Best Ways to Lose Weight Before Surgery


About to have cosmetic surgery?  Need to lose weight before surgery – to reduce your BMI – before having a plastic surgery procedure? Here is our top-ranked Plastic Surgery blog TIPS for the best ways to lose weight before surgery.

Be sure you also READ this helpful weight loss blogHow your BMI (Body Mass Index) impacts cosmetic plastic surgery results as well as our tips on the best ways to lose weight before surgery.

How to lose weight before surgery.

First, why it’s important to have a healthy BMI before you have plastic surgery.

  • It’s important that you’re able to maintain a stable, healthy weight (and BMI) before surgery.
  • That’s because gaining weight after plastic surgery will often detrimentally impact your results.
  • Being overweight is also detrimental to your surgery experience in that it can increase your risks of complications and excess inflammation as your body tries to heal.


Find out how to calculate your Body Mass Index (your BMI).

Why is losing weight before surgery so important?

  • Your BMI, a body fat percentage calculation, impacts your cosmetic surgery results in many ways.
  • Your BMI will impact your results from reconstructive plastic surgery as well as purely cosmetic surgery procedures, including how long your surgery results will last and continue to look aesthetically pleasing.
  • Your weight can also impact your plastic surgery complication risks.
  • The healthier your BMI before surgery – the less likely you are to experience potential complications or to end up with a result you’re less than happy about.


Your BMI is a relevant measure of your body fat content; however, there may be other factors about your body composition that can impact your surgery experience.

  • But it’s not JUST your body weight that will impact your surgery results.
  • Your overall health, your daily habits, your skin condition AND your body fat content vs lean muscle tissues ALSO have an impact.


If you have 5 kilos to 10 kilos or less to lose:

  • Your Surgeon will advise you if you’re a suitable candidate for surgery.
  • Having just 5 to 10 kilos may not SEEM like a lot to lose, but these last few kilos can also be the most difficult to shift.
  • Aim to allow yourself 3 months to 6 months to lose from 5 to 10 kilos, respectively.
  • Don’t do anything drastic and avoid fad dieting regimes – they rarely last. Instead, use scientifically validated eating plans – and estimate your diet plan’s health rating on the CSIRO website.

Best Ways to Lose Up to 10 Kilos

Our Top 10 Tips for losing 5 to 10 kilos include:

  1. Drinking enough water – at least 10 to 15 large glasses a day (and no, soft drinks and coffee doesn’t count)
  2. Keeping track of what you eat, with a food intake diary; as what’s measured can be monitored – and vice versa (keeping track of what you’re consuming helps keep you “calorie intake-aware” rather than mindless eating)
  3. Avoiding all alcohol and packaged products, as these often contain high calories and excess sugar
  4. Reading labels and AVOIDING hidden sugars in foods like muesli cereal or protein bars (there’s a lot of hidden sugar as evidenced in THAT SUGAR FILM.
  5. Exercising regularly but adding in more cardiovascular and muscle-building activities (muscle mass burns more calories a day than body fat), ideally under the guidance of a qualified personal trainer or physiotherapist (and listen to your body/honour any prior injuries – don’t go overboard to where you hurt yourself or strain your muscles)
  6. Eating healthily every 4 to 5 hours while awake (grazing rather than large meals)
  7. Considering limiting carbohydrates and focusing on lean proteins but under the direction of a weight loss expert or a GP/medical professional
  8. Eating more vegetables and fruit rather than carbohydrates
  9. Using olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for taste – but avoiding margarine and fried foods
  10. Weighing yourself every 10 days so you can keep track – but being patient and knowing that slow weight loss, over time, is often more sustainable than rapid weight loss and fad dieting


Best Ways to Lose Up to 20 Kilos before Surgery

Our Additional Top 10 Tips for losing up to 20 kilos include:

See our list, above, for losing up to 10 kilos before surgery.

Step 1: Follow ALL of the weight-loss tips from the list provided above (10 best ways to lose 5 to 10 kilos);

Step 2: Follow these extra 10 strategies for losing weight.

  1. Get your BMI tested before you start – we have a high tech scale that can do that for you at our Melbourne Clinic in Hawthorn East.
  2. Give yourself enough time – and start IMMEDIATELY (don’t delay until after a holiday or until tomorrow – start NOW, TODAY, THIS MINUTE).  If you have 20 kilos to lose, allow at least six to 12 months.
  3. Write down your healthy BMI or weight loss goals and post it everywhere
  4. Post a photo of something you’d like to do – or wear – once you get to the healthier weight you’re aiming for before surgery
  5. Get assessed by a qualified nutritionist or dietitian, a weight loss surgeon or GP to ascertain your current health risks and a sustainable eating PLAN (not diet)
  6. Ask for a custom eating plan that takes into account your lifestyle, food preferences and stressors
  7. Take a stress management or mindfulness course so you can manage your stress levels without resorting to comfort foods
  8. Swear off of ALL fast foods and plan your meals in advance – no more eating on the run
  9. Shop when you’re NOT hungry, and stock up on healthy SOUPS and porridge
  10. Eat breakfast – don’t skip meals!


Do you have Over 25 or 30 kilos to lose before Surgery?

  • Obesity is common in Australia; but there are effective treatments, including weight loss surgery.
  • Usually what works best to treat obesity is a wholistic approach or lifestyle plan, with regular coaching (in person or via Skype, Facetime or Zoom) that takes into account the individual’s life style, health conditions, eating preferences, current stress levels/stress management abilities, and any medication side effects that may also be impacting on the person’s obesity levels.
  • If you’re obese, there’s no substitute for professional medical attention and coaching, because obesity is usually related to a combination of factors – not only diet and nutrition.

If you’re in the obesity BMI range (read our BMI blog for information on BMI and surgery results), you likely will benefit most from enlisting extra weight management support from Australian’s experts in Weight Loss or Weight Loss Surgery.

It is also likely that you’ve developed a comfort food stress management mentality that needs to be addressed before you can effectively manage your weight; or perhaps weight gain is the side effect of certain medications.  See a professional to assist your weight loss efforts so that you have a better chance of reaching your goals.  You may also be a good candidate for weight loss surgery BEFORE you have a plastic surgery procedure such as a tummy tuck/abdominoplasty, arm reduction/brachioplasty, breast reduction or breast lift/nipple lift procedure.

weight-loss-tips-body-contour-surgery, obesity waistline scale

We suggest you visit the NEW BODY SPECIALIST Weight Management Resources & Weight Loss Surgeon Directory.  You can also find downloadable materials for losing weight on Dr Arun Dhir’s website (he’s a Bariatric Surgeon for Weight Loss Surgery in Melbourne).

Need more help to lose weight before surgery?

Phone our team on (03) 8849 1444 or send an enquiry form and ask for contact information for Helen Bauzon (a nutritionist/lifestyle coach) or our other weight loss support contacts.

Visit our Downloadable Guides pages

For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.

cosmetic surgery for women and men Downloadable guides Female Plastic Surgeon Melbourne

Download our free guides or phone (03) 8849 1444 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.

Last updated: 02/12/2019
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Michelle Staughton
Michelle Staughton is a Patient Education Interviewer and Patient Care Coordinator for several top Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. With over 4 years’ experience helping plastic surgery patients at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery, after having been a patient herself, Michelle offers a wealth of knowledge to help surgical patients with cosmetic and plastic surgery planning and recovery tips.