‘After bariatric surgery, Healthifyme helped me continue to lose weight’
April 30, 2021
April 30, 2021
Weighs 87 kg today
Weighed 104 kg earlier
Lost 17 kg over 6 months
Rashmi wasn’t always overweight. She married early, at age 20, and had a baby soon after. A homemaker living in Dubai, she had few options for an active outdoors life. “Even so, I ensured that I stayed active, taking care of my child and home. And I have always been a careful eater,” she says.
Rashmi began gaining weight when she started taking medication to combat allergies. When her weight breached the 100-kg mark, her blood sugar shot up to 350. The allergy medication, along with the high doses of insulin that she had been taking to bring her diabetes under control, both contributed to her weight gain. The excess fat on her abdomen even led to the formation of an umbilical hernia, which had to be surgically removed.
During this ordeal, Rashmi tried several weight loss plans, but nothing worked. After losing an initial 4-5 kg, she would hit a plateau. She then decided to consult Dr Nagaraj Palankar, surgical gastroenterologist at Manipal Hospital, Bangalore and in December 2014, he performed Rashmi’s bariatric surgery.
For best results after bariatric surgery, it is imperative that patients follow a healthy diet and exercise routine. Dr Palankar says Rashmi was highly motivated, but repeated attempts to manage her weight with diet and exercise on her own had failed. Following bariatric surgery, he introduced Rashmi to the HealthifyMe app. “HealthifyMe has provided Rashmi with the expert advice, motivation and monitoring she needed to sustain her weight-loss post surgery,” he says, of the opinion that the app can empower others like Rashmi who are seeking an at-your-fingertips solution to lead a healthier life.
The first month after surgery, Rashmi was only allowed a liquid diet. She recalls how concerned she was about managing her nutritional intake at the time. “I knew I had to take only liquids. But I had no clue how often I had to take them through the day, how much I could have or at what time, and whether I was getting enough protein and fiber from these preparations,” she says.
HealthifyMe dietician R Kalpana outlined a plan for Rashmi that addressed all her concerns and also gave her a much-needed psychological boost. “I was very weary of taking anything processed initially, but Kalpana convinced me that I needed to take (protein powder) Ensure to heal from my surgery. I’m glad she did because I really needed that semi-solid lift in the morning,” says Rashmi, adding that Kalpana was an excellent sounding board during her recuperation.
Kalpana says that maintaining Rashmi’s blood sugar levels post-surgery with a liquid diet was a challenge. “I would constantly be in touch with her and monitor her blood sugar,” says Kalpana, who recommended a diet of whole grains in liquid form, like thin ragi porridge or cooked broken brown rice blended with greens, along with apple juice, coconut water, chicken soup, dals and strained vegetable juice. After a week on liquids, Kalpana gradually transitioned Rashmi to semi-solid, pureed and then a solid diet.
Dr Palankar had advised Rashmi against doing any strenuous exercises soon after the surgery but six months down the line she had begun walking. The HealthifyMe RIST tracker was a big motivator for her. “It was hard for me to walk initially, but I would keep checking my RIST for how many steps I had done, and that helped me power on to do 100 or so more daily until I had hit 9,000 steps,” she says. Unfortunately, a second hernia operation recently has put all her exercise on hold.
Apart from the expert support, Rashmi says the tools provided by the HealthifyMe app helped her tremendously post surgery. Today, she logs everything she intends to eat into the app’s calorie tracker to ensure her meals are within permissible limits. “If I feel like eating a mango, which is a good source of fiber, I know exactly how much I can have,” she says. Rashmi also uses five hourly alarms on the app to monitor her meal times. “That way, I know when to eat. If I am hungry at other times, I just drink water,” she says. The app helped her form the habit of monitoring food portions and set goals, both of which she continues today.
Rashmi lost 17 kg after surgery and has been able to maintain this weight loss. Says Dr Palankar, “There has been a significant improvement in her diabetic status, which is now managed predominately by diet and exercise.”
As she continues to lose inches, her new shapely self has done wonders for Rashmi’s self-esteem. She is basking in all the compliments. “I’ve taken hundreds of selfies,” she says, with a smile.
Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.