One of the major perks of gastric sleeve in Mexico is that your energy levels will go through the roof as you start to shed weight. But to get to that point, most patients must do a pre-op gastric sleeve diet to prepare your body (and especially your liver) for a safe, effective procedure. And it’s not uncommon for people to struggle with lagging energy during this period. Below are some tips on navigating the pre-op diet from the Endobariatric team, as well as your sleeve brothers and sisters.
Why is my energy low?
There multiple reasons you may experience a temporary dip in energy levels. The first is simply that your body isn’t used to such a restricted calorie intake. The pre-op gastric sleeve diet is carefully calculated so that it’s healthy for you and effective for shrinking your liver. But it can be a shock to a system that’s used to ingesting thousands of calories a day and is now getting a fraction of that. Another possibility is that your water-soluble vitamins, as well as some minerals, are a bit low on the more restricted, pre-op diet.
How to combat low energy
Whatever the reason for your fatigue, there are a number of ways to put some spring in your step as you prepare for vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
1. Limit your activity. Among the only times we’ll suggest that you limit your physical activity is during the pre-op period. If you’re feeling low on energy, the last thing you want to do is force your body to expend more energy through exercise. Some physical activity is required, of course, like for your job or chasing after your toddler. But if you’re not feeling great, now is the (rare) time when it’s okay to shelve your workout schedule. Add in more exercise if your body adjusts to its new calorie norms over the next days or weeks.
2. Take your vitamins. Unless you’re doing a very lengthy pre-op diet, it’s probably not worth it to get bloodwork done by your physician to see exactly which vitamins or minerals are low. Just make sure you’re taking a good multi-vitamin to fill in any gaps in your diet.
3. Sip an energy drink. Yes, many energy drinks are loaded with sugar, but there are options that provide the electrolytes you need without all the junk. Recommendations from veteran sleevers include G2, Powerade Zero, and Body Armor Lyte.
4. Detox your sugar. We provide a detailed food list for patients preparing for VSG, but some people go outside our recommendations in order to squash sugar cravings. We get it. Detoxing from sugar isn’t easy or fun, but it’s essential—not only to boost your energy before VSG, but because you’ll find weight loss and maintenance much easier post-op if you kick your sugar dependency now. Going cold turkey on sugar might make for a tense few days, but you’ll emerge feeling so much better on the other side.
5. Eat some veggies. Protein is, of course, essential for your body to function and the basis on which many VSG patients build their diets. But carbs are where the majority of your energy comes from. The best place to get those carbs is veggies. Grill them, roast them, stir-fry them, blend them into a soup…you get the idea. Find a way that you enjoy eating vegetables and then have fun filling up on those good carbs!
6. Get more sleep. Again, your body undergoes quite a change in the pre-op period, and what it needs badly is a good sleep routine. Plan to add at least an hour onto the amount of time you usually sleep in a day. Sleep is when your body rests, resets, and processes what’s happening, and sufficient shut-eye can make a world of difference, both physically and mentally. Says Olivia, “Day 3 I came home from work, cried, and slept until the next day. After that it got easier!”
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