Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Ensuring Successful Weight Loss After Your Surgery

shutterstock_21519586Undergoing weight loss surgery is the first step in the transformation to a healthier way of living. In addition to nutritional counseling, exercise programs, group meetings, and other means of support available before, during, and after weight loss treatment, our Addictions Counselor, Jan Ford says that maintaining a balanced and healthy mentality about your weight loss is also critical for success.

“It is important that [patients] establish life-long healthy habits with a balanced approach to food (and life!) and not maintain a ‘diet mentality’ for temporary behavior changes,” she says. “Some individuals may find they experience some degree of grief and loss of enjoyment in food after bariatric surgery. This should be a temporary occurrence because once they start to realize their weight loss is progressing, usually these feelings subside. The benefits of feeling and looking better become the reward. If the feelings of loss persist, the individual may need to seek individual counseling to deal with those issues so they do not sabotage their weight loss efforts.”

According to Ford, two of the most common unhealthy addictions she observes in patients are alcohol consumption and shopping. “Based on recent research, regular alcohol consumption is not advised for gastric bypass patients,” says Ford. “The way and rate that the alcohol is metabolized in the body after that particular type of surgery changes a person’s tolerance for alcohol.”

In addition to positive coping skills, Ford advises that patients exercise regularly, sleep at least seven hours a night, eat three scheduled meals and two snacks per day, drink plenty of water, and develop healthy interests and relationships. “Bariatric surgery is only a tool for weight loss,” she says. “It will help with portion control and in some cases hunger signals, but the key part of success depends on the life-long changes that the patient is willing to make. Being compliant with the doctors’ and dieticians’ recommendations is another key to success…follow the directions! Remember if nothing changes, the results remain the same. You have to be an active partner in your success with weight loss surgery.”

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To learn more about whether bariatric surgery may be an option for you, please contact Inova Bariatric today.