Weight loss surgery may seem like a magic bullet but unfortunately many people gain the weight back. In fact, a study published in the Annals of Surgery found that 20.4% of morbidly obese and 34.9% of super obese patients gained their weight back within 10 years after surgery. What can you do to minimize your chances of gaining weight back? When you commit to the surgery make sure you commit to making a lifestyle of balanced healthy eating and exercise so your efforts and investment in yourself are successful.
Weight Loss Surgery is Not the End
Just because you had surgery, you still need to fix the underlying behavioral patterns that caused the weight gain in the first place.
- When and why were you overeating? (and there may be multiple reasons) – a therapist who works with eating issues can help you sort through these because just getting the weight off will not fix other issues in your life.
- What were you eating and when – seeing a registered dietitian on a regular basis can help ensure you are on track. A dietitian can also help you make sure you are getting the nutrients you need by taking the proper supplements. This is critical because approximately 30% of people develop conditions such as anemia and osteoporosis from a decrease in nutrient absorption post surgery (iron, B12, folate, calcium and vitamin D; only taking a multivitamin is not enough for gastric bypass patients).
- And finally, exercise must become a part of your lifestyle. Work with a personal trainer who is used to working with obese individuals to find out what exercises that you enjoy also fit your lifestyle.
Ann Surg 2006; 244(5): 734–740.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases