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From a Bariatric Patient: 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Bariatric Surgery

August 9, 2022

Woman holds out waist band of jeans that no longer fit due to major weight loss with bariatric surgery

As a person who prides herself on her ability to research any topic to death, I thought I knew everything there was to know about bariatric surgery and recovering from it before I walked in the hospital doors. In some cases, I was happy; in others, less so, to learn, I could not have been more wrong. Everyone has a different experience when they go through bariatric surgery, so I can’t promise you that my exact experience will be the same as yours. Some people lose hair; some don’t. Some wind up with excess skin after weight loss, and some people’s skin bounces right back. Our bodies are different, so it makes sense that our response to surgery will be different too.

One thing is certain – the information your medical team gives you before surgery is your best friend. They taught me some things I didn’t take seriously enough and some that I incorrectly assumed would not apply to me. If I could go back and do it all over, I would tell myself to listen to my medical team and give myself a heads up about the following six things:

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Why You May Not Qualify for a Joint Replacement if You Are Morbidly Obese

July 26, 2022

Orthopedic surgeon explains the structure of the knee to patient who they will not operate on due to high BMI limitations for surgery

Morbidly obese patients simply have not had as much access to joint replacement surgeries as their regular BMI counterparts. It is not uncommon for an obese patient to go to an orthopedic surgeon and be told to come back after they have lost weight. This is incredibly frustrating for patients who suffer from what can be debilitating joint pain. They could have been struggling to lose weight for years, and now the pain in their joints makes it difficult or impossible to exercise. They know, more than anyone, that what’s holding them back is a disease and one that is decidedly undertreated even in modern medicine.

The orthopedic surgeons denying a joint replacement to morbidly obese patients are not trying to discriminate or fat-shame. They have valid reasons backed by research as to why they don’t want to perform a joint replacement on obese patients with certain BMIs. Research has shown that obesity makes a patient less than ideal for joint replacement surgery.

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Five Reasons Many Patients Finally Decide to Have Weight Loss Surgery

July 12, 2022

Woman holds scale frustrated with cycling through weight loss and gain before choosing weight loss surgery

Deciding to have weight loss surgery is not easy. Many people consider it for a long time before eventually making the decision. Before taking the first step, many factors must be considered – watching a seminar or calling a bariatric surgeon. Several steps need to be taken, and criteria met before you can qualify as a candidate for weight loss surgery. But the decision is transformative. Like all life-changing decisions, there are risks and benefits to consider. You will also want to evaluate your reasons or motivation for getting weight loss surgery. Everyone should explore why they want to undergo weight loss surgery before diving into the surgical process. Here are five reasons most patients finally decide to have weight loss surgery.

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Why Diet and Exercise So Rarely Works in Obese Patients (And Why Bariatric Surgery Does)

June 28, 2022

Woman on diet eats a salad and wonders why she can’t lose weight and keep it off

Have you struggled with continuous dieting and exercise but not seeing results? You are not alone; many others have and are dealing with the same issue. For most people, especially those suffering from obesity, losing weight is more complicated than eating less and exercising more. Genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors all play a role in weight loss. These factors can make weight loss difficult and cause frustration and desperation to pursue unhealthy extremes in losing weight. Sadly this often leads to more weight gain and longer-term medical complications. Losing weight is not always a matter of willpower or motivation, so categorizing people who are obese as lazy or unmotivated is simply untrue.

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Is It Better to Skip a Meal or Eat Fast Food as a Bariatric Patient?

June 14, 2022

Woman sits in drive through line contemplating her healthiest fast food option in a pinch after bariatric surgery

The simple answer to whether to skip a meal or opt for fast food is that neither is optimal, but we all know life happens sometimes, and some circumstances are out of our control. There is a lot of preparation and education required before undergoing bariatric surgery. After surgery, you will have to continue to follow up with your doctor and may want to consider seeing a nutritionist. They can still be challenging even if you prepare for situations such as skipping a meal or eating fast food. The best thing you can do is prepare as much as possible but also be flexible. Let’s dive deeper into the problematic scenarios you may find yourself in before and after weight loss surgery and tips on handling them.

Scenario #1 – I’m Working on Losing Weight Before Bariatric Surgery…is it Better to Skip a Meal or Eat Fast Food?

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Moderation – The Key to Success After Bariatric Surgery

May 20, 2022

Woman struggles with deprivation and strict diet instead of practicing healthy moderation after weight loss 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.

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The Importance of Regulating Your Sleep Cycles for Weight Loss

May 6, 2022

Woman practices poor sleep hygiene resulting in disruption of sleep cycles which can contribute to weight gain

When putting together a weight loss plan, studies show that getting an adequate and consistent quality sleep is critical. Studies show that inadequate sleep while dieting can reduce the amount of weight loss and increase the risk of overeating.

  • A lack of sleep can affect the body’s regulation of ghrelin and leptin, two neurotransmitters that regulate the body’s appetite and capacity to feel full after a meal. Our body naturally varies the levels of these two neurotransmitters during the day to modulate our need to introduce calories. A lack of sleep increases the levels of ghrelin and decreases leptin. This altered regulation of ghrelin and leptin leads to an increase in appetite, making it more difficult to feel full when eating a meal.

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Do Sculpting Procedures Help You Lose Weight?

April 22, 2022

Cosmetic surgeon marks a patient for a body sculpting procedure which removes fat cells but won't result in much weight loss

The number of sculpting procedures available today has increased dramatically over the years past. So too have the number of patients employing these procedures for fat elimination. However, there can be some confusion about how effective these procedures are in the weight loss process. And the bottom line is that these procedures are not effective at helping patients lose a significant amount of weight. Instead, they are geared toward removing small amounts of fat to improve the contour and shape of particular body parts, especially the abdomen, thighs and arms, and buttocks. Ultimately, a good old diet and exercise and, for those to qualify, bariatric surgery are the best way to lose a significant amount of weight.

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Are There Any Absolute Dietary No-Nos After Bariatric Surgery?

April 8, 2022

Woman balances food options contemplating what foods are off limits after weight loss surgery

We often discuss bariatric surgery with patients who do not know much about the process. Near the top of the list of concerns is trepidation around eliminating something they love. This usually revolves around food or drink that they particularly enjoy or may represent comfort in times of stress or sadness. This brings up whether anything is genuinely off-limits after bariatric surgery.

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Body Image Questions and Concerns

March 18, 2022

Woman examines her body in the mirror after major weight loss and struggles with her body image during the changes after bariatric surgery You may have lived with excess weight or obesity for decades – even your entire life. And while you may have become used to living with all the physical and social impediments it causes, you may not be aware of how much it has affected your psyche, particularly when it comes to body image.

After bariatric surgery, patients who follow their postoperative diet and lifestyle often experience exceptional weight loss and disease improvement or resolution. We can objectively measure this using the BMI or body mass index and the results of simple bloodwork. However, there is a significant subjective component to post-bariatric life, and most of that revolves around you, the patient, and how you see and feel about yourself.

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