There are many reasons why someone might choose to have a tummy tuck, including sagging skin and stubborn fat. Most people planning to have this surgery set out to first lose as much weight as they can on their own, so that their surgery provides the best result possible. If you don't get close to your ideal weight before a tummy tuck, you may find that you aren't as happy with the results of your surgery since continued weight loss can create loose or sagging skin, even after a tummy tuck.
Set a goal for weight loss that will get you close to your ideal weight. It is important to do this first, because you need to make sure you have an adequate amount of time to lose weight safely. Plan on being able to lose between 1.5 and 2 lbs. per week. If you need to lose 30 lbs., a period of between 15 and 30 weeks will be needed. Setting this timeline will help keep you accountable while allowing for realistic goals that can be continually monitored.
Meet with your doctor and choose a surgery date. Tell your doctor that you plan to lose a certain amount of weight before surgery. Your doctor may offer additional advice or guidance to help you. He may want to have an initial assessment with you at this time, but keep in mind that if you do lose a significant amount of weight, you may have to have another assessment appointment before your surgery. This will ensure that your doctor has a plan based on the size that you are at the time of surgery.
Pick a diet plan. Many people make the mistake of focusing too much time and energy on exercise and not enough on diet. There are many healthy diets available. If you prefer in-person accountability, consider a program like Weight Watchers, which requires weekly weigh-ins and has in-person support meetings. If you are more self-directed, ask your doctor for advice and proceed according to her recommendations. You can also use a local personal trainer, who can help you with both diet an exercise.
Create an exercise routine. Your exercise routine will help you create the calorie deficit necessary for weight loss. Participate in group fitness classes, a walking or running routine or a resistance training routine. All of these will aid in weight loss. Make time to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes five days a week. Try circuit training if you don't have a lot of time to exercise. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, circuit training is just as effective as cardiovascular training while requiring less time. A sample circuit training workout can include 10 rounds of 10 each, with minimal rest between exercises such as squats, push-ups, forward lunges, crunches and jumping jacks. A certified personal trainer can be a valuable resource if your goals are date-oriented, such as a surgery date. A personal trainer can set up a plan based on your desired outcome, ensuring that your goals are reasonable and creating a supportive environment. The accountability you may feel toward you trainer, as well as the financial commitment you have made to improving your body composition, may prove to be effective motivators.
Use an online resource like The Daily Plate to keep track of how many calories you eat and how many you burn through exercise.
Write your goals down. It makes you more likely to succeed.
Talk to your doctor about your plan. Do not attempt a crash diet to get to a lower weight before surgery.