Pregnancy After Gastric Bypass Surgery: How to Tone and Lose Flab Quickly

Pregnancy and gastric bypass surgery are a combination that can wreak havoc on your skin, muscle tone and body fat percentage. However, it is possible to get into great shape and feel good about your body after you’ve had weight loss surgery and a new baby. Here’s the plan:

Pregnancy and Gastric Bypass Surgery Weight Loss and Body Toning Plan

1. Get clearance from your doctor to start exercising. This is especially important if you’ve delivered via c-section. As a gastric bypass surgery patient, you already know what it’s like to have abdominal surgery. Even though you may start to feel as though you’re ready for exercise after the c-section, your body is still hard at work healing itself on the inside. After you get the okay to exercise, take it slowly, especially if you were not physically active before or during the pregnancy.

2. Get moving! Start with 30 minutes a day of brisk walking. If possible, put the baby in her stroller and take her along for the ride. This way, you’ll have no excuses about needing a babysitter, gym membership or workout partner. The low-impact aerobic activity will help you burn more fat than carbohydrates during your workout. Keep your heart rate fast enough that you’re warm and/or sweating, but not so fast that you can’t hold a conversation.

3. Get some sleep! One of the worst things you can do to sabotage weight loss after bypass surgery and pregnancy is raise your body’s stress hormone levels. Get as much sleep as you can at any time of the day (naptime, perhaps) and keep your stress levels as low as possible. This will keep your body in balance which will keep stress hormones from kicking in. These hormones make it very difficult to lose fat, especially belly fat, which is probably a big issue for you right now.

4. Breastfeed and/or pump milk. Even if you’re not going to nurse the baby, by all means pump regularly anyway. Breastfeeding mothers burn about 1,000 extra calories per day. There is no other way to boost your metabolism so well. Also, breastfeeding releases hormones that cause your uterus to contract and shrink back to it’s normal size. This will help you get your waist size back down to pre-pregnancy size quickly.

5. Eat smart calories. If you’re nursing and exercising after pregnancy, your body is burning an enormous number of extra calories each day. Couple that with the fact that gastric bypass surgery has limited the amount of food you can eat once and you have a unique dietary circumstance. You will have to work extra hard to make sure all the calories you eat are full of nutrients and not just empty calories. Resist the urge to skip meals because this will kill your metabolism. Not eating enough will have the same effect as not sleeping enough or stressing out. You’ll have a very hard time losing fat and toning up. Make an appointment with a registered dietitian and ask her to draw up an eating plan that will give you the right balance of calories and nutrients while avoiding overeating. This will ensure that you keep your metabolism high and body fat melting away.

6. Work those muscles! One of the unfortunate side effects of the drastic and quick weight loss of gastric bypass surgery is the loss of muscle tissue. Muscle cells are very active, much more than fat cells, which means they contribute to your metabolism. The more of your weight that’s made up of muscle, the higher your metabolism and the lower your body fat percentage. It is critically important for someone that has had bypass surgery and a recent pregnancy to build up muscle tissue for a number of reasons:

a. Bigger muscles will help to fill out the loose, flabby skin in places like the upper arms. If your arms wave bye-bye all by themselves, you’re a prime candidate for weight lifting. You may think that bigger muscles will make you look bigger, but in fact, they make you look leaner, sexier and healthier.

b. Increased muscle tone means a higher metabolism. Higher metabolism means your body is burning fat around the clock, not just when you’re doing cardio. It’s like making money in your sleep. Why say no to that???

c. Weight training workout results last a lot longer than cardio workout results in two ways. First, when you activate your muscles while doing resistance exercises, they keep burning fuel after you stop working out. Your metabolism will be about 10% higher in the first 24 hours after a strength training workout. Second, it takes six months to de-train your muscles vs. six weeks to de-train your cardiovascular system. That means that if you stopped working out altogether, in six weeks your cardiovascular system will be out of shape. However, it will take a whole six months to lose all the muscle tissue you’ve added!

7. Consider plastic surgery. Sometimes no matter what you do, you may still have excess skin and an abdomen that is stretched out. Explore plastic surgery options such as a tummy tuck to help reverse the side effects of pregnancy and gastric bypass surgery that you can’t fix by yourself. It is not only possible to get a tummy tuck, you can also have some of your body fat redistributed. A plastic surgeon can take fat from your tummy or thighs and put it somewhere else on your body where it is desired.

With a little planning and little patience, you can lose fat, get in shape and look great, even after pregnancy and gastric bypass surgery.