Have you heard people say that weight loss surgery is the 'easy' option when it comes to weight loss?
Patients often tell me that they are told this and it can be a bit disheartening to heart because weight loss surgery is not the easy weight out and shouldn't be treated as the easy way out either.
In fact the decision to have weight loss surgery is one of the biggest decisions of your life and having surgery is a real life changing experience.
But why is surgery not the easy way out? Here's 5 good reasons.
- It's a major surgery. Weight loss surgery isn't just popping a few pills to help with your weight loss, major things are being done in your bodying order to achieve weight loss and often these changes aren't reversible.
- Eating habit changes are necessary. In order to not spend your days throwing up, overly full, constipated, light headed or dehydrated - many habit changes are necessary. Some of these habits are very hard to break as they have been a lifelong habit. This are thus something not easy to break and it can taken time and patience to achieve them. For example eating small regular meals, eating slowly, chewing your food until it's a liquid before swallowing.
- Making nutritious food choices. After weight loss surgery, you will need to be very good with your nutritional intake. If you just want to have surgery and not actually get your nutrition right, you are better off using another method to lose weight because long term, inadequate nutrition can not only lead to deficiencies and poor health but despite the initial good success with weight loss, poor nutritional choices may lead to weight regain. So nutrition and food choices need to be one of your biggest focus' after your surgery.
- Regular exercise and an active lifestyle. Yep, that dreaded word - exercise...some of use love it but more often than not, it's not the most looked forward part of our day. However getting into a regular exercise routine and having an active lifestyle is essential post surgery. While exercise alone isn't going to get you to your weight loss goal, in combination with your new healthy dietary intake, it will help burn calories, improve your health and well being as well as help you maintain your weight loss. Don't underestimate the importance of exercise.
- Eating out and social events. Eating out and attending social events where food is involved can be challenging post surgery. There is a number of reasons for this but regardless, it is manageable. Often when eating out people will notice how much (or little) you are eating and comment on it. If you haven't told people you've had surgery, you often need to have a good explanation for the little food you consume compared to the past or everyone else. Another thing that can come up is the fact that you cannot eat all that much, even an entrée size meal can be too big and some restaurants don't even have a suitable entree. In this case people often share meals, order an entree and take the rest home or even ask for a kids meal if the restaurant is willing to comply. Another important thing to be aware of is the consistency of the meal your order. If a meal is too high in fat or sugar - you may end up with dumping syndrome which isn't a great way to spend your night! Having said that, many have found ways to go out and enjoy the evening so having a think about where you are go, who you are going with and planning out what you will do can go a long way to making eating out the pleasant experience it should be.
These are just 5 reasons why bariatric weight loss surgery is NOT the easy way out. Of course there's more to it than that but next time someone tells you that you are taking the easy way out, have a think of these reasons because it is not the easy way out, it is just one step towards a new healthier happy you.