Must You Eat Less After Lipo, Regardless of Healthy Diet Before Lipo, Because of Having Less Fat Cells?

I have been reading online studies regarding weight gain after Lipo. I am a little confused! Is it true that regardless of a healthy diet with exercise before lipo, that you will need to eat less and or exercise more because you have less fat cells than before the surgery? Does the fat removed fight HARDER after surgery to come back, regardless of diet and exercise? If a woman ate 1200 calories/daily before lipo, would she have to reduce calorie intake because of less fat cells afterwards?

Doctor Answers 8

Diet After Liposuction

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Hello Lidia,

Absolutely not, you do not have to eat less.  The media has presented a single paper that showed patients gaining intra-abdominal fat (around the organs) in people who had liposuction.  More recent papers refute this, and state that a moderate diet and exercise program allowed liposuction patients to maintain their new fat distribution. 

Unfortunately, after having liposuction surgery, many people maintain a calorie positive diet that they had prior to liposuction, and this is what is most problematic.  Your body does not fight to gain fat back.  From what we know about the physiology of fat, the opposite is true.  The more fat we have the more our bodies want to preserve and even gain fat.  The less fat we have, the less our bodies want to preserve it.  This is probably some vestigial (old) biologic function that is no longer useful in modern man.

If you are considering liposuction surgery, you should meet with qualified surgeons that can guide you with nutrition and exercise as well.  It all goes hand in hand.

Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Keep weight stable (or lose weight) after liposuction

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The best thing you can do is eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, and count calories.  I do not care what anyone says, if you don't put excessive food in your mouth you cannot gain weight (transient water weight and medical conditions/problems aside).  Liposuction will tend to change the distribution of where the fat goes, so if you do not want to discover the next greatest place your body feels like depositing fat, do the above. 

Diet after liposuction

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The liposuction procedure will permanently remove fat cells from the areas treated. The long term effects of the surgery do not alter your metabolism so adhering to a well balanced diet with proper exercise will allow you to maintain the results you achieve.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

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Effects of Liposuction on Metabolism

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    If you can maintain your weight, then you will not gain additional fat just because of liposuction.  The areas that are liposuctioned are less likely to become large, and any additional increases in fat weight will redistribute.  To be sure, all of the effects of liposuction on lipid metabolism have not been worked out.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Best diet following liposuction.

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Thanks you very much for your question.  Conventional medical teaching says that by the time you are 8 years old you will have developed all of your fat cells unless you become obese in which case you will develop more cells.  After liposuction you will see an overall decrease in the total amount of fat cells.  You won't make new cells as long as you maintain a healthy diet.  If you burn the same number of calories that you take in you will not gain weight.  If you burn more calories you will loose weight.  1200 cal/day is a good guess for the number of calories.  You can then see how your body behaves.  If you maintain your weight then this is a good ca/day level for you to maintain your post-operative weight.

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Diet after liposuction

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A recent study has been published suggesting that the removal of fat though liposuction or surgery increases the fat deposition in the visceral organs including blood vecells. This study has not been repeated or validated but this means that a healthy diet will benefit patients after liposubciton or  surgery were removal of adipose tissue has been performed. The results of surgery will improve if you follow a healthy diet after surgery. Good luck!

Diet after Liposuction

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The dietary rules after liposuction are the same as any other healthy living diet.  Eat a well rounded diet with appropriate calories.   Calculate your body fat and body weight and check it periodically.   Weight weekly and body fat yearly for life.  If you eat more calories thhan you burn you will gain fat and weight.   If you eat too few calories and burn  more you will lose weight.  For perfect body function your diet must be balanced.  There is NO difference before and after liposuction.  The rules are the same.   My best,   Dr C

Calories after Lipo

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Your question is a good one. There is no need to worry because you have less fat cells. The laws of nature remain the same. As long as you don't eat more than you burn off, you will not gain weight.

One thing that naturally happens as we age is that we all seem to burn less calories. So we need to reduce our calories as we age or else we will gain weight. Some have argued that gaining a little weight with ageing is healthy so that a reserve will be available in case of illness.

If you have any questions about your diet, see a dietician/nutritionist. Your physician can write a prescription for evaluation and most insurance will cover the visit(s).

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.