Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is a complex decision that involves deliberation between you, family, friends and your surgeon. Professional medical advice is instrumental in deciding if it is right for you, and if so, which surgical option is best.
Weight loss surgery is designed to aid weight loss while increasing the quality of life for qualified patients. Patients need to keep in mind that weight loss surgery is a marathon, not a sprint. Surgery is not the ultimate solution for your weight and health related problems, and it is not a short-term fix. It is simply one element in solving obesity-related health issues. Success is achieved through a combination of diet, vitamin supplements and daily exercise, as well as the medical procedure.
There are many factors that determine whether a person would make a good candidate for bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery is designed for individuals with a BMI of 40 or greater and whose weight severely impairs their quality of life. Individuals with a BMI between 35-40 who have known co-morbidities, or the presence of two or more chronic diseases or conditions, may also be considered for surgery.
A reasonable attempt at losing weight via a non-surgical method must be demonstrated by the patient. Some insurance companies require patients to have attempted a physician-assisted program as criteria for weight loss surgery coverage. Another factor in determining if someone is a candidate for surgery is their understanding and commitment to the life-long changes that will be required to make the surgery a success.
Below, you will find the top five tips that weight loss experts offer for weight loss success.
Healthy eating is a crucial part of your weight loss journey and planning is central to success. Before you go to the grocery store, make a list of a few healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas that you can rotate throughout the week. The key the post-weight loss surgery diet is variety and moderation.
After you go grocery shopping, portion out protein and vegetables and batch cook staple foods like an egg and veggie casserole or grilled chicken and roasted vegetables. Planning ahead will make healthy eating during the week less stressful and will set you up for success in meeting your protein and weight loss goals.
Physical activity is important for weight and heart health, and it also improves our mood and outlook on life. If you cannot exercise for long periods of time, it is just as beneficial to do 10-15 minutes of activity two to three times a day.
Start by walking and taking the stairs and, as you get stronger, incorporate more moderate physical activities that you enjoy such as biking, weightlifting and yoga. If you have a hard time fitting exercise into your day, block out time for it on your calendar and treat it like any other appointment. Your health should be one of your top priorities.
Family support plays a major role in your weight loss journey and it is important for family members to understand the lifestyle changes that you will be encountering before and after surgery. You should discuss the type of surgery you are having with your family, so they know what to expect after surgery.
It is key for family and close friends to understand your reasons and motivation for having the surgery. They need to be supportive of your weight loss goals and your new lifestyle. Some topics to discuss are meal planning, exercising and their willingness to change their lifestyle as well.
It is also helpful to find someone who has had the surgery and listen to their experiences. You have the power to not only reach your weight loss goals, but also to help improve the health of your family.
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Understanding the Journey
Understanding the surgery is very important to your success. You need to have a basic understanding about the surgery, including its indication, technical aspects, possible complications and effects. If you know the details of the surgery, your outcome should be significantly improved, and you should cope better during the recovery phase.
You are an active participant in your own post-operative care and are also helping your surgeon to better care for you. If you don't understand the details of the weight loss surgery, simply ask your surgeon!
Support from your Medical Team
Undergoing the weight loss surgery does not guarantee a successful outcome, but the surgery does play a very important role in helping you lose the excess weight that you want to shed. Weight loss does not happen in a few weeks; it takes several months to happen.
It will not be easy and that is why your medical team is here to help you. Have you seen people running in a marathon? They appear to run alone to the finish line, but actually each marathoner is running with other marathoners (other patients with weight loss goals) and also coached by trainers (your medical team members.) The medical care team essentially runs the weight loss marathon with you.
Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You? Learn about your options.