We will undoubtedly have bad days after bariatric surgery. It is how we react to those bad days, however, that separates the most successful of us from those who will struggle to reach their weight loss goals. Bariatric surgery is not a magic bullet that cures obesity with no further effort. Rather, it is a tool to help patients achieve their maximum weight loss potential. Ultimately, it’s up to the patient to change their lifestyle after surgery, through diet, exercise and ongoing support from peers and family members.
Soups and salads are the first foods that come to mind when we think healthy eating – and rightly so. After all, they usually contain healthful foods, leafy greens and low calorie ingredients. However, many soups and salads, especially those from restaurants or fast food chains, can be deceiving in their nutritional value.
After surgery, many of you may be considering a cosmetic procedure, also known as plastic surgery. After extreme weight loss, there is a good possibility that excess skin will develop in various areas of the body including thighs, arms and abdomen. The degree to which you will experience sagging skin largely depends on your age and the rate at which you lose the weight. Regardless, this excess skin is often a source of discomfort or you may just want to remove it for aesthetic reasons. Either way, there are a multitude of options that range from targeting specific body parts to a full body lift.
We tend to think that numbers tell the truth. If they don’t add up, there has to be a mistake and we find the truth by recalculating or recalibrating. Well, that logic goes right out the window when it comes to fashion and clothing sizes.
Realizing that weight loss is “just” a number and there really is more to it, many of us attempt to reach a ideal clothing size only to find out that there may be no such thing. Our dream of one day hitting the mall, knowing that we can simply pick out our size of clothing and it will fit, simply doesn’t exist. Oftentimes, we reach our goal weight only to find that neither size nor weight matter with clothes. Let’s not even begin to discuss cut, style or clothing category, as those vary wildly too. You may require a size small in a plain pocket T-shirt and an L in a novelty PJ. Just another confusing psychological twist added to the daily ups and downs of our body image.
Losing weight is not all about quantity. What does that mean? There’s no right weight for everyone, rather a right weight for you. Plus, the number of pounds lost is only half the success story. Unfortunately, many weight loss surgery patients are their own harshest critics. What they imagine themselves to look like is different than reality and as a result, they have a distorted body image. While this is not uncommon – after all many of us have lived with obesity for years and decades – it must be overcome to make way for the pride and joy that comes with a true accomplishment like losing weight and more importantly, getting healthy.
Pregnancy after bariatric surgery is possible and many patients go on to have one or more kids after their surgery. In some cases, bariatric surgery and its resulting weight loss may reduce the incidence of pregnancy complications. Studies have offered compelling data that the incidence of maternal and neonatal complications is lower in those that have had bariatric surgery versus obese patients1.
Fats are necessary for brain function and development and about two-thirds of your brain is composed of fat. It is the fatty acids that make up the working surface of the brain, so you want to be sure you are powering your brain with the best fats possible.
There are two kinds of fat, saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils and salmon, flaxseed, walnuts and trout. Omage-3 fatty acids, which are very healthy, fall into this category. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, which is a great source of the antioxidant Vitamin E. Monounsaturated fats are also found in cashews, sesame seeds, canola and peanut oil, olives, avocados and almonds. While these are the good fats, you still want to eat them in moderation.
Osteoarthritis, the most common joint pain, is caused by wear and tear of the joints, or more specifically, the breakdown of cartilage (which cushions the bones at the joints). Over time, this degradation of the cartilage causes the bones to start rubbing together, causing discomfort including pain, swelling and stiffness. Almost everyone suffers from osteoarthritis at some point in their life and most have some form of it by the time they reach 70 years of age. However, osteoarthritis is increasingly becoming an obesity-related health problem (especially in the feet, hips, ankles and knees).
Once you have made the decision to have weight loss surgery, you will most likely see dramatic weight loss in a very short period of time. Your quality of life will be improved and you will become a healthier person. If that is where you are right now, congratulations! However, once the weight is gone, it’s time to stay vigilant about your lifestyle – in particular, your exercise and diet.
It is easy to think: “the weight is gone, why do I need to work on keeping it off?” The truth is, the number on the scale can easily creep back up if you don’t follow the directions prescribed to you and you fall back to your old way of life. So, how can you maintain your weight loss surgery results?
Start moving and start writing!
Mindless Eating…How many times have you put your hand into a bag of chips or a box of cookies without thinking twice? It happens to all of us – a lot. Sometimes your head, not your body, tells you that you are hungry. This is a diet-busting phenomenon known as head hunger. The most important step in preventing head hunger is recognizing that it exists and developing strategies to avoid it.
Interestingly enough, one of the most common sources of head huger is dehydration. When our body is short on water, it can trick us into believing we are hungry. Seeing that very few of us actually get a full complement of water every day, it’s no wonder we may always feel hungry. Make sure you are drinking your 8 glasses per day. Plus, if you feel hungry right after you’ve eaten, or at an odd hour, grab a glass of water or diluted, lower sugar juice. Wait 20 minutes, and see if it helps.