Nutrition is such an essential part of looking and feeling good that it would be a crime to leave it off this website. Everything we put into our bodies initiates a complex sequence of chemical and hormonal interactions that affects everything about us – physically, mentally and emotionally. While it is beyond the scope of this page to get into a detailed discussion, key points to note are:
- Balance –
It is impossible to enjoy the long term benefits of body contouring surgery without a proper balance with diet and exercise. One does not replace the other, one compliments the other. We are all genetically and hormonally prone to store fat in certain areas. Even when one is at an ideal body weight, there are usually areas still harboring fatty pockets that are out of balance with the rest of the figure – these are ideal sites for liposuction. One does not have to be at his or her ideal weight to undergo liposuction, but should have adjusted their lifestyle to where they can continue to gradually lose excess weight and even more importantly, not gain weight back. Anyone can overcome the benefits of liposuction with rapid and massive weight gain. If one is on a nutritional and fitness program where his or her fitness level and weight continue to improve, the benefits of liposuction will last indefinitely. Many patients initiate a fitness and nutritional lifestyle change with the goal of undergoing surgery. The body contouring surgery can provide incentive for them to work hard before the surgery and provide incentive for them to continue after the surgery to maintain and even improve on the results.
- Good Habits –
Successful weight loss programs involve lifestyle change – improved eating habits and incorporation of regular fitness. There are thousands of diets that work short term, but lifestyle change is the only one that works long term. Most diets involve some degree of unnatural sacrifice that can be tolerated for a short period of time, but is impossible and unhealthy to continue long term. With calorie deprivation, weight loss is achieved, but ultimately at the expense of a slowed metabolism. Once the caloric intake is increased, the slowed metabolism causes the weight to return quickly and in many cases, exceed the pre diet weight. Another cycle? That’s where the term “yo-yo diet” comes from.
- Healing –
The body needs proper nutrition and excess calories to heal after surgery. This is the main reason one should avoid anything that approaches extreme dieting prior to surgery. It is okay to be on a program where you are losing a pound a week, provided the diet is well balanced and contains protein.
- Supplements –
What about supplements? This is the hardest area to put a harness around. I believe strongly in supplements, but delineating the proper regimen is more an art based on science than a pure scientific endeavor. Take away points are:
Far more important than supplemental nutrition is a balanced diet. Supplements will not replace a balanced diet, and a diet that lacks key nutrients can be devastating to the patient trying to heal from surgery. This is usually not a problem in patients undergoing elective cosmetic surgery, except in those cases where a patient has been on an unnaturally restrictive diet or has an eating disorder. A balanced diet should contain protein, good carbohydrates (not sugar) and good fat (minimal trans or saturated fat) and an essential number of calories. The best way to guarantee a healthy vitamin compliment is eating lots of different kinds of fruits and vegetables.
The best source of vitamins and co-nutrients are found in whole foods. Sadly that highly purified vitamin pill may be missing all the ancillary substances that it needs to produce the symphony of events it was designed to perform. For example, there are over 600 kinds of vitamin A. How do you know you are getting enough and the right kind – eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are yellow or orange. Isn’t it amazing – God not only provides everything we need, He color codes it.
The one supplement I feel very comfortable in recommending is Juice Plus. It is a whole food based extract of multiple different kinds of fruits and vegetables. The scientific testing is very convincing that this supplement improves health and healing.