10 Weight Loss Mistakes Bariatric Patients Make
Weight loss surgery (WLS) also known as bariatric surgery is considered the most successful form of treatment for morbid obesity. Surgery helps provide patients with a tool to get to a healthier lifestyle and in order for surgery to be successful there are many behavior modifications, emotional adjustments, and lifestyles changes that need to occur. The success from weight loss is measured in many ways, on the scale, through measurements, and through personal, physical, and mental accomplishments. The National Association for Weight Loss Surgery (NAWLS) has provided and identified 10 mistakes that bariatric patients make after surgery. By reviewing this list I hope that our patients can be successful in achieving their weight loss goals and be able to identify any mistakes that they may be making.
MISTAKE #1: NOT TAKING VITAMINS, SUPPLEMENTS, or MINERALS
After Bariatric surgery it is extremely important for patients to take there vitamins, supplements, or minerals. Patients will be on a very low calorie diet after surgery and will not be getting all the nutrients they require through their diet therefor it is essential that they take supplements daily to maintain adequate levels of vitamins and minerals in the body otherwise vitamin deficiencies can occur.
MISTAKE #2: ASSUMING YOU HAVE BEEN CURED OF YOUR OBESITY
Surgery is not a cure, it is a tool. Each Bariatric Surgery provides patients with a tool to help improve obesity and its co-morbid conditions. Surgery itself does about 40% of the work but the remaining 60% must come from the patient.
MISTAKE #3: DRINKING WITH MEALS
Drinking fluids with meals can cause food to flush too quickly through the stomach leading patients to eat larger portions, feel hungry sooner, result in overfilling of the stomach, could cause pain, reflux, or possible stretching of the stomach or esophagus.
MISTAKE #4: NOT EATING RIGHT
Eating healthy can be a challenge. Our RDs are available to patients MON- FRI and are able to help guide patients to making those necessary changes to your diet in order for WLS to be successful. It’s important to stay away from carbs and the high sugary foods because if our bodies do not burn those calories we consume it stores as sugar in the body and then that sugar is then stored as fat in our bodies. Protein will be the most essential portion of your diet.
Mistake #5: NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
Staying hydrated is extremely important after bariatric surgery. Water will help your body heal, increase your energy levels and help you function optimally as you lose weight. If you forget or neglect to drink water throughout the day it can lead to dehydration in the body which in result could cause detriments to your health and progress after weight loss surgery.
MISTAKE #6: GRAZING
Grazing is the nibbling of small amounts here and there over the course of the day. Grazing can easily make your weight creep up.
MISTAKE #7: NOT EXERCISING REGULARLY
Exercising is one of the best ways to help aid in the weight loss process. When you exercise you build muscle, the more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn, even as rest.
MISTAKE #8: EATING THE WRONG CARBS
Refined or simple carbohydrates have undergone manufacturing or repackaging processes, and they are the worst form of carbs available. (For example: chips, cereals, cakes, cookies) Bariatric patients should chose complex carbs which are mostly rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals (For example: vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, yams, zucchini)
MISTAKE #9: DRINKING CARBONATED BEVERAGES
Beverages such as soda or seltzer have the ability to stretch the stomach. The air in the carbonated beverages could cause gastric pouch dilation if continuously consumed after surgery. Sodas especially are extremely high in sugar and can contribute to excess caloric intake.
MISTAKE #10: DRINKING ALCOHOL
Alcohol is an empty calorie. It contains about 7 calories per gram. It’s important that patients limit alcohol intake while in the weight loss process especially bypass patients because alcohol is absorbed more rapidly in the blood stream resulting in blood alcohol levels to rise very quickly.
Surgery requires a lot of changes not only mentally but emotionally. These changes don’t occur overnight and it takes time to adjust to new routines and a new way of eating. It is our goal at Tristate Bariatrics to teach our patients skills to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. I hope that by going through this list of mistakes it will help current and future patients to be able to identify any mistakes that they may be making post-surgery.