Having a bariatric surgery is going to help you lose weight but when discussing long term success, we need to talk about behaviors around food. Long term success is going to depend on the new habits that we ingrain during the “honeymoon period” post surgery which generally lasts for one to two years.
Bariatric surgery is not the “non-effort” way to lose the weight. It is a real surgery which requires clients to follow a medically designed pre-operative diet and also a post-operative diet in order to ensure that weight loss is continued but also to prevent any types of post operative complications. The other reason for the pre and post op guidelines are to teach clients to learn and also to enjoy what healthy eating means.
In my experience, I find that those clients that experience successful weight loss post bariatric surgery and maintenance two years post surgery are those same people that adapt to and then adopt a healthy nutritional regime. It is those same clients that report that they enjoy the new healthy eating patterns. Most of those same clients have adopted a healthy personal exercise regimen that included walking, swimming biking etc.
Research states that bariatric patients who have support from their nutritionists are also more likely to have continued bariatric success and weight maintenance even five years post surgery. A lot of patients have a surgery and lose a lot of weight during the first two years after their surgery. The real goal is to then turn around and keep that weight off. For me, success is going to be a maintained weight loss years after surgery and also the adaptation to healthy eating patterns and exercise patterns.
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About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.
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