- Dr. Sweeney
Top 5 Tips for Bariatric Surgery
As a weight loss surgeon, I want to see my patients succeed in their weight loss journey and be able to keep their weight off forever. So let's set you up for success.
Here are 5 things that I think everyone needs to know as they consider or prepare to have bariatric surgery.
1. Arm yourself with education and a solid plan before surgery and going forward to set yourself up for success. Use our nurses, dieticians, mental health professionals and myself to soak up every piece of knowledge you can get prior to your surgery. Clean out your kitchen of all the foods you know will be tempting for you to splurge on and stock it with healthy options before your surgery. Be careful with internet searches and other people's stories regarding weight loss and surgery, there is plenty of inaccurate information out there.
2. Surgery doesn't work unless you use it appropriately. Surgery is probably they best "tool" that exists for weight loss. However, like any tool, if you don't use it appropriately, you will not be successful. Your surgery is going to help you more than any "diet" in the past but it is still up to you to make the right choices when it comes to your food and lifestyle choices. Don't worry, between myself and our staff, we will make sure that you know everything that you should and should not be doing.
3. You will have to change your relationship with food to be successful. If you are at the point in your life that you are considering weight loss surgery, you have probably spent the better part of your life having an unhealthy relationship with food. You may eat because you are bored or stressed or to help manage emotions when you are sad or angry. None of those will help you reach your goals. It is important to think of food for what it is, a way to give your body energy and the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. The good news is, you can still eat plenty of delicious food after surgery. The other good news is that there are many other healthy, enjoyable, enriching activities that can help you manage your emotions besides food. Going for a walk, calling a friend, meditation, prayer, art, writing a journal,
4. Exercise is for mental health, not for weight loss. Have you every heard the phrase "you can't outrun a bad diet?" It is absolutely true. Weight loss is 95% (or more) related to your food choices. That being said, I never discourage people from exercising / moving their bodies because it is a powerful tool to boost mood, manage stress, curb your appetite, improve brain health, build strong and durable bones / joints / muscles. Movement causes the brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters called "endorphins". I like to call these the "happy" molecules and guess what happens when you are happy? You are more likely to be successful in your goals and enjoy life at the same time.
5. Finally, Find someone that will be your support system and include them in this process. People are exponentially more likely to achieve their goals, whether they are for weight loss, personal, work related, or whatever, if they speak those goals out loud to someone and are held accountable for them.