No Exercise, No Diet Weight Loss. Does It Exist?
If you’re considering bariatric surgery, you have likely tried many diet and exercise programs to get back into shape over the years. If you haven’t been successful, don’t beat yourself up. Unfortunately, for most, these programs are not effective. Many patients regain their weight, and often put on even more, after some time. Despite a lifetime of being bombarded with diet plans that claim to work, we continue to be lured into the promise of weight loss and fat-busting with little or no work. And it’s no surprise it often ends in frustration.
So, to get right to the point, fat loss and weight loss do not happen without work; no matter what road you take to get there. To lose weight, proper diet and exercise are essential. And this is also true after bariatric surgery.
As we look at the claim of a “no diet, no exercise” weight loss program, we’re reminded that diet and exercise are often considered chores or undesirable. And if we take one thing from this, it’s that this mindset must change. When we think about diet and exercise, we have been conditioned to believe that we are doomed to make exhausting and “impossible” physical efforts while being deprived of the food we love. This couldn’t be further from the truth. And while, yes, effort and sacrifice must be made to see changes, we can do them gradually and gain so many incredible physical and psychological benefits along the way.
The Benefits of a Proper Diet
Months out of bariatric surgery, patients will eat a lot less, but the bariatric diet is not as restrictive as many think. Working within the guidelines of your surgical practice’s aftercare program, you’ll find that many foods we enjoy are not off-limits; they simply need to be moderated. After all, while the weight loss concept of calories-in-versus-calories-out is still very solid, that simple equation doesn’t always address things like our cravings, feelings of deprivation, or questioning if we have to “do this forever.” By changing our mindset to accept that this is the long game and by understanding that we will go over our calories on some days and have that special dessert on others, we can start to gain a healthy perspective. We begin to understand what they mean by balance. Staying on track doesn’t mean you won’t go off track. It means you continue the healthy choices and behaviors immediately after any deviations. By doing so, you start to see that you can live a life without deprivation and are more likely to stick to it long-term.
The Benefits of Exercise
Proper exercise is similarly beneficial not only for weight loss but also for physical and psychological improvements. Muscle tone can minimize the cosmetic effects of loose skin while also burning more calories at rest, which means less work in the future. Exercise also releases stress-busting endorphins, which is why you often feel energized and more positive after a good workout. Further, if you make your training enjoyable, such as working out with friends or taking a walk in nature, you can create a wonderful sense of well-being and camaraderie that you may not have otherwise.
Ultimately, however, this reinforces that weight loss is not easy, and whether you’ve had bariatric surgery or tried to go at it alone, there is no magic bullet. However, many patients will tell you that while the process may be tough, it’s also one of the most satisfying and impactful changes they have ever made. In fact, for many, it is the single most significant decision of their lives. Knowing that you have achieved something so exceptional will hopefully give you the motivation to do amazing things in your life outside of the weight loss journey.
We encourage you not to look for the easy way out of your situation, as there truly isn’t one. Weight loss and improved health require time and mental and physical dedication, but they yield many fantastic benefits. We encourage you to contact our office to learn more about our surgical weight loss solutions.