7 Tips for Weight Loss Surgery Success

7 Tips for Weight Loss Surgery Success

With 63% of Australian adults being overweight or obese, it is not surprising that there are over 22,700 weight loss surgery procedures each year.

Where dieting and exercise do not work, surgery will allow only small meals which leads to weight loss.

Although surgery has a high success rate, some people start putting weight back on after 3-6 months of having surgery. 

Some of the reasons why Weight Loss Surgery may be unsuccessful are:

  • Unhealthy eating behaviours and food choices;
  • Irregular and ineffective exercise routine, and
  • Disordered Eating such as Binge Eating, Emotional Eating and Food Addiction. 

Surgery is only a tool that you need to learn how to successfully manage for long term health and happiness.

It is important to be realistic with your Weight Loss Surgery.

It will not fix the underlying issues that have maintained unhealthy behaviours. It will not teach you to love your body and yourself. 

Seven (7) Tips for Weight Loss Surgery Success

Tip #1 – Smaller Portions 

Weight Loss Surgery Success – Portion Sizes

You may be one of the many people who find portion control difficult.

As the saying goes, ‘the eyes are much bigger than the tummy’.

Portion control is an important step to becoming healthier and happier. 

Reduce your portion sizes and feel fuller by:

  • Reducing plate size;
  • Picking quality food over quantity;
  • Leave approximately 2cm rim around the edge of your plate, and
  • Don’t pile food high.

Tip #2 – Stay Hydrated 

Weight Loss Surgery Success – Hydrate

Water is the source of life!

We all need to water to remain healthy and functioning.

By drinking water prior to each meal, you will find you will feel full quicker and you will eat smaller portions. 

Over time cut out sugary drinks and soft drinks, and limit caffeinated drinks.

If you find water boring or bland try adding some mint or lemon to your water.  

Tip #3 – Change Your Relationship with Food 

Change your relationship with food

When you are eating, have you ever felt like you are unable to stop?

. . . Or maybe you sit in a mindless daze when you are eating?

Then when you look down you’ve eaten a whole block of chocolate or a whole packet of chips.

Don’t feel guilt for eating something ‘naughty’!

By shaming yourself about what you are eating you are putting more stress onto your mind and body.

If you feel like eating something unhealthy try to change it for a healthier option, such as swapping milk chocolate for dark chocolate.

Halve the chocolate to what you normally would eat and add in a couple of strawberries or almonds.

Ensure you are eating 3 (normal sized) or 5 (small sized) healthy meals per day that have been planned and prepared prior to your eating times.

Practice being focused and aware of what and how you are eating by taking 5 deep breaths and having a glass of water.

Tip #4 – Manage Your Stress

Stress Management

Stress is a part of life and when we respond to stress in a negative way it may contribute to weight gain.

Some of the common negative responses to stress that contribute to weight gain:

  • Overeating;
  • Cravings;
  • Addictions;
  • Poor sleeping patterns;
  • Lack of sleep, and 
  • Fatigue.

If you are trying to lose weight or be healthier, you need to find a better balance for your stress.

Here are some tips to improve your stress management:

  • Take 5 deep breaths;
  • Stretch your body;
  • Listen to Music;
  • Get some sunshine, or
  • Get moving and go for a walk.

Doing these things on their own is great but doing them altogether will help you feel calmer and relaxed. 

Tip #5 – Be Realistic in Your Expectations

Realistic expectations and weight loss

Gaining weight does not happen overnight. So why do we always expect instant weight loss results?

In a world of instant gratification and unrealistic expectations for body and health it is easy to become disheartened when we do not see instant results. 

By putting in place a couple of measures for your ongoing success you will be motivated and determined to continue your progress.

For example, your measure could be walking/running 1km without stopping.

You will gradually build up to reach that goal and celebrate your progress as you go.  

Tip #6 – Respect Your Body

Love your body

Bullying and fat shaming is damaging to every person.

So, why is it OK for you to keep bullying yourself to be just like everyone else, to be perfect, to be thinner, to strive harder etc.?

You may not have realised it but every time you compare yourself to someone else and notice your flaws, failings and where you are not good enough, you are bullying yourself. 

Start to be kind and more loving towards yourself.

You can appreciate your body as unique and beautiful.

Remind yourself that you are human and it is okay not to be perfect.

Be aware of your thoughts, emotions, behaviour, and needs so that you can express them and recognise your needs.

High life satisfaction is achieved when you build your self-worth and self-esteem. 

Tip #7 – Create a supportive care team

Create your supportive team

To ensure long-term weight loss success, you need to create a supportive care team. Your Weight loss success care team can be made up of:

  1. Surgeon
  2. Psychologist
  3. Dietician
  4. Family and Friends
  5. Online Support Forums

Weight Loss Surgery does not fix the underlying issues that cause Binge Eating or Disordered Eating Behaviours.

Surgery may prevent some people from consuming the same amounts of food prior to their surgery however the behaviours still exist.

Some of the underlying issues for Disordered Eating behaviours such as Emotional Eating, Binge Eating and Food Addiction can be:

  • Stress;
  • Anxiety;
  • Depression;
  • Substance abuse;
  • Body Dissatisfaction;
  • Impulse control issues;
  • Difficulties managing and expressing emotions, and
  • Unresolved issues including (physical, sexual, emotional) and grief and loss.

If you are struggling with Disordered Eating behaviours such as Emotional Eating, Food Addiction or Binge Eating then we can help you!

The Professional Team at Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic will help you discover the underlying issues that are maintaining the unhealthy behaviours and provide you with practical strategies to build a life that you feel is worth living.

We will provide you will new skills and tools to empower you to create a life filled with purpose, fulfillment, happiness and health.  

Weight Loss Surgery Does Not Reduce Depression

Weight Loss Surgery Does Not Reduce Depression

The positive outcomes of Weight Loss Surgery have been commonly touted, however what information is available on the less successful aspects and outcomes of Surgery?

For some people Weight Loss Surgery (also known as Gastric or Bariatric Surgery) has been very successful however, for some, the journey has not been so wonderful and not very successful.

For those who have Depression prior to Surgery, Weight Loss Surgery does not reduce Depression, in the long-term.

Weight Loss Surgery Positives

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  • Reducing Type 2 Diabetes;
  • Reducing risk of hypertension and heart disease;
  • Reduced cholesterol;
  • Reduced pain and pressure on joints, and
  • Reduced intake and need of medications.

Weight Loss Surgery Negatives

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Unfortunately, some people have been led to believe that Weight Loss Surgery is a cure for their eating issues and Obesity, almost like it being a magic fix.

Nothing can be further from the truth!

Research is finally catching up and it is starting to show the ‘real’ face and outcomes of Weight Loss Surgery for some people.

Weight Loss Surgery and Depression

One study reviewed patients who underwent Weight Loss Surgery before, at 6 months and 12 months Post-Surgery, for Depression.

This study found that there is a sub-group of people who have significant increases in Depression, 12 months after Surgery.

This same group also had lower self-esteem, psychological and emotional well-being.

Interestingly, this same sub-group lost more weight than the sub-groups that either decreased in Depression or had no change.

This study noted that the critical period for intervention is between 6 and 12 months, Post-Surgery.

Another study assessed patients before Surgery and again at 6, 12 and 24 months Post-Surgery.

This study also found similar results, with Depression starting to increase at 6 months, Post-Surgery.

The study also found a significant increase in Depression, in those who reported Depression levels, between the 6 and 24 months.

It was found that Post-Surgery Depression symptoms were associated with poorer weight outcomes and psychosocial outcomes.

A study reviewed patients between three (3) and seven (7) years Post-Surgery to determine if Depression was reduced after Surgery.

The findings identified that Depression is common among those opting for Weight Loss Surgery.

Again, in the initial stage Post-Surgery, Depression can decrease however, over time, Depression increases.

Weight Loss Surgery, Depression and Body Image

A study investigated a patient’s Pre-Surgery internal weight bias (negative feelings people have about their own weight and ability to manage their weight) and how this affected their weight loss 12 months Post-Surgery.

The study found that those who had higher internal weight bias scores, Pre-Surgery, had lower rates of weight loss and higher levels of Depression, than did those with lower internal weight bias.

General research has found that people with internal weight bias tend to have:

  • Low self-esteem;
  • Body dissatisfaction;
  • Feelings of lack of control over health, eating and weight;
  • Self-hatred;
  • Anxiety;
  • Eating Disorders and/or Disordered Eating Behaviours e.g. Binge Eating, Night-time Eating, Food Addiction;
  • Depression;
  • Social and relationship issues, and
  • Lower quality of life.

Therefore, if you are looking at having Weight Loss Surgery, it is important to ensure that you understand what could sabotage you in the short-term and long-term.

Weight Loss Surgery is not a guarantee for weight loss and health, long-term.

Especially, Weight Loss Surgery does not reduce Depression and this will stop your lifelong success and health goals.

This is why having a Weight Loss Surgery Psychological Evaluation will help you understand more about yourself and your health.

Fit Minds & Minds Clinic offers a Silver or Gold Standard Psychological Evaluation for Pre- and Post-Surgery.