Weight loss surgery is an effective method to fight obesity and obesity-related health conditions. This type of surgery has a proven track record of success. Studies show that the majority of patients that undergo such a surgery not only lose excess weight in a rapid manner immediately following the procedure (perhaps 30 to 50%), but continue to do so until up to 2 years later (77% plus after 12 months). Moreover, most patients are able to successfully maintain their weight loss for the long term. While weight loss surgery does offer a high threshold of success, it is up to each patient to diligently prepare for the procedure ahead of time. Proper preparation will ensure that the surgery provides best results, and will prevent unnecessary complications during and after the procedure. Fortunately, preparing for weight loss surgery does not have to be complicated or stressful. Here are 4 important ways to prepare for your upcoming weight loss surgery.
Research the Procedure
One of the most important initial steps you can take before undergoing a weight loss surgery is to research the nature of the procedure itself. For instance, books, websites, and former patients can provide invaluable answers to many questions, such as the following:
- What are the benefits of such a procedure?
- What are the risks involved?
- What lifestyle changes will I need to make before/after the surgery?
You'll also want to conduct research in order to find an experienced and reputable surgeon to perform the procedure. In that regard, you may want to ask questions such as these:
- Is this surgeon board certified by the American Board of Surgery?
- Is he or she a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery?
- How many weight loss surgeries has this surgeon performed in his/her career?
- What is his/her overall success rate?
Additionally, you may want to examine your health insurance policy to determine whether it will cover bariatric surgery. Some policies may not cover weight loss procedures; others may provide coverage, but also contain eligibility requirements related to Body Mass Index (BMI), age, weight-related conditions, as well as verified completion of a supervised diet. Understanding such factors will help you prepare for the financial impact of a weight loss surgery.
Give Up Unhealthy Habits
Long before the day of the surgery, it is essential that you put forth effort to give up any harmful or self-destructive habits you may have formed over time. For instance, be resolved to quit smoking. Not only could smoking cause serious complications during the bariatric procedure, but it could also negatively impact the long-term effectiveness of your weight loss surgery.
Furthermore, work hard to change unhealthy eating habits. Instead of eating at random times throughout the day, try to eat three meals and two small snacks per day at regular times. Reduce the consumption of foods and drinks that contain high levels of fat, high fructose corn syrup, or sugar (such as sodas and other sugary drinks, which are known to have a significant negative impact on overall physical health). Avoid meals from fast food restaurants to the extent possible.
Commit to Healthy Habits
As you work to eliminate unhealthy habits, strive to replace them with good eating and exercise habits instead. Try to incorporate more protein-rich foods into your daily diet, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
One of the best things you can do to promote physical health (and even mental and emotional well-being) is to drink a sufficient amount of water each day. Many experts recommend consuming 64 ounces of water on a daily basis; other researchers advocate an even higher daily amount. Whatever the case, studies have shown that adequate water consumption can help maintain or increase energy level, as well as brain function.
It is also a good idea to implement a regular exercise routine as soon as possible. Many people start slow when it comes to forming sustainable exercise habits. Perhaps you could set an initial goal to walk for 10-15 minutes a day, or perform simple chair exercises on a regular basis. For optimal results from such an exercise program, it is generally better to focus on frequency rather than intensity.
Additionally, you may want to start tracking your daily diet and exercise regimen. Doing so will not only help you to see where you can make improvements, but will also keep you motivated.
Take Care of Your Mental and Emotional Health
Finally, take some time to reflect on possible root causes of your weight-related issues. For example, many people form unhealthy eating habits by eating "reactively." In other words, they use food as a way to cope with stress, boredom, sadness, or other disturbing emotions. If this describes your situation, identify alternative ways to deal with negative feelings, and then work hard to put them into action.
The support of friends and family is also vital. Additionally, many hospitals and medical facilities host support groups that allow weight loss patients to share feelings and experiences, and encourage one another to stick to their holistic weight loss plan.
It is also a good idea to compile a list of lifestyle changes that you wish to make. You can set small, easily attainable goals that will help you to achieve your larger objectives over time. For example, if one of your goals is to ride a bicycle on a specific trail with beautiful scenery, then you can work on smaller, "stepping-stone" goals first, such as scheduling 15 minutes a day to ride your bike around the neighborhood.
Successful Preparation for Weight Loss Surgery
In summary, there are several simple steps you can take to successfully prepare for weight loss surgery. These include:
- Conducting some personal research into the nature of the procedure, and possible physical and financial effects it may have
- Making an earnest effort to give up harmful and self-destructive habits you may have formed over time
- Resolving to replace those bad habits with a healthful diet and a regular exercise program
- Identifying possible root causes of your original weight gain, and taking steps to eliminate them
Weight loss surgery can provide a number of wonderful benefits for your health and overall well-being. If you would benefit from such a procedure, don't delay: reach out to an experienced weight loss surgery specialist today for more information.