Slimpressions is proud to introduce Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Mindful Eating Coach, Jennifer Hnat.
SEVEN WAYS TO AVOID OR REVERSE WEIGHT GAIN AFTER WLS
Many of these may seem like common sense but make sure to find support to resolve any personal food issues before surgery. Most patients will regain a little bit of weight after hitting their lowest weight. This is considered normal. In order to keep that weight regain to a minimum here are 7 key tips:
- Join and participate in a good weight loss surgery support group like Bariatric Weight Loss Family on Facebook. Research shows that WLS patients who actively participate in support groups have a lower BMI (approximately 10% lower) than those who do not.
- Get a grip on binge eating well before surgery. Patients with a history of binge eating disorder (BED) may lose less weight after surgery. Treatment for BED prior to WLS will increase your chances of losing a higher percentage or weight after surgery.
- Make your mental health and nutritional health a priority. In order to be successful post surgery mental, emotional, and food stability is essential. If you struggle with mental well-being and/or increased food cravings connect with your bariatric doctor and health care team immediately to prevent weight gain. Patients who don’t take a proactive approach to resolving these issues tend to gain more weight back and possibly gain all their weight back.
- Lose as much weight prior to surgery as possible. Your surgeon will stress this since it will only make their job easier when you are under the knife. As a dietitian, I always encouraged my patients to make the surgery process as seamless as possible! Patients with lower BMI’s pre-surgery (ie: BMI between 40 and 49.9) had a 15% higher chance of maintaining at least half of their excess weight 10 years post op than the super obese (BMI of 50 or more). Surgery will only take off approximately half of the weight, your job is to do the other half so starting early in the process will only help with your long-term success.
- Your doctors advice is golden – follow it to the “T!” In order to be successful with WLS, you must follow your surgeon/doctor’s recommendations not just for the first year or so, but as long as you want to keep your weight loss off. Stay in touch with your surgeon and nutritional team for long-term success.
- Address alcohol and drug abuse issues. You are highly encouraged to discuss this during your psychology evaluation so be honest with your healthcare practitioners. They are there to help support you for long-term success. If you are not 100% honest with yourself and/or your team, it can hurt you in the long run.
- Patients who continue to self-monitor their diet with the help of a professional dietitian have better long-term results. According to the Bariatric Surgery Source: “The key is to never stop seeing your dietitian. The importance of this cannot be understated and needs to repeated: the key is to never stop seeing them.” If you have never seen a dietitian before and after surgery, you must connect with one to be successful with your weight loss surgery and relationship with food. Surgery doesn’t change your food demons.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Mindful Eating Coach