Category Archives: Weight Loss
Many patients focus on the psychological adjustments they will have to make after surgery. After all, we are all having bariatric surgery in order to achieve goals; one of which is to improve our diet and general lifestyle over the long-term. As the typical patient understands, improving these parts of our lives are not as easy as following a diet and exercise plan. We have a good days and bad days, sometimes we are motivated and other times we simply don’t want to follow the plan. All of this is very normal but makes for some challenges after bariatric surgery. This is especially true over the long term when our weight begins to stabilize, and we don’t see the incredible results of early postoperative life.
It isn’t just the food industry trying to catch your attention with low-fat, low-sugar or other miracle-fix promises. How many people pick up that grocery store checkout magazine with the newest fad diet on the front cover? Come to think of it, almost all our magazines, social media site and online blogs are shouting with confidence that the way to a trim body and perfect life are through the maze of one fad diet to the next. This topic was discussed recently at one of our online support groups on Facebook. The competition over your attention between the food and diet industries makes for a very confusing relationship with how we eat.
You might think that, as a weight loss surgeon and advocate for healthy eating, I’ve lost my mind saying that fast food is OK after weight loss surgery. It goes counter to everything we’ve learned since we decided to have surgery, right? Not exactly. To be sure, fast food should not be a regular indulgence…but it doesn’t have to be a complete disaster. A renewed interest in personal health has brought about strides in the right direction as it relates to fast food. Not only are there dozens of new fast food outlets that have truly healthy offerings, but even supermarkets are getting in on the game. Prepared foods are no longer the concern that they once were.
Everyone’s gastrointestinal tract has a natural balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. This mixture of bacteria contributes to the system by aiding in digestion and immune support, among other things. During some weight loss surgery procedures, the digestive tract undergoes a large change, but no matter what procedure you choose, it is likely your gut health will shift. From research we know that the gut flora of obese individuals tends to be different from those with a healthy body mass index, or BMI. Research studies have also been exploring the weight loss effects of altering the gut bacteria using methods like introducing probiotics to the system with some encouraging results, both in studies of patients who have had bariatric surgery and those who have not. So, should you be taking a probiotic supplement?
If you ever search online for photos of weight loss, dieting, or body image, you might be quite shocked (or not) to see a flood of images of the scale — or worse, the scale chained to a person’s ankle. This imagery, as cartoonish and “silly” as some may think, is very telling when we take into account that the scale has become our proverbial anchor in our quest for better health and weight loss. When we think of marking our progress along our weight loss journey, the number on the scale reigns supreme. In fairness, our doctors check our weight, our BMI is calculated, and even those clothing size charts require us to boil our bodies down to numbers. There is no argument against weight being significant. The number is a great start- and endpoint for most healthy weight loss regimens. When taking into account your height, activity level, and body composition, weight is a good marker of general health. But along the way, the fluctuations on the scale should be used less to note progress, and more to give you a general idea of the direction you’re moving.