Opportunities to Take Action
By Troy Glembot, MD
Bariatric surgery is a tremendously powerful tool to help people achieve a healthier weight. However, like all things in life, it is not perfect. People frequently experience some degree of weight regain a couple of years following their procedure. It is important to understand that this is perfectly normal. However, it is important to also understand that being successful in the long term will require adherence to certain basic principles.
First, develop a regular exercise regimen. Any physical activity is fine. For some, they may want to join a gym or wellness center. Others may find pleasure in doing outside yard work or gardening. Perhaps the easiest activity that nearly everyone can do is walking. If you do not live in a neighborhood that has good walking routes, you can try walking in a shopping mall. Many malls having early morning walking programs prior to the stores opening.
Second, commit to eating healthy foods and avoiding junk foods. If you find yourself slipping into old habits, try to make better food choices. Other behaviors you may struggle with are night time eating or grazing type behaviors. These are very common among overweight people, and patients who have had bariatric surgery may also find themselves struggling with these issues. It is critical to guard against these habits as they can be very difficult to break.
Perhaps one of the best things patients can do after bariatric surgery to help with their long term weight loss goals is to be active in a support group. Most bariatric surgical programs have postoperative support groups. For those who are not close to a support group, there are a variety of discussion and support groups available online. Your bariatric program may be able to provide you more information about support groups and options.
By following some of these basic principles, many people are able to enjoy a healthier weight. Although it is not always easy, remember that every day is a new opportunity to get the most out of your weight loss journey. You just have to recognize these opportunities and take action.