We all have that one pair of jeans we cherish and wear constantly. But over time, those treasured jeans gradually tightened around your waist. Now they hang idly in your closet, tormenting you with other ill-fitting clothing. Feeling frustrated with the look of your abdomen? Not to worry, a Tummy Tuck can slim your midsection and reveal a beautifully toned appearance.
A Tummy Tuck, also called abdominoplasty, eliminates stubborn fat and extra skin to reshape abdomens and tighten interior muscles. The post-surgical results will yield the flat stomach you’ve always coveted. But enjoying the post-surgical outcomes relies on some drastic dietary changes. For optimal positive results, patients must switch to a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Sanjay Lalla, the No.1 board-certified plastic surgeon in northern New Jersey wants to help you achieve your desired figure. Since we know you want to keep your new, flat stomach, Dr. Lalla broke down the dietary changes you should follow before and after Tummy Tuck surgery.
What to Eat Before a Tummy Tuck?
Now is the time to indulge in more fruits and vegetables. When prepping for your scheduled abdominoplasty, your board-certified plastic surgeon will explain how to properly prepare your body. This phase requires behavioral modification to your existing diet. Your diet should include a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, protein, low-fat products, and lean meats. Make sure to snack on foods with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Selenium, Manganese, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, you’ll want to include these foods on your next grocery list.
- Vegetables, particularly leafy greens like spinach, kale, Bok choy, and collard greens, can reduce inflammation.
- Whole Grains help the body reproduce new cells. Whole-grain cereals are excellent and affordable options.
- Protein builds and repairs any damaged tissue from surgery while assisting in the creation of new blood cells and collagen. A protein-rich diet also remains vital for a healthy immune system. Fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, tofu, low-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, nuts, quinoa, and beans are ideal for boosting your daily protein intake.
- Lean Meats include chicken, turkey, egg whites, fish, and tofu. These foods are low in fat but high in protein to help repair your body.
- Vitamin A shows up in kale, spinach, broccoli, red pepper, squash, carrots, milk, mango, and cantaloupe. This nutrient assists with healing wounds. The more Vitamin A-rich foods you enjoy before the surgery, the better the healing response.
- Vitamin C is essential to pre-operative preparation. This nutrient heals bone fractures, encourages type 1 collagen synthesis, and improves how your body responds to stress (free radicals). You’ll find this nutrient in tasty foods like guavas, kiwi, parsley, broccoli, blackcurrants, brussels sprouts, and green peppers.
- Omega-3 Acids boost your immune system and fight against inflammation. Indulging in Omege-3–rich foods – mackerel, salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans – will benefit your general health.
- Selenium appears in mushrooms, cabbage, and spinach. This nutrient protects DNA against any cell damage and infections.
- Manganese appears in raspberries, pineapples, and bananas. Manganese facilitates the formation of connective tissues and bones. Furthermore, this helpful nutrient reduces common blood clotting factors.
Prep beforehand by freezing several meals, so your caregiver won’t have to cook every day. Furthermore, proper nutrition and hydration remain critical factors following Tummy Tuck surgery.
What to Eat After a Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Returning home following a successful Tummy Tuck does not mean you should immediately celebrate with Chinese takeout or order from your favorite fast-food restaurant. Remember the healthy lifestyle you started before the procedure? Well, you must continue your diet after the surgery.
Eat lightly for the first couple of days. Start with clear liquids (such as water) before transitioning to softer, easily digestible foods like protein shakes. Other choices to add to your refrigerator and pantry include raw fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, yogurt, soups, pudding, and soft cheeses.
Here’s a detailed list of foods you can eat after Tummy Tuck surgery.
- Vegetables, particularly darker veggies like artichokes, have 7 grams of fiber.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, sunflower seeds, and pistachios contain 3 grams of fiber per ounce, which can help boost your daily fiber intake. Whole Grains found in cereals, or brown and wild rice support digestion.
- White Meat: Chicken and turkey contain lean protein and have very little fat.
- Beans/Legumes: Soybeans and black beans are high in protein and packed with fiber.
- Seafood: Tuna and salmon are both excellent sources of protein.
- Dairy: Cheese, skim milk, and Greek yogurt are rich in protein and contain calcium and Vitamin D.
- Eggs are easily accessible and packed with protein.
- Fruit is another great way to add more fiber to your diet. Try snacking on fresh strawberries and juicy apples.
Completing the initial Tummy Tuck recovery period is critical to maintaining optimal results. Make sure to pack in as much protein as possible to aid with muscle, tissue, and skin repair. Load up on fiber to prevent constipation, a common side effect seen with Tummy Tucks.
Next, keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day. Dehydration raises the risks for complications and ultimately derails your post-surgical recovery.
Keeping up with your vitamin intake also hastens your recovery, fights infections, encourages the production of new cells, and reduces inflammation in the affected area. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, Bromelain, and Arnica show up in eggs, dairy, leafy greens, citrus, tomatoes, avocados, grains, nuts, and bananas.
Foods to Avoid Before & After Tummy Tuck Surgery
Now that you understand the preferred pre-surgical diet, let’s delve into the foods you should avoid at all costs. To begin, you will stop taking supplements before the Tummy Tuck since the procedure can cause excess bleeding. More importantly, they interfere with blood clotting. These include herbal supplements, drugs, prescribed medications, Omega 3 capsules, ginger, green tea, flaxseed, cayenne, eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Patients may resume taking herbal supplements and vitamins three days after the surgery. Make it a point to cut out alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and artificial sweeteners. You should also mitigate carbohydrates and processed food from your daily diet since they engender unnecessary inflammation and swelling.
- Carbohydrate Heavy and Sugary Foods: Cake, carbonated drinks (soda, seltzer), and pasta can cause a lot of bloating and gas.
- Fatty and Greasy Foods: Potato chips, ice cream, and pizza can cause unwanted fat to return.
- Salty Foods: French fries, instant noodles, and fast-food burgers can cause bloating.
For the first month or so, you must avoid alcohol, caffeine, salt, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. Eating these foods after a Tummy Tuck will deliver improper results since many fat cells still linger. Finally, steer clear of foods that can cause constipation, which can rip open the incisions before fully healing.
Follow the Proper Tummy Tuck Diet!
A Tummy Tuck is beneficial for anyone looking to reclaim body confidence. Some other benefits include skin health, reduced back pain, and core strengthening. More importantly, a successful Tummy Tuck can lower the risk for other health conditions, like diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart disease.
Monitoring your new diet before and after a Tummy Tuck may require willpower and discipline, but we guarantee you’ll enjoy the post-surgical results when you finally fit into those jeans again. Dr. Sanjay Lalla and his caring staff sit ready to answer all your Tummy Tuck questions. We invite you to visit our West Orange office for an initial consultation. For further information on the Tummy Tuck procedure, dial (973) 324-9455 to get started!