In many ways bariatric surgery is a chance to shift life to a whole new direction and for some, it provides an opportunity for a fresh start. Managing a healthy lifestyle after bariatric surgery in the short and long term involves a multidisciplinary approach including behavior modification, and nutrition. While the nutritional implications following weight loss surgery are often the most recognized, behavior, an equally important factor, is often underestimated. Behavioral, psychological, and emotional modification play a role in the life of a bariatric patient by targeting binge-eating behaviors, and providing social and psychological adjustments, as well as emotion and stress management.
Unfavorable eating patterns such as binge eating and night eating disorders can interfere with good surgical outcomes. Patients who undergo a bariatric procedure understand the risk of weight regain if these cycles are not broken and therefore greatly benefit from portion control and moderation strategies developed as a part of adjusting to a new lifestyle post-surgery.
Not surprisingly, anxiety and other emotional stressors can also contribute to harmful eating habits. Bariatric surgery has a tremendous potential for eliminating excessive food intake, but cannot address emotional factors to weight gain alone. Successful implementation of stress management and coping mechanism therefore allows patients to address the root cause of poor eating behaviors before they negatively impact their weight.
Lastly, activity patterns such as exercise and social engagement also play a role in losing weight and keeping it off in the long term. Committing to a work out can be challenging, however, by sharing in the experience with others it can transform into a component of every day life. Less favorable habits, such as smoking, have similar roots as addictive eating patterns. It is important that patients exchange unhealthy habits for activities that align with their weight loss goals. Visit our LINKS page for useful pre- and post-surgery resources.
Bariatric surgery is a tool for establishing a healthier weight and an improved lifestyle. A commitment to making permanent lifestyle adjustments to support this decision ultimately will lead to the best long-term results.
At Dr. Shillingford’s office we offer monthly behavioral support meetings to address these important lifestyle changes. We want to help you achieve the best post-surgical outcome possible! To learn more about Dr. Shillignford’s all inclusive packages please call 561-483-8840.