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How to Lose Weight Before Surgery

author image Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis has worked in nutrition in the clinical setting and currently works as a licensed Realtor in California. Davis began writing about nutrition in 2006 and had two chapters published in "The Grocery Store Diet" book in 2009. She enjoys writing about nutrition and real estate and managing her website, She earned her bachelor's degree in nutrition from San Diego State University.
How to Lose Weight Before Surgery
A Food and exercise journal can help you lose weight before surgery.

Getting a surgery can be a scary thing. There is not much a person can do to prepare for surgery and make sure that it goes well. There is one thing, however, that obese and overweight individuals can do to make their surgery safer: lose weight. According to Science Daily, people who lose weight before surgeries, even bariatric (weight loss) surgeries, suffer from fewer complications and usually heal faster. Losing weight before a surgery requires hard work and dedication.

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Step 1

Meet with your regular doctor to discuss how much weight you need to lose and how long you have until your surgery date. If you have only 10 pounds to lose and several months to do it, the process will probably not be too difficult. Yet if you are 50 pounds overweight and are scheduled to have surgery next month, you may have to work very hard to lose as much weight as possible before the surgery.

Step 2

Exercise at least five days a week for an hour or more to burn calories and lose weight quickly. You can alternate different types of workouts, such as running, swimming, cycling and using an elliptical trainer, so that you don't get bored. Adding strength-training exercises like bicep curls and squats several days a week can also boost your metabolism and help you to lose weight faster. If you are having surgery for an injury like a hamstring tear or other problem that hinders your ability to exercise, talk to a personal trainer about what exercises you can do safely.

Step 3

Use the Mayo Clinic's healthy weight pyramid tool to determine how many calories you should be eating each day for weight loss, and how many servings of each food group is recommended. The Mayo Clinic's healthy weight pyramid tool is accessible online. You simply enter your height, weight, sex and age and it recommends how many calories and servings of different foods you should eat for optimal health. It also emphasizes whole grains like brown rice instead of refined grains like white rice, and lean meats instead of fatty meats. These foods will help you to lose weight in time for your surgery.

Step 4

Keep a food and exercise journal every day until your surgery -- and remember, your motivation is your health. In your food and activity journal, record what you eat and how much as well as how much physical activity you do. You can use a calorie counter website like to track your daily goals.

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