Weight loss is not magic. Neither is weight loss surgery. It takes time to change behaviors that can lead to weight gain, and subsequently it takes time to shed excess pounds.
Bariatric surgery is a powerful tool to help patients improve their health and achieve weight loss, and most patients see very good results with surgery. This tool, when coupled with the motivation to change, healthy dietary habits, and physical activity is what makes sustainable weight loss successful.
Of course, each individual has unique goals and benchmarks for determining the satisfactory outcome after weight loss surgery. It is important to discuss your expectations with your bariatric surgeon prior to having a procedure so that you have an accurate understanding of the potential results, and your support team is best able to help you achieve your long-term objectives for weight loss.
The Science of Bariatric Surgery, Somewhat
Without totally losing you in the technicalities of why bariatric surgery works when diets don’t, let’s just say that often a body with longstanding obesity defends itself against weight loss by drastically reducing its metabolic rate. A slower metabolism does not lend itself well to weight loss. The same effect is not seen after bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding because these procedures permanently change the contours of the digestive tract or cause physiologic changes in the body that alter energy balance and fat metabolism.
Beyond the importance of the “process” of weight loss are the undeniable medical benefits of surgically induced weight loss, including normalizing blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid levels, and curbing sleep apnea. Although bariatric surgery cannot cure type 2 diabetes, it has the profound ability to put the disease into remission and slow or prevent the life-threatening damage it can cause to the heart and blood vessels.
A person with a healthier body tends to fare better not only physically but emotionally and socially as well. These all have a hand in weight loss success. Period.
Strategies for Success
The number one reason you are considering weight loss surgery is to lose weight and improve your health. Some strategies that may help you be successful include:
Commit to Committing
Long-term weight loss takes time and effort. It’s a huge commitment. Make sure that you’re ready to make permanent lifestyle changes and that you do so for the right reasons.
It takes a lot of mental, emotional, and physical energy to change your habits. So it’s best to make a plan to address other stresses in your life first, such as financial problems or relationship issues. While these stresses may never completely go away, managing them better should improve your ability to focus on achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Find Your Inner Motivation
No one else can make you lose weight but you. Make a list of goals of what’s important to you to help stay motivated and focused. Maybe you post an encouraging note to yourself on the pantry door, for good measure.
While you have to take responsibility for your own behavior, it will help to have support—of the right kind. Enlist people to support you who will encourage you in positive ways, without shame or sabotage. If you plan to be more private in your weight loss journey, be accountable to yourself by having regular weigh-ins, recording your diet and exercise progress in a journal, or tracking your progress using digital tools.
Get Healthy Then Stay Healthy
It’s important to stay on top of the nutrition and exercise plan developed for you by your bariatric surgery team. Sometimes after losing weight, patients begin to adhere less to their diet plan or ease up a little when exercising. If this becomes a habit it can sabotage your weight loss accomplishments.
Studies show that the people who eat more planted-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and who get regular physical activity are the ones who maintain their weight loss over the long term.
Change Your Perspective
It’s not enough to eat healthier and exercise for only a few weeks or even months if you want long-term, successful weight loss. These habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your daily routine and ongoing patterns.
After assessing your personal challenges to weight loss, try working out a strategy to gradually change habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your past performance, remember it’s a new mindset. Then move beyond simply recognizing your challenges by planning for how you will deal with these challenges to succeed in losing weight once and for all.
You likely will have an occasional setback, and that’s okay as long as you commit to starting fresh the next day. Remember that you’re planning to change your life. This is huge! Weight loss surgery is simply a tool to be used in tandem with lifestyle changes to achieve lasting success.
Are You Ready to Make the Change?
Bariatric surgery is considered by many experts to be the most effective treatment for obesity in terms of maintaining long-term weight loss and reducing the risk of other health problems—such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes―that are associated with excessive weight gain. Although it is not a cure for obesity, nor is it the solution to the epidemic of obesity, bariatric surgery has improved the health and quality of life of millions of people. Are you next?
The skilled staff at Lee Bariatrics wants to help you better understand bariatric surgery and why it works. Give us a call today at 1-888-715-4330 for a no-obligation consultation.
The above is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the medical guidance from and discussion with your physician.