Life After Liposuction: Lifestyle Changes You Need to Implement
- 06 September 2016
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
Ask any cosmetic surgeon and he will probably tell you that the results of liposuction are permanent—but it comes with a price. Like any other cosmetic surgery, the results will be influenced by aging and the way that you take care of your body after the surgery.
If you do not maintain a healthy lifestyle after liposuction, then do not expect that your body will remain as magically contoured as it was right after you had surgery. The liposuction results can go away if you let yourself go.
What happens after liposuction
According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, removing fat from the abdominal area during liposuction may cause you to develop dangerous visceral or belly fat afterward. This type of fat is stored around the organs deep within your abdomen, increasing your risk for diabetes and heart disease.
Fortunately, there is a way to counteract this effect, and that is through making pertinent lifestyle changes after liposuction. These include maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.
A study of 36 Brazilian women who underwent small-volume liposuction of the abdomen showed that those who did not take part in a four-month exercise regimen had a 10 percent increase in visceral fat. This is in contrast with those who exercised three times a week who did not develop significant visceral fat.
Thus, maintaining a healthy lifestyle after liposuction can help prevent compensatory weight gain and maintain the results of your liposuction. Without lifestyle changes, fats will eventually creep back into various areas of your body.
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5 key lifestyle changes to maintain your liposuction results
While liposuction can trim, tighten, and tone your physique, the results are bound to disappear if you do not implement the following key lifestyle changes:
If you only need to choose one lifestyle change to implement in your post-liposuction life, then choose exercise. This will keep your fat cells under control and help maintain the results of your surgery in the long run. However, you have to start off easy during the first few days post-surgery. Walking is a great way to keep your fat cells small and help your body recover from surgery.
Dr. Leo McCafferty, former president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, recommends patients to start an exercise regimen about six weeks after liposuction when their bodies have already recovered enough to do moderately strenuous activities. A five-minute warm-up followed by strength training and up to 40 minutes of cardio three times a week is a good exercise regimen to maintain.
Rest and relaxation
Getting enough rest and relaxation is extremely important especially right after your liposuction. For the first week after you have had surgery, you need to get ample rest and avoid any physical activity that may strain your liposuction incisions. That means taking some time off work and having someone to take care of you during the first couple of days after your surgery.
After the initial recovery period, you can gradually start to return to the lifestyle that you had before liposuction, minus the heavy lifting. If your work also involved physical exertion, you need to take on less demanding tasks upon returning.
Although resting is not a strict permanent lifestyle change that you need to make after liposuction, its benefits cannot be taken for granted. It boosts your immune system, enhances your memory, aids your metabolism, and reduces stress.
Drinking lots of water especially after your surgery is important in keeping yourself healthy and maintaining the necessary body state to recover from your liposuction surgery. Water is the primary way that oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your incision site to promote healing. When you are not receiving the right amount of fluids that your body needs, it might have an impact on your wound healing as it can cause poor oxygen and nutrient circulation in your incision.
But aside from drinking fluids right after your liposuction, this lifestyle change can also have a profound effect on your weight loss journey. Many studies have already shown that drinking cold water can increase your metabolism slightly due to the increased work the body had to do to warm the water. It might not seem much, but it can certainly help maintain your figure after your liposuction.
Though the results of liposuction are permanent, they would easily fritter away if you do not maintain a healthy diet to keep unwanted fats at bay.
In general, you should avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, especially right after surgery. Saturated fat can be found in fast food, fried foods, baked goods, fatty meats, and full-fat dairy products. Processed foods should also be avoided, as they contain unhealthy trans fats. Instead, you should focus on including healthy foods in your diet such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You should also eat protein-rich foods like lean meats, fish, and legumes as they promote healing.
Salty foods should also be avoided two to four months following liposuction, as it can aggravate inflammation in your body and slow down the healing process. Similarly, sugary foods and alcoholic beverages can cause unnecessary weight gain during the healing process, so they should be avoided.
Minding your body may not appear to have such a huge impact in your post-liposuction life, but these small lifestyle changes can certainly go a long way in maintaining the results of your liposuction. For example, paying attention to the portions in your diet can help control what you eat without actually counting the exact number of calories every meal. You should also take note of your every sensation or urge, as this allows you to interpret your hunger signals a lot more efficiently. Mini-meditations might also be able to help you become more mindful of what you eat.
To learn more about liposuction and the lifestyle changes you need to make after getting one, call us and Schedule a Free Consultation with one of Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery’s highly experienced and board-certified surgeons. We will do our best to answer your liposuction concerns.