One of the most common questions a plastic surgeon receives during tummy tuck consultations is whether or not the patient he is seeing needs to lose weight before signing up for surgery. It is important to know that while a tummy tuck can make you look slimmer and more fit, it is not a weight loss surgery. All candidates for this procedure should be at – or very, very close – to their goal weight before signing up for this elective plastic surgery.
Why Do I Need to Be at My Goal Weight Before Having a Tummy Tuck?
What exactly, is considered a “stable weight?” According to the AAPS, most plastic surgeons recommend you are within 10 to 15 pounds of your goal weight, which should be a healthy body mass index (BMI) based on your weight and height, for at least six to twelve months before you undergo your procedure.
The reason is that weight fluctuations – which can mean gaining or losing a significant amount of weight after your surgery – can negate your surgical results and require an additional procedure to improve your aesthetics. When talking about weight fluctuation after a tummy tuck, the AAPS says, “Weight fluctuations can stretch the abdominal tissues and can require a revision procedure to restore the benefits of the initial procedure.”
How Do I Know What My Goal Weight Should Be?
For the best possible health, everyone should strive to be at an average BMI for their height. You can determine your goal weight by:
- Talking to your primary care physician about what weight range is healthy for you
- Using an online BMI calculator to determine the healthy BMI for your height
If you know you are overweight, you can work with a nutritionist to determine your goal weight and implement a diet and exercise plan to achieve it.
Since everyone is a different height, your ideal goal weight is going to differ from that of your friends, siblings, coworkers, and other acquaintances. Also, it is important to know that your healthy goal weight is not an exact number, but a weight range based on your height.
What Should I Do if I am Not Yet at My Goal Weight?
The best way to lose weight is to adopt a healthy diet and exercise regime. First things first, you should always consult with your primary care physician before you start a new diet or exercise program. This is especially true if you have a pre-existing health condition or take prescription medications, which may necessitate you avoiding certain foods or exercise activities.
Once you have received the all-clear from your primary care physician to adopt a new eating and exercising lifestyle, the world is at your fingertips. The best recommendations are to:
- Adopt a meal eating plan that has the best caloric intake for your weight loss goals
- Determine how much cardio you will need to do every day or week to lose weight
- Practice a weight-lifting routine to build muscle mass
Remember, in today’s world, you do not need to leave the house to meet these weight loss goals. There are several online platforms that post cardio and weight lifting workouts you can do from the comfort of your home, and you can easily purchase hand weights and kettlebells from a local athletic store.
Tips for Maintaining Your Goal Weight Before and After Tummy Tuck Surgery
Remember, you need to both be at your goal weight for at least six to 12 months before your surgery, and maintain that weight after your procedure to keep your aesthetic results. Here are some tips for achieving both these goals:
- Do not look at weight loss as an event, but a process. Remember, you are not yo-yo dieting or going on a crash exercise course. Your goal should be to adopt a new, healthier lifestyle that you will continue for life.
- Be realistic about how much weight you plan to lose every week. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), healthy weight loss consists of losing one to two pounds per week.
- Give yourself some grace. If you experience a setback, do not let it bring you down. Focus on today, not yesterday, and take your weight loss journey one day at a time.
Getting a Tummy Tuck Once You Have Maintained a Healthy Weight
Whether you are already at your goal weight, or you have worked hard to achieve it, getting a tummy tuck can help recontour your abdomen to a firmer, sleeker shape that will make you look and feel great. If you live in the Beverly Hills and West Hollywood Area, we would love to see you at William Bruno Plastic Surgery for a tummy tuck consultation. If you live elsewhere, look for a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon in your area.