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Fitness with Dr. Pousti

Article courtesy of Tom Pousti, M.D.
August 1, 2011

For many of us, the reality of living a lifestyle that allows us to eat 5 small-well balanced meals a day, exercise 3-5 times a week and get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night isn’t possible, more like the impossible. But if you are considering plastic surgery here are some reasons why living a healthier lifestyle will help you prepare and recover from surgery and achieve the body you’ve always wanted.

Why Nutrition and Plastic Surgery go together???

Do you ever think about why you eat? This is an important question to ask yourself, especially if you are looking to make healthy lifestyle changes, which can greatly improve the way you feel and your appearance. The modern diet lacks the recommended daily allowances of essential vitamins and minerals required to support the body in healing efficiently and effectively. That’s why it’s important to eat with a purpose not just to settle an appetite. To promote excellent results and optimal healing you can do this by eating and supplementing your diet with the following foods and vitamins.

Meat and more meat!

Protein is not just an essential nutrient, but the largest component in the body after water. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are essential in building and repairing various parts of the body. They also travel around the body as hormones, red blood cells and enzymes. In order for the body to restore and repair tissues that have been damaged by surgery you want to make sure that you are eating enough protein in your meals prior to and after surgery. Eating proteins prior to surgery will help build your immune system and red blood cells, both, which are fundamental to your recovery after surgery. Here is a list of high quality lean proteins:

Animal Proteins
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Low-Fat Dairy

Plant Proteins
  • Soybeans (also tofu)
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds


The human body is comprised of 60-75% water and every system in your body relies on water; which includes your digestive system, metabolic hormones and skin. After surgery many patients may encounter constipation due to the anesthesia and the narcotics taken after surgery. Water consumption performs an important role in digestion by helping the body eliminate solids, toxins, impurities and bacteria from our body. In turn, this helps speed up the healing process after surgery and release any uncomfortable bloated feeling that may occur. Not only does water keep us healthy and remove toxins from our body; it contains zero calories, is an excellent appetite suppressant and helps metabolize stored fat. If you are looking to lose a couple extra pounds and find something that will help you control your appetite, water is your answer.

Many people don’t realize it, but the amount of water you drink each day has a direct effect on how healthy your skin is. Drinking enough water can help keep your skin be plumper, moister, younger looking, and free from acne and blemishes. Unfortunately the skin is one of the first organs on our body to suffer from a lack of regular water intake. Not getting enough water each day can result in dry skin problems, acne, and premature lines and wrinkles. However, for many of us we still struggle from acne, premature lines and wrinkles. If this sounds like you a TCA peel can be very effective in removing scars and wrinkles and help increase collagen production for healthier younger skin.


As talked about early, most of us eat foods that are deficient in vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body. One way to combat this is by taking a multi-vitamin to ensure that we are getting the nutrients needed for tissue repair, normal hormone production and metabolic functioning. Below is a list if supplements that will help prepare the body for surgery and for recovery:

Start approximately 2 weeks PRIOR to surgery:
  • Multivitamin: High potency, Antioxidant-rich, mineral-rich vegetable source. 2 tabs per day
  • Vitamin C: Promotes wound healing, protects against bruising; antioxidant protection. 1000 mg per day.
  • Zinc/Glutamine: High tissue concentrations of these nutrients prior to surgery aids in faster healing time and in the rebuilding of tissues. Zinc: 1 tsp. twice a day, Glutamine: 1 tsp. twice a day

Post Surgery (make sure to get Dr. Pousti’s approval prior to starting any of these):
  • CoQ 10: Stimulates cell growth 1 tab twice a day
  • Glutamine: Helps prevent tissue/protein catabolism (breakdown) after surgery 1 tsp. twice a day
  • Arginine: Helps in wound healing and stimulates collagen. 1 tab three times per day
  • Vitamin C: Essential vitamin that aids in wound healing and collagen. 2 capsules per day
  • Glucosamine: Glucosamine is an important building block needed by the body to manufacture specialized molecules required for wound healing. 1 tab twice per day
  • Arnica 30X: Homeopathic; helps reduce discomfort, bruising, and swelling of soft tissue.
  • To avoid constipation, WATER, eat fruit, and supplement with Milk of Magnesia, or Smooth Move Tea, or laxative of choice.


Many researchers have confirmed that those who exercise regularly before surgery not only look and feel better but recover much quicker then those who don’t exercise. It’s no surprise that those who have a healthy lifestyle do better in the long run after certain types of plastic surgery such as liposuction. Liposuction is meant for body contouring, not weight loss. The patients that have the best results are the ones who are close to their reasonable body weight. Creating good lifestyle habits before surgery will help ensure that you maintain your results by decreasing your chances of gaining weight back. Another benefit of exercise besides the cardiovascular benefits is exercise, consisting of both weights and aerobics will activate and rejuvenate the skin, while improving circulation. This increased circulation helps deliver nutrients to skin cells, wiping away damaging toxins as well as produce an excellent condition for collagen production.

Dr. Tom Pousti and staff are here to support you in reaching your goals. Please visit our website regularly to get your:
  • Daily/Weekly Motivations
  • Exercise Tips
  • Health Myth Busters
  • Nutritional Tid-Bits…and much, much more! 



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