What to Eat After Liposuction

While liposuction will take away the extra fat, how you take care of your body after the procedure will determine how long you will keep that slim silhouette. Many people fear gaining weight after surgery, especially since they cannot work out during the recovery stages.   

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) states that liposuction patients are three times as likely to gain weight after surgery if they do not stick with a healthy diet, and four times as likely to gain weight if they do not maintain a regular exercise routine (Source:  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dec. 2004).  

Your liposuction surgery doctor may suggest a high-protein diet during the recovery phase to help you stay strong. A well-balanced meal plan for the weeks and months after surgery can help maintain results, but knowing which foods you can - and cannot eat - during this critical time may be the key to long-term weight management:  

What Can I Eat During Recovery From Liposuction Surgery?

Since the liposuction procedure will be taxing on your body, you’ll need to make wise food choices so that muscles and skin can heal during the recovery period. The body needs protein to generate new cells, and eating high protein foods can help you maintain your strength and recover quickly. Since you may not be able to workout for a few weeks, staying within your ideal calorie range is especially important. Some valuable foods during recovery include:

  • Protein shakes
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies
  • Apple sauce
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Steamed and softened vegetables  

What Can I Eat To Maintain My Weight After Liposuction?  

After the healing process is over, continuing with a healthy diet and exercise routine will help prevent weight gain and reduce the need for any more surgery. According to Rod Rohrich, MD, author of the study published in the ASPS journal most people can return to a normal diet, but will still need to monitor their calorie intake so they do not gain weight. He states, “If patients want positive long-term results from liposuction, they have to be willing to eat a proper diet and exercise. Ultimately, it’s a lifestyle choice.”  

A well-balanced meal plan that promotes a healthy heart and provides the muscles with enough nutrients will vary by individual. Still, it’s important to be cautious of extreme diets that limit your food options. Elisa Zied, M.S., R.D. and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association indicates that,  “To eliminate specific foods and food groups, especially those people enjoy, is a recipe for disaster and can lead to feelings of deprivation, not to mention nutritional imbalances”.  

Eating smaller portions throughout the day and avoiding overly processed foods can help you maintain your weight with ease. A diet comprised of the following foods may help maintain results after liposuction:  

  • Lean protein such as salmon, white meat chicken, turkey and other freshwater fish
  • Whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fresh and dried fruit
  • Healthy fats such as olive oil and flaxseed
  • Soy-based foods
  • Food supplements  

Recognizing that poor eating habits developed prior to surgery can trigger a weight gain cycle may help you stick with a healthy eating plan.  Nutritional counseling can help you take control of unhealthy food behaviors so that you won’t have to worry about gaining the weight back after liposuction. 

Bottom Line

When you’ve taken the steps to recontour your body with liposuction, a well-planned maintenance program will help you keep your new figure. Your plastic surgeon will help you create a comprehensive meal plan for each stage after treatment, but making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle will be critical to your success with the liposuction procedure. Learn more about lipoplasty procedures in our information guide, or schedule a consultation with a liposuction doctor in your area with our cosmetic surgeon directory.