Is weight loss surgery the easy way out?
People might think, or even tell you, that weight loss surgery is ‘cheating’ or ‘the easy way out’. But just ask someone who has been though it; it’s definitely not. Weight loss surgery is merely a tool to help you in your weight loss journey. And often is a last resort to someone who has tried everything else.
Traditional weight loss methods
There is no shortage of weight loss methods to try: 80/20, intermittent fasting, WW, Noom, Atkins, low carb, low fat, keto, paleo, vegan, boot camps, F45, Healthy Mummy shakes, The Lady/Man shake, OptiSlim. The list goes on and on.
The reality is that approximately 90 to 95% of people who follow a diet and exercise plan are unable to maintain their weight loss over the long term. Often people put on more weight than they lost in the first place. This leads to a vicious cycle of obesity and poor health.
What’s different about weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgery works in three ways:
- Limiting the amount of food stored in the stomach.
- Limiting the absorption of food.
- Causing hormonal changes that are produced by your gut (affecting your metabolism and reducing hunger).
No matter which surgery you choose, gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, it’s still a major surgical procedure. Laparoscopic techniques used for all suitable patients are less invasive than open surgeries, but still comes with the general risks and complications of surgery.
Because you’re decreasing the size of the stomach, food will be consumed in smaller portions. But in order to meet nutritional requirements you’ll have to cut back on sugary and high-calorie foods as well. There may be patients who think they can ‘get away with’ nibbling on sweets all day instead of consuming nutritious food; in the long run they are only cheating themselves.
Exercising will ensure you maintain muscle mass, burning fat instead of muscle during your weight loss. And, of course, helps you burn more calories, accelerating your weight loss.
The good news is, that compared to a 5-10% success rate of diet and exercise alone, bariatric surgery can offer 80-90% success rate of weight loss in the long term.
A multi-disciplinary team of practitioners
Anyone wanting to undertake weight loss surgery needs to go through a screening process with our entire team. Each part of the team must clear a patient for surgery before they can proceed. The team consists of:
- A bariatric surgeon: who will discuss the different options available and the specifics of surgery.
- A nutritionist & dietitian: who will prepare and guide you through each stage of the journey, empowering you to have confidence in the dietary choices you make.
- An exercise physiologist: who will help you implement exercise and physical activity as a lifestyle, rather than a chore.
- A psychologist: who will help you prepare for life beyond surgery with practical suggestions to achieving your goals.
- A bariatric medical practitioner: not just your regular GP, they play a crucial role in your success by collaborating with you to manage your health and weight.
Everyone in our team is dedicated to working with patients undergoing surgery and have completed further training in bariatric medicine.
A commitment to change
Weight loss surgery isn’t a magical solution; a set-and-forget. It takes a lifetime of dedication to monitoring your diet, ensuring you are meeting your nutritional goals, and moving your body, to lose the weight and keep it off.
Don’t let negative perception from others stop you from making this life changing decision for your health. We will be here to support you every step of the way, just like we’ve done for thousands of patients before you. Give us a call today on (08) 8465 6300 to find out more.
Contributed by Associate Professor Justin Bessell