How to Prep for Weight Loss Surgery:
Ready, Set, Slim

Prep for weight loss surgery includes making lifestyle changes 3-6 months before the actual procedure.

Want to be the weight loss surgery success story everyone talks about?  Then ditch the old way of thinking that bariatric surgery is the magic solution to weight loss.

Lifestyle changes are just as important, if not more so.

Think of surgery as the cherry on top of your weight loss sundae, and make sure you're doing your part by establishing healthy habits...long before your undergo the knife!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that if you choose to purchase one of the items I earn a small percentage to help support this site without any extra cost to you. 

#5: Packin' Up the Pantry

One of the most important things to keep in mind while you prep for weight loss surgery is to get in the habit of having healthy, bariatric-friendly foods with you.

Just like a new mom never leaves home without her diaper bag, you should always have your "food bag." Think of it as your new best friend; one that you’ll seriously want by your side. All. The. Time.

(I personally drag this insulated backpack everywhere!)

Consider it a security blanket. It will keep you away from fast food and/or vending machines, I promise! Be prepared for whatever life throws your way—from a stressful, emotional day to sudden hunger pangs —a well-packed food bag will keep you on track.

Don't like water? No problem.

There are plenty of other acceptable options to drink.

#6: Ditch the Camel Lifestyle 

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink? Get into the habit of carrying a water bottle with you. At. All. Times.

I’m sure you already know you “should” drink water. So stop should-ing on yourself and start drinking H2O like a champ.

Trust me, proper hydration is more important than ever after undergoing surgery. Dehydration is the #1 cause for hospital readmission post op. And let's be real, nobody wants to be #1 on THAT list.

To make sure you're sipping enough, grab yourself a fancy water bottle. Possibly one with motivational sayings? Timers? Marked lines? Cool design?

Whichever one you chose, you'll be hitting your hydration goals in no time when you use a water bottle you love. (My Top 5 Hydration Tips will help too.)

With soooooo many options on the market these days, you're sure to find one (or two) that speaks to you.

So, what are you waiting for? Drink up and become the hydration queen/king you were meant to be and NEED to be post op!

#7: Self Monitor

Self awareness is key to success after surgery. It provides early warning if/when problems arise so they can be nipped in the bud. Finding a way to self monitor is one of the most important habits you can establish as you prep for weight loss surgery. Whether it's: 

  • Keeping a food log
  • Regular self weighing
  • Taking your measurements
  • Logging exercise

...find a method that works for you. And know that at any given time, one form may work better than another, so it's OK to switch it up. 

The only wrong way to self monitor is not to do it.

Research Says:

Patients who do not comply with self-monitoring are predicted to lose less weight than those who comply with self-monitoring.

Food Log

As you prep for weight loss surgery, shift your thinking: Keeping a food diary is NOT punishment!

If you bite it, write it, so you can be accountable for it. Even if you never show your food log to anyone it will make you more responsible for your choices.

There are many ways to keep a food diary:

The Ol' Fashioned Pen and Paper Way (My personal fav):

Suggested Apps:

  • Baritastic
  • My Fitness Pal
  • Lose It

Free Online Diaries:


Regular Self Weighing

Weighing can be a double-edged sword. Yes, it can keep you accountable. But yes, it can ruin your day and send you running for a tub of ice cream when you don’t see the number you’re hoping for.

If you choose weighing as a form of self-monitoring:

  • Limit weighing to 1x per week
  • Do NOT weigh multiple times per day
  • Record it
  • Review your records for trends over time

Research Says

Self-weighing after surgery has been associated with greater weight loss at 3 years postoperatively and has been reported by patients with successful weight loss maintenance.

Measure Up

The number on the scale isn’t the only measure of success. When the scale isn’t moving, often body measurements ARE! Losing inches is a great measure progress. Measure yourself monthly and use a body measurement tracker template to track.

Exercise Log 

Keep an exercise log. It’s motivating and reinforcing! 

Often, making good food choices is easier when you’re exercising regularly. So start writing down your workouts! It motivates you to want to exercise and keep exercising.  

Prep for Weight Loss Surgery
#8: Take a Deep Dive into Cravings and Emotional Eating

Think stomach surgery will magically cure your emotional eating habits? Think again! Emotional eating won’t magically go away after surgery. It’s stomach surgery after all, not brain surgery! 

It's important to start distinguishing between hunger and appetite NOW.

Get a handle on emotional eating before surgery because it's one of the biggest reasons for weight loss stall or weight regain. Use my video tutorial to arm yourself with alternatives.

The Bottom Line for Your Bottom Line

  • Start your prep for weight loss surgery with these essential lifestyle changes. 
  • Surgery isn't the be-all and end-all solution to weight loss. Lifestyle changes are just as important, if not more so.
  • Start healthy eating habits 3-6 months before surgery: Start with these “Great 8” Lifestyle Changes (Go back to Lifestyle Changes # 1-4 if you missed them!)

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