How to Lose Weight After Bariatric Surgery Without Exercising

After bariatric surgery, strenuous exercise can be very challenging depending on your mobility. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t lead a healthy life. Thankfully, there are ways you can lose weight without exercise after bariatric surgery and without following an intense workout routine. We put together the following advice to help you lose weight when regular physical activity may not be an option. 

4 Ways to Lose Weight without Exercising

Get Your Diet Straight

The best way to lose weight, no matter one’s mobility level, is to eat healthily. That means avoiding overly processed foods and drinks, which is already a dietary guideline after weight loss surgery. However, when you eat processed foods, make sure they are as natural as possible, such as premade bread. Yet you will want to try to limit carbs, whether processed grains or whole grains, after your bariatric procedure. 

Processed sugars are also unhealthy and can cause weight gain. Similarly, a diet high in sugar and processed foods after bariatric surgery can lead to dumping syndrome, defined as the body’s intolerance to foods high in sugar and fat. These high sugar and fatty foods empty quickly from the stomach into the intestines causing nausea, clamminess, sweating, cramping, pounding heartbeat, light-headedness, and diarrhea.

Try to cut back on sugary foods and drinks such as soda, sweetened coffee drinks, alcohol, and even fruit juice. Instead, drink water or unsweetened tea. Refreshing and healthy, upping your water intake will also help you process the foods you eat.

Consider the Calories

Americans are not very good at planning their meals. We eat 25 percent more calories today than we did in 1970, which partly explains the rising obesity rates in our society. Our portions are huge, and the calories per plate of food match. Even healthy foods, in excess, can have detrimental effects on our weight. Portioning meals is essential for weight loss, just as much as eating nutritious foods is. 

Consider a meal delivery service if you struggle with portion control or need help making nutritious meals. These services supply you with fresh ingredients while simultaneously providing the ideal amount. They’re convenient and an excellent way to diversify your diet in a healthy way. Otherwise, invest in an app that allows you to keep track of calories (we recommend MyFitnessPal) or a food scale to give you better portion control. Even keeping a calorie journal can make sure you don’t overspend with your meals and make healthful choices.

Get Enough Sleep

It may seem like exercise is the end-all, be-all for weight loss, but really, it isn’t. Other parts of your lifestyle play a more significant role in weight loss, such as what you eat and how you eat it. Even sleep and relaxation can be a large part of having a healthy weight. Studies have found that over an eight-week period, getting just one hour less of sleep each night for at least five nights out of the week resulted in less weight loss, despite being on a calorie-restrictive diet.

When we don’t sleep well, we may be hungrier the next day or find ourselves snacking more on unhealthy foods. Stress and chronic sleeplessness can lead to obesity, diabetes, and raised cortisol levels, which can contribute to weight gain.

Do what you can to let go of your anxieties, especially at night. You need to aim for about eight hours of sleep, if possible. If sleeping is difficult, make sure your bedroom is dark at night. Curb your caffeine levels, especially in the afternoon or evening, and don’t overeat before you hit the hay. Even small amounts of caffeine can interfere with deep sleep.

Get Chilly

If you are physically able, getting your body cold for periods of time can actually help you get in shape. It doesn’t need to be too cold, just anything under 66 degrees. A cold environment can speed up your metabolism, which can burn calories and help you lose weight. This concept is called “temperature training,” wherein the body expends energy to keep itself warm. You can use up to five times the energy you would in a warm environment. 

You’re more likely to build what is known as brown fat when chilly, which can help burn calories. It may take time to show noticeable differences in body fat levels, but it could be as little as six weeks to have a registered decrease. It may be uncomfortable at first, but you can grow accustomed to the lowered temperatures.

Making healthy lifestyle changes doesn’t necessarily require vigorous exercise. Instead, if you’re unable to work hard, focus on what you eat, how you eat and prepare it, sleeping well, and changing your climate. No matter what your physical capacity, you can be successful at losing weight.

This post was written be Julie Morris

How to Find the Motivation to Workout after Bariatric Surgery

Exercise is essential for keeping your body moving and functioning, especially after bariatric surgery. Several studies show that the body was designed to move and works best when it is active; otherwise, a sedentary lifestyle can weaken the muscles, heart, and lungs and lead to bone deterioration, joint stiffness, and more.

Unfortunately, many people lack the motivation to workout and engage in regular physical activity, thus preventing them from experiencing the many benefits of exercise, including weight maintenance, weight loss, improved muscle tone, improved mobility, a decreased risk of developing certain diseases and health conditions, improved self-esteem, and overall well-being.

If you find it challenging to commit to a regular fitness regimen, here are some tips that avid exercisers use themselves to help find the motivation to workout and see results. 

10 Tips to Find the Motivation to Workout

1. Find a Good Reason to Exercise

As with any goal, having a good cause to pursue it will provide you with purpose and focus for doing it. In other words, having a “why” allows you to become personally or emotionally invested in working out, which makes you more likely to appreciate it and make time in your day to get active.

For instance, many people find certain events, such as getting married or even an upcoming high school reunion, highly motivational to exercising. However, medical experts suggest selecting long-term reasons to work out that encourage you to adopt it as part of your lifestyle for optimum results.

2. Pick a Form of Exercise You Look Forward To Doing

Just like working at a job you love doesn’t feel like work, fitness experts recommend taking the same approach to choosing your workouts so it doesn’t feel like exercise. This way, you will view it as something fun and exciting to do, so you look forward to doing it each day instead of dreading it.

You could even exercise in your favorite scenery, such as a local park, to make it feel like less of a workout. Watching an entertaining show/movie or listening to your favorite music while exercising also helps make it not feel like such a chore.

3. Write Down Your Goals and Track Your Progress

Determine your goals for exercise, and then write them down on paper to help you visualize them and see what is possible. It would help you find the motivation to workout if you also crossed off your goals as you accomplish them, which will enable you to see your progress and the difference your efforts are making in your life to help keep you spirited.

After you reach each goal, jot down notes next to it regarding your workout, such as the length of your session and how you felt when you were done, to help analyze your growth. Scheduling your workouts as part of your daily plans will also ensure you have the time to exercise, so you are more committed.

4. Take Your Time and Ease Into It

Far too often, people new to exercise become intimidated after comparing themselves to others in the gym or social media. But what is important to remember is that these individuals started as beginners too. So be sure to remember this before you start pushing yourself too hard to achieve the same goals.

If you are new to exercise, experts stress the importance of starting slowly to avoid injury. Therefore, start at a pace that is right for you and then gradually work your way up to your overall goal. Fitness experts also stress that you should never feel pressured to work out on days when you’re just not up to it. Instead, listen to your body, take time to rest, and then resume your efforts once you feel better, so you continue to see results.

5. Schedule Time to Rest

As you schedule your workouts, it is essential also to include at least one day of rest, if not more, to allow your body to recover. We also recommend adding a day or two of active recovery into your workout schedule, such as a light walk or easy bike ride. Without rest and (active) recovery days, your muscles may become tired and overworked, which can impede your efforts and cause you to fall short on your exercise the next day.

6. Hire a Personal Trainer

If you are new to working out and have the means to afford a personal trainer, we recommend hiring one. A personal trainer will not only design a workout based on your specific concerns, which helps ensure you get the results you want, but they also stick by you and give you the motivation to workout through your sessions, so you are more likely to see the program through until the end. 

7. Fuel Your Body With Energy

Fueling yourself with the right foods before your workouts help ensure your body is powered and ready for physical activity. Some foods known for their energizing effect include apples, granola, and water. There are also various pre-workout supplements on the market designed to help provide you with energy for your workouts.

8. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Research shows that good sleep, which according to the National Sleep Foundation, includes at least 7 to 9 hours of rest, helps you awake more refreshed and energized, so you look forward to working out more and finding that motivation to workout. 

9. Reward Yourself

After your workouts, take time to savor the good feelings your activity has brought about to help you look forward to exercising each day. You can also reward yourself with external rewards, such as a new workout outfit or athletic shoes, after reaching certain milestones in your workout journey, which will also help you find the motivation to workout and keep going.

10. Surround Yourself With Others on a Fitness Journey

Many people new to fitness blame being around people with poor eating and exercise habits for their inability to stick to their weight loss or health goals. Therefore, experts recommend, to keep yourself on track and moving forward in your fitness journey, surround yourself with others who are also living with healthy habits. 

In the end, the biggest obstacle to finding the motivation to workout is you, so be sure also to keep a positive mind throughout your lifestyle change. 


This post was originally written by Zendyl Vergara at Fitness for Non-Athletes. 

The Beginner’s Guide to Exercise as a Bariatric Patient

Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine has many benefits, including aiding in weight loss, alleviating joint pain, and improving your mood. If you are new to working out, you may feel intimidated and unsure where or how to begin. In this blog, we will go into everything you need to know about how to get started and how to stick to a routine so you can experience the long-term benefits of exercise. 

Benefits of Exercise

There are many reasons to begin incorporating regular exercise into your daily and weekly routine. Aside from the obvious benefit of reducing your weight (as long as you are keeping your caloric intake relatively the same), exercise effectively reduces your overall risk of developing chronic diseases and improves the management of health issues. Similarly, exercise increases your muscle mass, and the more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn when at rest. 

Additionally, exercise improves your mood and mental health due to the release of endorphins. Individuals who engage in regular and relatively intense physical activity also experience better sleep and more energy. 

After listing all these benefits, you better be lacing up your sneakers now to start a workout! 

Working out for beginners after weight loss surgery

Types of Exercises 

Before you begin putting together an exercise program, you will want to understand the various types of exercises that can help you achieve long-term benefits and fit with your schedule. 

1. Aerobic and Cardio. Any form of cardiovascular exercise that increases your heart rate. This can include running, biking, swimming, dancing, playing a sport, etc. Aerobic exercises are great for strengthening your heart and lungs and burning calories. Traditionally aerobic exercises focus more on endurance than sprint training. 

2. High-Intensity Interval Training: HIIT is a form of exercise that focuses on short and hard efforts followed by quick recoveries. The goal is to elevate your heart rate to burn the same amount of calories as you would doing an aerobic exercise just in less time. 

3. Yoga and Pilates: Yoga and Pilates are a form of exercise that reduces the impact on your joints through slow and controlled movements. Pilate and yoga are great for strengthening your muscles, improving flexibility, and bettering your posture.

4. Strength Training: Strength exercises increase muscle mass and help you burn body fat, even why you aren’t working out! Resistance training, plyometrics, weightlifting, cross-fit, and calisthenics are all examples of strength training.

5. Stability and Balance: These exercises are designed to strengthen your muscles, improve your balance and coordination.

6. Flexibility:  Focusing on your flexibility is crucial for muscle recovery and injury prevention. Stretching will also help you maintain your range of motion. 

Exercising for Beginners

The key to starting any exercise program and making a habit out of movement is to start slow. Don’t pressure yourself to run a 5K in 3 months when you haven’t run in 3 years. Don’t expect to be able to lift as much weight as you did when you were 150 pounds smaller. Don’t shame yourself for not being able to touch your toes because your belly is in the way. Stop the negativity and stop comparing! 

Create an Exercise Regimen You Stick To

There are a few tips to making exercise a habit that you stick to for longer than 2 months. 

1. Find something you enjoy

This is so important to your long-term commitment and consistency. Just like you wouldn’t marry someone you don’t like being around, don’t commit yourself to a style of exercise you can’t stand to do. That will only lead you to make more excuses about why you can’t or don’t want to exercise. 

So, find a form of exercise that you enjoy doing and that makes you feel comfortable. I promise, over time, you will learn to love working out —you just have to create the habit now by doing something you get a thrill out of. 

heart rate training fitness for overweight women

2. Get a workout buddy. 

A workout buddy is the ultimate form of accountability. Just be sure you find someone who is going to motivate you, not enable you. There will be days when you will make every excuse in the book to why you can’t work out. So you want to find a workout partner that won’t read into the BS. 

Similarly, make sure your workout buddy isn’t going to be someone that will bring you down with them. If they don’t want to go to the gym and convince you that you shouldn’t either, that is ultimately not someone who supports you and cares about your health. It may be time to find a new workout partner. 

Group fitness classes are a great way to establish accountability with yourself (since you are paying for the classes), with the instructor, and with the class members. 

3. Know your ‘why’

What is it that you want to be able to do? Now answer, why do you want to do that? Understanding your primary motivator for beginning a workout routine is key to your long-term success.

You may want to work out to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Or you want to tone up and build muscle mass. Whatever your reason, it is important to use that as your drive to keep pushing. Find your inspiration, then begin to set goals for how you can achieve your ‘why.’ I recommend writing it down and looking at it every day, so you don’t lose focus.

workout from home with cardio exercises for overweight women

4. Start Small

As I said above, the key to success for any workout regime is to start small. You may be thinking you can’t wait to be able to deadlift your body weight. Or your primary motivator for exercise is fit into that yellow polka-dot bikini (*cue Brian Hyland music*).

Knowing your ‘why’ is essential to your overall success. Yet the problem is when your ‘why’ begins to feel more like a defeat than it does drive. Are you losing motivation to workout because you haven’t met your “goal” yet? 

Setting lofty and unrealistic goals is not wrong, but don’t use those goals as your primary measure of success. Instead, set small and measurable goals then build upon your larger vision (or your ‘why’). Believe me, you will feel more motivated to keep going over time. 

Once you can build a habit of movement, you will find many ways to improve your workout routine. You will learn to love fitness and will see the value in that sweat sesh. So stop making excuses and get to it!

5 Easy Cardio Workouts You Can Do at Home

Today, we’re back with a list of cardio workouts you can do at home to get your sweat on! Whatever your fitness goals – losing weight, toning, coming back from an injury – these workouts will get your blood flowing and calories burning. Here are just a few of our favorite at-home workouts.

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Heart Rate Zone Training for Fat Loss and Improved Health

Your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body. Although many people don’t look at it as a muscle because they can not artificially see it. Targeting your heart rate zone during exercise is a great “muscle building” attribute you can bring to the table. Simply put, your heart rate is the maximum beats per minute your heart muscle can achieve.

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Why You Should Train and Not Workout

The alarm goes off at 5:15 AM. I drudgingly roll out of bed (after snoozing for 15 minutes) and slip into my workout clothes. As I lace up my sneakers, I think of every excuse not to go to the gym—”I worked out hard yesterday. I am sore. I have a long day at work today. I didn’t sleep well,” and the list goes on and on. Continue reading “Why You Should Train and Not Workout”

Post Bariatric Tips for Incorporating Strength Training into your Workout Routine

Do you want to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and burn calories more efficiently? Strength training, here we come! As a bariatric patient, lean muscle mass quickly diminishes the more you lose. You’re not only losing fat, but you’re also losing muscle. 

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Home Gym Essentials Under $50

Along with Lysol wipes and toilet paper, home gym equipment is in popular demand. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have transformed the space in the corner of their living room to their home gym—myself included. Finding the motivation to workout is made much easier when you have the right equipment for your goals. So, we have compiled a list of 10 gym equipment essentials to help you stay active in isolation, all while still ballin’ on a budget.

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How to Workout from Home + Free Bariatric Home Fitness Guide

We have all been spending a lot of time at home lately as a result of the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place orders. With gyms closed and some public parks, it can be challenging to motivate yourself to workout and stay active during this time of quarantine. Continue reading “How to Workout from Home + Free Bariatric Home Fitness Guide”

How Walking Can Help You Lose Weight

Exercise after bariatric surgery is important to ensure you maintain your weight loss and can help you achieve the body you have dreamed of. If you have been relatively inactive in the past, the thought of walking into a gym can be daunting. Similarly, a gym membership may not fit into your monthly budget. But don’t let that be your excuse for not getting active. You always have the opportunity to walk!

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How to Create a Workout Routine for Beginners

The gym can be an intimidating place, especially for those patients who haven’t worked out since high school gym class. And the idea of jumping into a workout routine is a scary thought. “What if I fail? What if I make a fool of myself? I am ashamed of how out of shape I really am.” These are all thoughts (and excuses) I have heard, and you are entitled to them. Yet, I am here to motivate you to get up, get out, and get active!

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Finding Your Inner Zen with Yoga

I think it is safe to say that we all desire to find our inner peace and zen. And you may be able to achieve just that by practicing yoga—a mind and body practice that dates back to 5,000 years ago. Yoga is a form of exercise that combines breathing techniques, meditation, relaxation, strength, flexibility, and balance.

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The Pilates Technique to Building Muscle

Unlike high intensity interval training, pilates is a form of exercise that reduces impact on the joints through slow and controlled movements. Pilates is great for strengthening your muscles, improving flexibility, and bettering your posture. In most cases, pilates is a full body workout that helps you move better in your everyday life while preventing injury and improving mobility and flexibility. Continue reading “The Pilates Technique to Building Muscle”

How to Burn More Calories in Less Time with HIIT

High intensity interval training, more casually known as HIIT, is becoming a more popular exercise because of its high effectiveness and little time required. In 2017, HIIT was among the top fitness trends and has only been maintaining its popularity. Continue reading “How to Burn More Calories in Less Time with HIIT”

How Low Intensity Workouts Can Help You Burn Fat (and More)

You probably read this title and thought to yourself, “What the heck is LISS?”. LISS stands for low intensity steady state and is a form of cardio exercise in which you exert a steady amount of energy over a period of time. And as you may be able to guess, the movements are low intensity, meaning they reduce impact on the joints.

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Finding the Best Time to Workout

We have all heard fitness professionals talk about the “best time to workout” yet do they really know when we should be hitting the gym? Finding that perfect time to workout is more of a personal preference than it is a science-backed and proven phenomenon.

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10 Tips for Finding the Motivation to Workout

Let’s be honest—the most daunting part of working out is the thought of working out. For most people, finding time to hit the gym means waking up at the crack of dawn to go before work or finding the energy to get a good sweat in after work. So, it is no surprise that the majority of adults say “to heck with it” when it comes to finding time to exercise. Continue reading “10 Tips for Finding the Motivation to Workout”

The Importance of Warming Up

Quick! You only have 30 minutes to get a good sweat session in before heading to work. What do you do: A) Jump right into your workout or B) take 5 minutes to loosen your joints and get your heart rate up?

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Introduction to Cardio Exercises

There are three main types of exercises: strength training, cardio, and stretching. Each of these is unique in their own way and are essential for maximizing your fitness level and preventing injury. You have probably heard that cardio is a great way to lose weight and get lean. Today I am going to dive into the basics of cardio and why it is so important, especially in conjunction with weight training and flexibility training. 

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Exercising with Limited Mobility

As a certified personal trainer, you can imagine how important I believe exercise is for your health. Many patients complain that their weight has prohibited them from being as active as they should. They, therefore, do not get to experience all the benefits of regular exercise such as increased energy, decreased stress, and improved moods. However, regardless of your size or the level of mobility, do not think that exercise is a lost cause. In this blog I am demonstrating a few exercises that patients with limited mobility can do at home or at the gym.

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Exercising for Weight Loss: Cardio vs. Weight Training

As I prepare to become a certified personal trainer, I am asked by many patients how to exercise for weight loss. There is a common belief that cardio is the way to go if you are looking to torch those calories and lose fat. However, what most people fail to recognize (even the average Jane whom you may see at the gym every day), is that weight training can actually prepare your body to burn more calories over time.

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