Maintaining Your Tummy TuckA tummy tuck is a very effective procedure for those who wish to shed a few pounds and tone problem areas. Particularly popular for mothers, this cosmetic surgery completely reinvents the stomach area by removing excess skin and fat deposits as well as tightening the muscles. Dr. Kesarwani is one of the few surgeons who tightens not only the rectus muscles that get spread apart with pregnancies, but also tightens the oblique muscles to re-establish the waist contour. However, a tummy tuck is not a guarantee that you will never gain weight again: it requires some effort to maintain your fantastic results.

It is easy to look at the results of your procedure and feel so happy with the results that you forget your new body will require an appropriate diet and exercise regimen in order to stay toned and fat-free. Cardio exercise in particular is crucial to maintaining a toned tummy after a tummy tuck as it is a great way to keep weight off while toning the surrounding muscles. It is also good for your heart and lungs and will help your body heal more quickly.

It is also a good idea to give up smoking a little while before undergoing a cosmetic surgical procedure as it has been associated with an increased risk of complication. For best results, quit for good: you will feel healthier and your exercise regimen will be easier and more enjoyable as your lungs recover.

A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can also make a tremendous difference as it is easier to eat fewer calories than it is to work them off afterwards. The minimum number of calories a person needs to consume daily depends on a variety of factors including:

  • Age;
  • Weight;
  • Lifestyle; and
  • Gender.

The average number of calories a person should consume is somewhere in the range of 1600-2400 but it is a good idea to ask your doctor what your ideal daily caloric intake should be and be sure to balance your nutrients.

Be sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid foods full of preservatives. Your diet should consist mostly of vegetables; legumes; whole grains; and low-fat, high-protein sources such as eggs. Drink plenty of water and control your portions to prevent weight gain. Try out new recipes and be adventurous with your favorite health foods: this will help keep you excited about eating healthy and prevent you from giving in to the lure of less healthy options.

For best results, limit you intake of refined sugars and refined white floor to a minimum: these foods facilitate weight gain and can reverse the results of a tummy tuck. Stock your kitchen with healthy snack options: instead of candy, have a bowl of fresh fruit at hand; instead of chips keep a bag of trail mix in the cupboard.

As a general rule, if it comes pre-packaged in a can or box it is probably not very good for you. Instead, choose whole, organic foods. Instead of pop, reach for organic juice or water.

Cardio Exercise

The goal of your exercise routine should be to maintain a healthy lifestyle, not to bulk up so prioritizing cardio workouts over improvement of muscle tone is the best choice for those who have had a tummy tuck. Overworking abdominal muscles which have been operated upon can in some cases cause them to stretch apart. For this reason, it is a good idea to limit specific abdominal exercises and focus your efforts on cardio exercises such as running, cycling, swimming, and aerobics. After your surgery, be sure you wait until you are sufficiently healed before you begin workout intensively. Wait until your doctor gives you the green light and then start off easy, slowly increasing intensity as your body fully recovers.

Recovery time for a tummy tuck varies from person to person depending on general health and age. Patients are able to return home the same day provided they have a ride. They will require several days of bed rest and must follow the doctor’s aftercare instructions in order to avoid infections and complications. The sutures will need to be removed after a week or two and the surgeon will assess how the healing is going.

Immediately following the procedure it is normal to experience pain, swelling, and discomfort but these symptoms can be managed with pain medication. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic. It generally takes around 3 weeks for most of the swelling, redness, and bruising to dissipate so plan to take at least a couple of weeks off from work and return to your routine slowly. You will need to limit strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks but at this point you should begin exercising gently in order to build up your stamina and help your body complete the healing process. By 2-3 months post-op you should be feeling back to your normal self if not better!

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