For some, it seems impossible to build muscle after gastric sleeve surgery. However, it is possible and we are going to share exactly why and how. Firstly, it is important to note that the weight you lose thanks to the surgery will normally show muscles that have been carrying the weight for many years; this is a little-known fact and one that you will see after surgery. As long as you maintain your diet, there is no reason why you can’t use light exercise to tone muscles and stay in shape. Before you do anything, be sure to consult your doctor as they are the ones that know your scenario best.
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy - In cases of severe obesity, this is an option that is used when exercise and dieting hasn't worked. During the procedure, around 85% of the stomach is removed which leaves a small banana-shaped section behind. As it is a laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon will use small incisions with a tiny camera to guide them along the way. Once it has been completed, the stomach will be smaller and will therefore hold less food before filling up.
Muscle Building - Immediately after your surgery and up to six weeks after, you will be told to stay away from any form of exercise but you can try to walk as much as possible. After six weeks, you can visit the doctor and ask for permission to start using weights and completing resistance exercises. In the first couple of sessions, you should start with lighter weights and comfortably lift one set of 10-12 reps. Rather than focusing in on one muscle, it can be good to have the first few sessions as full-body workouts with each muscle seeing the benefit.
When it comes to the abdomen, it will feel a little weak after six weeks of a liquid diet and soft foods so start slowly and then build yourself up. If you start to feel tired or faint, simply finish for the day and try again the next day. Over time, you will grow stronger and the effects will be clear to see.
Dieting - In order for the muscles to build efficiently, you have to enjoy a healthy diet so be sure to include all the vital nutrients in your food. In the weeks after your surgery, you should be looking towards lean protein such as beans, tofu, lean meats, as well as low-fat dairy products. If you need help or ideas, visit your dietician.
Considerations - Surprisingly, one of the biggest mistakes that people make after having surgery is actually waiting for too long before exercising again. If it is the motivation you lack, why not hire a personal trainer? Knowing your needs and risk of injury, a personal trainer will create a workout plan for you. In addition to this, they will give you dietary advice and what foods allow for the best muscle growth.