over a week.

  • Now, during those 21 minutes of exercise, you burn roughly 6-8 calories per minute.
  • So, that's 120-168 extra calories per week.

Here's where it gets real: it takes 3500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat. So, to lose just 1 pound of fat, you'd have to exercise for 29 weeks (that's more than half a year!) at 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

So, you can’t just exercise and expect the weight to fall off. You gotta watch what you eat too, my bariatric warriors!

Think of it this way: exercise is like the cherry on top of a sundae. Sure, it's a nice addition, but the real bulk of the sundae is made up of the ice cream and toppings (AKA the food you eat).

Now don't let that discourage you from exercise after bariatric surgery. And don’t convince yourself you don’t need to do it at all. Because...

Exercise is Non-Negotiable for Overall Well-Being

Let’s not forget the mental benefits of exercise. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, also known as "feel-good hormones".

So, not only are you taking care of your body, you're also boosting your mood. And who doesn't want to feel good while trying to lose weight?

And who doesn’t makes better choices and engage in less emotional eating when they’re in good mood?

Sooooo, although exercise is the “Robin” of the weight loss dynamic duo, Robin is not unimportant.  Sooooo here are my tips on...

How to Start Exercising

Exercise after surgery can seem daunting, especially if you haven't been very active before. But, don't worry! You don't have to put on leg warmers and jump into a high-intensity Jane Fonda workout routine right away.

Start small and ease into it. Take a walk around the block or do a few stretches in the morning. Then, as you feel more comfortable, increase the duration and intensity of your exercise.

Incorporate activities you enjoy. Make it fun by dancing, swimming, or even playing a sport like pickleball or golf.

If you're feeling really adventurous, you can try something new like hula hooping! Trust me, you'll be amazed at the amount of calories you can burn while hula hooping like a pro. (Just be sure to clear enough room in the living room so you don’t break anything...not than anyone here has ever done that....)

Just remember, the key is to find something that you enjoy and will stick with. Because the only thing worse than exercise is exercise that you dread.

Listen to Your Body

If you're feeling pain or discomfort, slow down and take a break. It’s important to take things slow and steady!

My Fool Proof Plan:
6 x 150

Follow this schedule and in just 6 weeks you’ll be exercising at the minimum recommended level: 150 minutes per week.

  • Week 1: Take baby steps and just walk for 5 minutes a day, 5 days per week. (That's it, you got this!)
  • Week 2: Double the time and walk for 10 minutes a day, 5 days per week (Piece of cake!)
  • Week 3: Triple the time and walk for 15 minutes a day, 5 days per week. (Feeling good yet?)


  • Week 4: Quadruple the time and walk for 20 minutes a day, 5 days per week. (You're a walking machine!)
  • Week 5: And finally, walk for 25 minutes a day, 5 days per week. (You're so close, don't give up now!)
  • Week 6: The finish line is in sight! Walk for a full 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week. (You did it! High five! You’re exercising like a pro and hopefully ready to conquer the world!)

30 minutes per day x 5 days per week = 150 minutes per week! Done!

The Bottom Line for Your Bottom Line

  • Exercise after bariatric surgery is important for overall health and well-being, but it's not the magic bullet for weight loss.
  • You can’t out train a bad diet.
  • Consistently eating a healthy bariatric diet for life is the "Batman" of the weight loss dynamic duo.
  • Ease into exercise: Start slow, do things you enjoy. 
  • Go for the 6 x 150!

Like This Info? Allow Me to Join You on Your Journey!
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