Moderation – The Key to Success After Bariatric Surgery
One of the hallmarks of a successful post-bariatric surgery life and indeed keeping weight off, even without bariatric surgery, is moderation. Over the past several decades, with ever-increasing portion sizes and the hectic life most Americans lead, restraint can go by the wayside. Consuming too few calories can be, in its own way, as destructive as consuming too many. Similarly, working out too much can be as bad as not working out enough. That’s why we preach moderation.
Moderation is not an art form, nor is it a science. It is simply a choice that we, as consumers, must make each day. Even after bariatric surgery, with all the dietary limitations, it is not necessary to cut out every food item we enjoy. That’s just not sustainable. Instead, it’s important to consume them in moderation. Take low-calorie desserts, for example. While they may not be ideal for weight loss, they are appropriate at certain times and can be a treat to celebrate an achievement or milestone.
When we deprive ourselves of food or obsess over our diet or exercise regimen, we start to get into trouble. Granted, it may be effective in the short term, but these “crash” regimens become very difficult to sustain over the long term. And this is not just due to the psychology of fad dieting but also a hormonal component. Further, depriving our bodies of a balanced diet can make us regain weight much more quickly if we ever falter in the future.
Moderation also comes in emotional and psychological forms. When we first look toward bariatric surgery as a solution to our excess weight obesity, we tend to create goals so lofty that they are simply unattainable. Or our goals represent a victory so far in the future that we get discouraged along the way. Instead, we must have very candid conversations with our bariatric surgeon to understand what we should expect. What are our responsibilities if we wish to beat the stated averages of weight loss and disease resolution?
We also must be acutely aware of how our lives will change after bariatric surgery. For most, these changes are very positive. However, relationships with others around you will invariably change. Managing these relationships properly and understanding that not everybody will understand your decision is key to getting through with the fewest hurdles in our way.
The goal of moderation and the lifestyle change prescribed to us after bariatric surgery is to make it easier to keep the weight off for the long term. We want to achieve a balanced, nutritionally suitable diet, a balanced and healthy mind and implement an exercise regimen to keep our bodies intact now and well into the future.
We’re always available to discuss challenges you may be having with moderation in the post-bariatric phase, so feel free to contact us or discuss it during your next follow-up appointment.