Could You Be Suffering from Food Addiction?

Could You Be Suffering from Food Addiction?

When you hear the word addiction, it isn’t likely that you think of food. Instead, your mind probably flashes images of drugs and drug addicts or alcohol and alcoholics from your own memories. If you have friends and relatives who smoke cigarettes, you might also think of a tobacco addiction. So, how can food become an addiction when, unlike the others, our body actually needs this sustenance to survive?

What is a Food Addiction?

The term ‘food addiction’ refers to a scientifically proven disease. When a person experiences partial or complete loss of control over the ability to stop eating certain foods, either on their own or as requested by a physician, there is a dependency. This dependency is caused by the presence of a cluster of chemical dependencies on specific foods.

Food Addiction Causes

food addiction obesityWhen people consume highly palatable foods, most specifically those high in sugar, excess fat, and salt, their brains can develop a physical craving for these foods. If not careful, progressively consuming these types of food can distort their cognitive abilities which can then lead to unfavorable consequences they can no longer control due to the food addiction.

Looking Deeper at Food Dependency

Like any other form of dependency, food addiction can stem from an individual’s social, biological or psychological issues. Common social factors among food addicts include family problems, peer pressure, social awkwardness or isolation, abuse, lack of support, decreased performance or failure at work or school, avoidance of social gatherings and family functions, and traumatic life events.

Biological issues that commonly influence food addiction include the following: hormone imbalances, brain abnormalities, relatives with food addictions and/or disorders, and side effects from brain-altering medications. Those who suffer with frequent suicide ideation or panic attacks may also seek temporary comfort in a food addiction.

Looking deeper, food addictions are often the result of psychological issues such as emotional or sexual abuse, inability to cope with stressful or traumatic life events, chronic self-loathing or low self-esteem, emotional detachment or numbness, or an inability to recover from grief or loss. More often than not, these individuals will turn to food as a coping mechanism in an effort to relieve their pain and buried emotions resulting from these issues.

Co-Morbid Disorders

Many times, someone who struggles with a food addiction will also have other co-morbid disorders, such as substance abuse and eating disorders. Food addicts may also suffer from co-morbid health conditions due to their eating habits. Here are some of the most common physical issues faced by those with food addictions:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity and/or Digestive Problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney or Liver Disease
  • Insomnia and/or other Sleep Disorders
  • Lethargy
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Pain, Fatigue and Headaches
  • Decreased Sex Drive

While not one of the more common dependencies thought of today, food addiction points to a complex mental health issue that should be treated immediately to avoid serious complications. With guidance, support and treatment, it is possible to escape the vicious cycle of dependency and fully recover from a food addiction.

10 Common Side Effects of Weight Loss Surgery

People are enjoying fabulous results and singing the praises of Bariatric surgery, more commonly known as weight loss surgery, but what are the possible risks? While manageable, there are some big changes required after weight loss surgery to prevent some of these common side effects.

Health Concerns after Bariatric Surgery

By keeping regular appointments with your doctor and following an approved Bariatric diet – including the required vitamins and supplements, you will likely never experience these side effects.

#1 – Dehydration

Dehydration is a serious issue that can be completely avoided. You should consume 64 ounces of water each day to maximize your weight loss results, and to help prevent nausea and vomiting. Failure to consume the correct amount of fluids could result in a return trip to the hospital after surgery for IV fluids as well as vitamins.

#2 – Dental Issues

Bariatric patients who ignore their body’s needs for additional vitamins and minerals could find themselves dealing with sore gums and unhealthy teeth after weight loss surgery. Consuming foods too quickly, failing to take smaller bites, and forgetting to chew food thoroughly can lead to vomiting which can also lead to dental health problems, as the teeth come in frequent contact with potentially damaging stomach acids.

#3 – Dumping Syndrome

Dumping Syndrome is likely the first side effect you will be warned about after weight loss surgery, bringing about symptoms of nausea, weakness, heart palpitation, dizziness fatigue and other side effects. You can completely avoid Dumping Syndrome by following your Bariatric surgeon’s instructions and making good food selections. (Read more about Dumping Syndrome here.)

#4 – Dysphagia

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a common side effect after weight loss surgery for those who fail to eat the correct food selections, or who fail to chew their food thoroughly before swallowing. Eating too quickly is the number one reason most Bariatric patients experience Dysphagia.

#5 – Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia, also known as indigestion, is another side effect of weight loss surgery which can be completely avoided with a conscious effort to eat healthy doctor-approved food choices. While patients with Dyspepsia will likely experience burning or discomfort in the upper abdomen, treatment is quite simple.

The most common methods of relief from Dyspepsia include:

  • Abstaining from alcohol
  • Avoiding aspirin and certain drugs
  • Saying no to greasy foods
  • Limiting liquids at certain times of the day
  • Making other positive diet changes

If these methods are not successful in alleviating indigestion, your Bariatric surgeon may prescribe an antacid or H2 blocker to help.

#6 – Intolerances

The foods and beverages you enjoyed before may no longer be your friend. Life after Bariatric surgery is different, and so must your food choices change too. The same can be said about over the counter drugs such as Aleve, Motrin, Advil and the like, as these can potentially harm your stomach pouch or cause ulcers. You will be forced to re-learn everything about your body’s digestive system, especially intolerances.

#7 – Kidney and Gallstones

Kidney stones can sometimes develop when people are not consuming the desired amount of fluids, which makes this side effect completely avoidable. Gallstones can sometimes occur when a person experiences rapid weight loss after Bariatric surgery, but there are methods to manage this side effect, the most extreme measure being surgical removal of the gallbladder.

#8 – Hair Loss

While hair loss is only temporary, some patients will experience this side effect in the early days post Bariatric surgery. Additionally, weight loss seekers can avoid this side effect by following a healthy post-op diet and taking the desired vitamins and supplements. Your doctor or nutritionist will help choose the right nutritional products for Bariatric patients.

#9 – Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol after weight loss surgery is an absolute no-no for several reasons. Opting for any Bariatric procedure is a step toward abstinence from alcoholic beverages. Simply put, alcohol is just another type of sugar to be avoided when trying to lose weight, and its consumption can lead to Dumping Syndrome.

#10 – Liquid Consumption

After surgery, you will likely not be able to drink beverages before, during or after meals. Your nutritionist or surgeon will advise not to drink anything thirty minutes before or after you’ve eaten. Of course, you should avoid soda and other high calorie beverages, and consume plenty of water instead.

Good Health vs. Bariatric Side Effects

It is important to remember that your weight loss journey is a life-saving journey. Keep in mind that many of these side effects are not nearly as dangerous as ignoring your current problems: obesity, hypertension, Diabetes, etc.

Remember, obesity is a silent killer. Speak with your doctor about the pros and cons of weight loss surgery and your overall health by contacting us today.

Wardrobe Struggles and Weight Loss

It’s very difficult to purchase clothing when you are overweight. Sure, finding the right size is a struggle in itself, but there’s also a tug of war going on inside your mind as you shop too. Should I buy this now, or wait and try to lose a few pounds? I don’t want to buy any more clothes until I lose some weight. If I buy this dress and then lose weight, I’ve wasted my money.

Facing Bariatric Problems Head On

 It’s a pitfall that many obese and overweight people face, as if purchasing the garment will somehow lock them into that particular size. However, a lack of well-fitting clothes hanging in your closet, or the failure to buy something new and attractive for yourself, can be a real downer. It would be nice to say these issues will go away after weight loss surgery, but the truth is they don’t.

Beat the Wardrobe Blues after Bariatric Surgery

bariatric clothes

After weight loss surgery, you will slowly but surely begin to see some results. For some, each size will linger while for others, they will practically fly by, depending on your lifestyle and exercise habits as well as your metabolism.

Regardless of how fast or slowly you lose, you will find that buying new clothes is an important and emotional milestone in your weight-loss journey. For this reason, it is difficult to advise you on where to shop and how much to spend as you embark on a successful weight loss journey.

Instead, here are some words of advice from other Bariatric surgery patients to help you get more bang for your buck as you revamp and eventually replace your ‘big clothes’ with a wardrobe you’ll love.

Frequent Goodwill for Name Brand Deals

Goodwill is a great place to find name brand clothing at a ridiculously cheap price, and has been a godsend for many weight loss patients who must wear career clothes throughout the weight loss journey. If your employer has a dress code that requires business attire, this is an excellent place to shop.

Don’t Avoid the Clearance Racks

Most major department stores and big chain retailers are always adding great articles of clothing on the discount racks. You can even find undergarments and shapewear at a reduced price if you keep a close eye on these bargain racks. Typically, prices are marked down considerably but it is also common to enjoy an additional discount when the salesperson rings up your clearance items.

Shop Online with eBay …Carefully

There are an endless amount of great deals to be found on eBay, allowing you to save money on new-to-you clothing and accessories without ever leaving your home. If you shop on eBay for clothing after your weight loss journey, here is one important piece of advice: purchase the brands you love and wear often. This will help prevent the purchase of something you’ll never wear.

Accept Those Hand-Me-Downs Graciously

Supporters of your weight loss journey will be excited for you, and will likely offer to give you clothing that they no longer wear. Regardless of the size, accept these offerings graciously as you might be pleasantly surprised. Your next favorite pair of jeans could be just around the corner.

Rewarding Yourself after Bariatric Surgery

As you begin to lose weight, you will be able to shop at stores that never carried your size before. You will also be able to rock the trendy styles instead of avoid them. So what if you’ll only be able to wear that new ensemble a couple of months?

You have earned the right to wear something that you truly love and look good in, something that makes you feel both beautiful and amazing. So celebrate the milestones and don’t be afraid to splurge …at least occasionally. It’ll be great for your morale and you can always sell your ill-fitting garments later.

Peanut Butter Weakness Meets Healthy Protein Shake

Peanut butter… this is a food that I doubt I will ever have the strength to resist. I’ve adored this soft creamy goodness for as long as I can remember, whether eating it straight from the spoon, mixed with jam or syrup, or baked into an irresistible dessert.

Before discussing the protein content in every delectable tablespoon of peanut butter, it’s important to mention the calories and fat content. One tablespoon of this luxurious brown delight holds 94 calories, 72 percent of which is fat and 12 percent is carbohydrates.

These amounts can be significantly more if you’re heaping it on that spoon. However, let’s pretend your spoon has exactly this same amount of peanut butter. Let’s also pretend your favorite creamy peanut butter brand is the same as mine. Did you do the math yet?

It’s not good news… only 16 percent of that tablespoon of peanut butter contains protein.

bariatric protein shake peanut butter

Don’t Freak Out! I’m not Saying You Can’t Have Peanut Butter!

After Bariatric surgery, you can still enjoy peanut butter… but only in moderation. In fact, many Bariatric patients report using peanut butter to satisfy cravings for something sweet. This is only a good idea for rare occasions when nothing else will curb the craving.

Rather than eat peanut butter straight from the jar using a spoon, try adding a light layer to one half of a banana or dipping apple wedges in peanut butter for a healthier snack, satisfying your craving for peanut butter while taking in less calories.

However, instead of buying your favorite brand of peanut butter, look for a low calorie organic option such as the PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter used in the recipe found at the end of this article. While this product arrives in powder form, it can be made into a paste and used for recipes.

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter is defatted and dehydrated, making it an excellent product for those watching their weight. This powder peanut butter is also absolutely perfect for protein shakes as one-quarter cup has ten grams of protein, yet only two grams of sugar and three grams of fat.

Bariatric Banana Chocolate Protein Shake Recipe

1 cup low-fat milk or light soy milk

1/4 cup PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

1/4 cup chocolate whey isolate protein powder

1 banana, sliced and frozen

4-5 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in the pitcher of your electric blender. Cover and process until smooth and creamy. Enjoy this high protein peanut butter inspired Bariatric treat which provides 38 grams of protein per serving.


PB&J Bariatric Protein Shake Recipe


1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (or any other milk)

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Raspberry Syrup

1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

1 Tablespoon PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

3-4 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in the pitcher of your electric blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Top with No Sugar Added Homemade Whipped Cream, optional.

Bad Eating Habits and Bariatric Surgery

Even if you have never heard of head hunger, anyone who struggles with his or her weight and weight loss will probably have a pretty good idea what this term actually means. While it may sound simple to overcome for some, the daily struggle with head hunger and other bad eating habits is a very real and difficult problem.

Someone once wrote on their blog that head hunger and comfort eating are best friends, two peas in a pod, so to speak. In many ways, they are more similar to identical twins, with some very minute differences. Friends or twins, neither are very nice.

Let’s look deeper into these terms for clarification and understanding on why they can be so problematic, whether you have undergone Bariatric surgery or not.


Head Hunger

Head hunger refers to that urge to eat when you are not hungry. This can be explained as eating when you are bored, depressed, stressed out, lonely, anxious or other psychologically triggered moods.

Some believe that head hunger can also be triggered by environmental triggers, such as munching on finger foods at a party or eating peanuts or potato chips while sitting in a busy bar. Other triggers include certain people such as a relative who makes you feel subconscious, or a restaurant, where you eat simply because everyone else is eating.

Comfort Eating

Also known as emotional eating, comfort eating occurs when people eat to satisfy a mood rather than a physical need. Eating to fill an emptiness is sometimes jokingly referred to as ‘eating your feelings’ but the problem is real for a lot of people. Comfort eating and head hunger are very similar habits that must be broken.

Comfort Foods and Poor Nutrition

Everyone has their favorite comfort foods. Some of the more popular choices include pizza, chocolate and ice cream, commonly eaten because of the same or similar psychological triggers as mentioned for head hunger.

People do not only reach for comfort food during times of sadness; there are many who participate in comfort eating when they are happy or nervous too.  Comfort eating and head hunger are among the reasons that many are now obese, and why some are prime candidates for Bariatric surgery.

Binge Eating

Binge eating is very dangerous for your health, especially if you are a diabetic. Binge eating can easily be described as eating something to excess, such as a whole box of snack cakes or an entire box of ice cream, for example. Someone who has the bad habit of binge eating may or may not watch what they eat some of the time, before binging uncontrollably on a large amount of food.

Night Time Eating

While it is not healthy to eat at night, supper is only the beginning for night time eaters. Within two hours of having their evening meal, they are back in the kitchen, scrounging for something else to eat. This munching, sometimes called grazing, will continue over the course of several hours.

Typically, foods eaten at this late hour are those considered to be unhealthy, high in saturated fats and calories, and containing excessive amounts of sodium. Leftovers are then enemy to night time eaters, who will return to the kitchen and finish them off.

Physical Hunger

Little explanation is necessary for you to understand the meaning of true physical hunger. Typically, your stomach will churn and growl, reminding you that it is time to refuel your body. You may also experience hunger pangs which can progress into a sharper pang that is slightly painful.

Avoid the Bad Food Habits

While the best thing you can do is struggle to break bad eating habits, there are some other ways to control these negative eating conditions, such as:

  • Use self-control at the grocery store by refusing to buy your favorite binge foods, or the foods that give you the most comfort.
  • Do something you enjoy whenever you feel emotionally or physically stressed, such as a new hobby or pastime.
  • Go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors or take a long comforting bubble bath.

Weight Loss Surgery and Bad Eating Habits

Weight loss surgery is not a quick miracle fix, but rather a tool which can be used to cure bad eating habits and replace them with healthy choices. If you are obese and have experienced weight gain due to any of the above mentioned eating habits, you may be a candidate for Bariatric surgery. Find out now.

No, Bariatric Surgery hasn’t Failed You!

Occasionally, you may hear someone say that Bariatric surgery did not work for them. This is simply not true and not possible. Your weight loss surgery didn’t fail… you simply aren’t using this tool correctly.

Yes, Bariatric surgery is simply that, a tool intended to help you find the road to good health. It is not designed to do the work for you. Without significant lifestyle, behavior and diet changes, you will not see the results you were hoping for.

gain weight after bariatric surgery

Reach your potential with Weight Loss Surgery

Giving up? This is common among those who do not achieve the weight loss levels they had hoped for after Bariatric surgery. However, when it comes to your health and happiness, defeat should never be an option.

Regardless of the type of weight loss surgery you chose initially, and no matter how long ago since your procedure was performed, you absolutely CAN get back on track. Don’t give up on the results you were initially hoping for.

How? Well, first you need to set some new weekly weight loss goals. Write them down and get them into your spirit. You are going to do this!


Do you have those goals written down yet? Keep them clear, simple and most of all… doable. When you meet one goal, move to the next on the list. This is how you get back to basics of Bariatric surgery, and how you get back on track. Learn more here on keeping a weight loss journal.

If you mess up, don’t be too hard on yourself. Suck it up and start over. Negative habits from an unhealthy lifestyle won’t disappear overnight.


Now that you can see your goals, fight to meet them and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Family, friends and support groups are some of the best help when you need strength and focus, and may even help you with accountability.

Taking care of YOU has to become your number one goal. Remember this when setting your goals and making a choice for change.


Not sure which goals you should be focused on? These are just a few of the many great ideas for Bariatric patients who want to see their weight loss goals realized. Decide which ones will help get you back on track!

#1 – Water, Water, Water

You need 64 ounces of water per day. Period. This is non-negotiable. If you aren’t hitting this number, water is your first goal.

#2 – No Drinks: Before, During, After Meals

Avoid temptation to drink before or during meals. Instead, wait up to two hours after a meal to have a drink. This will keep you from becoming hungry too soon.

#3 – Take Your Vitamins

This is not rocket science; nor is it negotiable. Your body needs help absorbing the vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health and nutrition now. This will also increase your energy, allowing you to become more active and burn fat at a faster rate!

#4 – Up Your Protein Consumption

You need a minimum of 65 grams of protein per day, whether it comes from food or protein drinks and shakes. Remember, during meals you should consume your protein servings first, before you can fill up on carbs.

#5 – Moderate Meals at Appropriate Times

Say no to snacking and grazing. Instead, enjoy three meals and a small nutrition snack, taking your time to chew each bite well. Give up trying to eat fast food entirely.

#6 – Push Yourself to Get Up and Exercise

Set an exercise goal, starting with twice or three times each week for 20 to 30 minutes per day. Slowly increase this amount until you are exercising thirty minutes daily.

Starting Over with Weight Loss Surgery

It may seem crazy, but if you need to start over, go back to the very beginning and put yourself on the post-op diet of liquids only. Slowly, progress to step two, which was pureed foods. Next, work your way up to soft foods. This will allow your pouch or sleeve to return to its post-op state – a great place to start again.

If you have tried this and you feel like there may be something wrong with the original surgery,  you may qualify for a bariatric surgery revision.  Chat with our online coordinator to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons experienced in Bariatric Surgery Revisions.

Weight Loss Surgery IS for Losers!

So you have made the decision for weight loss surgery and have undergone the procedure, as well as the pre-op and post-op diets. By this time in your weight loss study, you have grown accustomed to your new eating habits and, miraculously, you no longer struggle with weight issues, right?

Wrong… you will continue to struggle with the right food and exercise choices from this day forward. The weight loss will happen, slowly but surely. However, you will not see the results of your weight loss surgery without constant goal setting and hard work. That means avoiding some of your old habits such as ‘drinking your calories’. With a watchful eye on the food you consume, you will be a loser!

weight loss surgery success

Working Hard after Weight Loss Surgery

While it would be nice if it worked that way, Bariatric surgery does not do all of the work needed to actually shed those unwanted pounds. What you can expect the weight loss surgery to do is help your stomach feel full much faster than it did before the procedure. As you also begin eating healthier and exercising more, this combination further affects your health and weight in a positive way.

Others may remark on your weight loss and commend you on how quickly the pounds are flying off since they do not see you every day. They might even make comments that you appear to be ‘melting’ (which also suggests you are putting forth no effort. GRR) These people do not know the level of discipline and work effort required to lose a significant amount of weight after weight loss surgery.

You should begin a weight loss journal as soon as possible and do not shy from the camera. Remember, in a way, you will be writing your very own success story. These pictures and dates will record the changes taking place within your life, and will help you realize how much you’ve changed since Bariatric surgery …and what a big loser you are! (C’mon, you know that’s funny!)

weight loss surgery success

The Future’s so Bright …Wait, I Still Have to Exercise?

For some reason, common sense has gone out the window along with anything and everything people have ever learned about diet, exercise and the human body. No matter what, the body needs exercise. After weight loss surgery, numerous foods are no longer allowed to be part of your diet.

Enjoyment is gone for such things as pizza, hamburgers and even cake… as you can no longer eat bread, pasta, rice and sugary sweets – ever again. Regardless of the medical procedures you choose to help control the weight, a sensible diet and frequent exercise are both requires before you can achieve the results your body needs to be happy.

Debunking the Weight Loss Surgery Cop-Out

If you haven’t ready part one, ‘Bariatric Surgery: No Easy Way Out’ and part two, ‘Bariatric Surgery, the Hard Choice’, you certainly want to take the time to read these great articles addressing the opinion that weight loss surgery is for undisciplined and lazy people looking for an easy way.

Part Three: Once Bariatric Surgery is in the Rear View

In order to properly debunk society’s opinion that weight loss surgery is merely an ‘easy way out’ without effort or discipline, it seems only right to discuss those first days following the Bariatric procedure. That is because, regardless of the weight loss procedure you have undergone, there will be pain. Pain… a feeling that is never pleasant and surgery, a word that is synonymous with the word pain.

While the pain is quite manageable and medication is often part of the healing process, this is a surgical procedure that requires three small incisions for the laparoscopic tool. Depending upon the Bariatric procedure chosen by your Bariatric team, other incisions and alterations will also made inside the body. Needless to say, while recovering from weight loss surgery, you will not consider this procedure to be the easier way to lose weight.

Don’t let a little post-surgery pain scare you off, though.

post bariatric surgery

Post Bariatric Surgery: Dieting Days Far from Over

By this time, the average Bariatric patient has lost about twenty pounds already from the difficult pre-op liquid protein shake diet and weight loss surgery. Before leaving the hospital, the first two weeks after surgery, patients are now instructed to follow a Clear Liquid Diet, this one even more difficult than the pre-op diet. Bouillon soup, Jello, popsicles, and eventually G2, the sugar free form of Gatorade, are your sustenance for about one week.

By the end of the second week, protein shakes are once again part of the post-op Bariatric diet. This is the second stage of dieting after weight loss surgery, called the Full Liquid Diet. For most Bariatric patients, doctors give a green light for the Pureed Diet in weeks three and four. The pureed diet is not pleasant but is very necessary as the stomach heals and the patient learns new limits.

In months two and three after weight loss surgery, most Bariatric surgeons will graduate patients from pureed options to the next step in dieting, the Soft Food Diet. Finally, the patient is allowed to consume real food again, even though it must be soft and easy to swallow. Lastly is the Stabilization Diet, or the diet that models a lifestyle change, beginning about four months after Bariatric surgery.

Post-Op Dieting Guidelines vary according to Bariatric Procedures

Just as every person faces different health issues caused by obesity, your Bariatric doctor may have special instructions for the days that follow weight loss surgery. Regardless of the weight plan he has set in motion, you can expect to work hard and sacrifice much while restoring your health and fighting against the effects of obesity.

Those who say that Bariatric surgery is an ‘easy way out’ and consider obese patients to be quitters should try to follow the above mentioned diets and see how easy weight loss surgery truly is. The next and final article in this series is a supporting piece for those individuals who know that, ‘Weight Loss is for Losers’.


Bariatric Surgery, the Hard Choice

While we live in the 21st century, a time when medical research has established the discovery that obesity is a disease, people are still looking down their noses at those who struggle with weight loss and weight control. While many still think this type of ridicule is socially acceptable, the fact remains that more than thirty percent of adult Americans are considered obese or overweight.

The AMA ruled obesity as a disease, so when will society stop discriminating?

As with any disease that society views unfavorably, the first issue with Bariatric surgery is getting the obese to admit to themselves as well as to family that there is indeed a problem. Admitting they cannot manage the obesity alone is not easy; admitting they need medical help is even worse, especially when some consider weight loss surgery an ‘easy way out’ and view the obese as merely quitters who are ‘copping out’.

surgery for obesity

Taking Steps to a Healthier Life with Weight Loss Surgery

While every Bariatric weight loss journey is different and doctors often choose different avenues to prepare for surgery, this scenario is most common. Once the patients have admitted there is a problem and sought help from a medical doctor, it is time to swallow pride and see the mental health professional, to which these patients have been referred.

If there are no untreated mental illnesses found, and the obese person seems to have reasonably good coping skills, the next step is to visit with a nutritionist or dietitian. Depending on the dietitian’s assessment, those hopeful for weight loss surgery may need their eating, drinking and physical activity observed for up to six months. This varies by case, often depending upon factors such as eating habits and/or insurance.

You will also be referred to a cardiologist for a complete check-up of your heart. The cardio doctor will conduct a study of your arteries, veins, valves and the heart muscle itself.

Keep Reading… What’s Next May Surprise You

With all of these steps successfully taken, the obese patient is (hopefully) now approved for Bariatric surgery for weight loss and better health. If approved, the surgery is then scheduled, and the patient will be placed on a very strict pre-op diet to follow before the big day. In the last week or two before surgery, the patient is put on a diet of only high protein shakes three times per day. Typically, doctors recommend only those shakes with more than 30 grams of protein and, preferably, less than 12 grams of sugar. No other food will be consumed during this time.

Author’s Note about the Importance of the Pre-Op Diet

This diet is HARD. Say goodbye to your favorite beverages, save for a cup of black coffee in the morning and all the water you can drink. Follow this pre-op diet closely and you will see weight loss, although weight loss is not the purpose. I lost 17 pounds in one week on my pre-op and I have always been one of those people that say, “but I really don’t eat that much.”

After my weight loss procedure, the doctor visited my bedside to share pictures taken laparoscopically of my liver and stomach with the Lap Band in place. At first, I was a bit worried that I had somehow failed in my pre-op diet, and the doctor could tell. (I may or may not have cheated on the one-cup-of-coffee rule. I’ll just plead the fifth on that one.)

To my relief, the doctor began bragging on how well I had done on the pre-op and remarked on how baby pink my liver was. My own doctor failed to tell me the purpose of the pre-op diet was not weight loss, but the Bariatric surgeon explained it well… hours after surgery.

The purpose of the pre-op diet is to give the surgeon room to work, using the non-invasive laparoscopy procedure. While consuming only protein shakes and avoiding typical food and drink choices, the liver begins to shrink and cleanse itself and the stomach begins to reduce in terms of swelling and stretching. (The consumption of soft drinks can lead to a swollen stomach, by the way.)

Bariatric Patients Make Hard Sacrifices to See Weight Loss Results

One of the hardest aspects of preparing for weight loss surgery is the pre-op diet, but the results are well worth the effort. While general anesthesia is still a requirement, the laparoscopy procedure allows for fewer sacrifices, such as a reduced amount of time taken off from work and a significantly quicker recovery time.

Regardless of the weight loss procedure your doctor decides is best for your health issues, Bariatric surgery is the hard choice. Find out more on this topic when you read the third post in this series, ‘Debunking the Weight Loss Surgery Cop-Out’.

Bariatric Surgery: No Easy Way Out

Some people, those who on the outside looking in, believe that Bariatric surgery is an ‘easy way out’, giving the obese an opportunity to see results without effort. Still others view weight loss surgery as a quick fix for those who lack willpower or are just plain lazy, but this could not be further from the truth.

For example, a basketball player makes his game look easy, but no one knows the countless hours spent practicing and studying game plays. Like the basketball star, obese patients cannot help but make Bariatric surgery look easy because the results are quick and the weight loss seems to happen with little effort but…

Decision for Weight Loss Surgery is NOT Easy

In fact, if you are looking for easy weight loss options, you have been highly misinformed about Bariatric surgery. Those who are obese do not choose weight loss surgery because they lack any self-control and discipline. This huge decision is not an option simply because Bariatric surgery candidates abhor the thought of exercise.

Bariatric Surgery Prevents Obesity Related Health Issues, Saves Lives

You might be surprised to learn that people who choose weight loss surgery have exhausted every other measure. They have at least two or more health concerns that have placed them at a high risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other obesity related comorbidities. In nearly every case, the decision for Bariatric surgery has been decided (as a last resort) in an effort to prevent more serious health concerns and/or to save the patient’s life.

weight loss surgery easy

Obesity is a Disease …and It KILLS

Welcome to the year 2016, where people know that obesity is a disease that kills and the American Medical Association knows it. Knowing what we do, why would Bariatric surgery be considered anything less than a necessary plan of action, a method to quickly save someone’s life or avoid additional health concerns? Those who say weight loss surgery is an ‘easy way out’ for the obese have little or no understanding of how this disease works.

Fad Diets and Weight Fluctuation Leads to an Unhealthy Lifestyle

Obese Bariatric surgery patients have tried diets after diets, losing hundreds of pounds and gaining hundreds of pounds back. Their aggressive dieting and constant use of weight loss products, gimmicks, tricks, and diet pills are all more unhealthy and hard on the body than actual Bariatric surgery. Therefore, the decision for weight loss surgery does not come from avoidance of discipline and lack of dieting.

The reasons for obesity abound and are too numerous to list for you here, many of which are documented as genetic in nature. Other causes include socio-economic factors such as a history of abuse where patients sub-consciously shrouded themselves to avoid unwanted physical attention caused by their weight. Obesity also has psychological and metabolic factors at play.

Among the metabolic issues are diabetes, hypothyroid problems, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, and insensitivity to leptin. Does weight loss surgery still sound like a cop-out? Find out more about Bariatric surgery and your options for an ‘easy way out’ by reading the second post in this series, ‘Bariatric Surgery, the Hard Choice’.