How Gastric Bypass Surgery Patients Can Lose 35% More Weight

You have gastric bypass surgery, for the most part, because you want to lose a whole lot of weight. Sure, there are benefits beyond weight loss. But let’s face it: the number one reason for rearranging your insides is to dump as much fat as possible.

So pretty much everyone who’s gone under the knife should be interested in this recent survey by Harris Interactive. It was conducted on behalf of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. And it found one simple thing you can do that will not only result in losing an average of 35% more weight, it’ll secure you “a better quality of life.”

Again, it’s a simple thing to do. Almost common sense. Yet I constantly see people – both in my everyday life and online in various weight loss surgery chatrooms – who just simply refuse to do it. Then they whine and complain because they’re not losing weight as fast as others they see.

What is this simple, common-sense thing you can do that will bring such great rewards?

Listen to your doctor.

Here’s a clip from the article, which you can read in it’s entirety at this link: National Patient And Surgeon Survey.

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ Those patients who were most compliant with surgeon recommendations after bariatric surgery lost 35 percent more weight the first year and tend to keep more weight off even after five years, according to new patient and bariatric surgeon surveys conducted by Harris Interactive(R), for the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The survey of 208 gastric bypass patients and 201 gastric band patients found that on average compliant patients lost more than 123 pounds the first year, while the less compliant lost 92 pounds. At the five year mark, compliant bariatric surgery patients lost more than 127 pounds while less compliant patients lost 100 pounds. Bariatric surgeons also place a high value on follow-up care programs. In a separate survey of 282 bariatric surgeons, 94 percent said follow-up care is just as or even more important to successful outcomes than the surgery itself. Both surveys were sponsored by Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.

“While surgeons have always understood the importance of follow-up care, this survey helps quantify how much of a difference it really makes,” said Scott Shikora, MD, ASMBS President and Chief of General Surgery, Bariatric Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “Compliance can mean the difference between a good result and a great result.”

Surgeons typically recommend post-surgical activities including regular exercise, nutritional counseling, maintaining a food diary, psychological counseling, diet modification, keeping doctor’s appointments and participation in support groups.

I have never understood why anyone would put themselves through all the trouble of having gastric bypass surgery, then stubbornly refuse to do the simple things their doc says will make them successful.

These are the things mentioned in the article:

  • Exercise. Hello? Nobody can lose weight without getting of your butt and moving around.
  • Changing your eating habits. Again, Duh!!! Wasn’t that the point of shrinking your stomach?

These are the ones I typically see people thinking they can ignore:

  • Drinking with meals. When you drink liquids at the same time as you eat, the food washes out of your pouch sooner. You eat more. Which kinda defeats the purpose of the smaller stomach. Yet I constantly see people whining on message boards that it’s just too hard to not have some tea with your chicken. You know what? Get over it! This is one of the simplest things to do. Yes, you can have a tiny sip if you eat something dry that doesn’t want to go down. A sip won’t wash your food out of your pouch.But the whiners who drink a full glass of (hopefully unsweetened) tea in a restaurant because they’re too embarassed to be seen not drinking with their meals? They are a failure waiting to happen. Or those who’ve just “always had” something to drink with food? Well, there are a lot of things you’ve “always done”. Those things got you fat. If you don’t want to be fat, you have to change them.

    How difficult is it to just ask for water with your meal (water is free) and just not drink it? I’ve NEVER had a waiter ask about why I wasn’t drinking my water. And if they do, my God, WHO CARES? Wasn’t it more embarassing to be morbidly obese?

  • Drinking carbonated beverages. My psychologist told me in my pre-op interview that every single person she’d ever seen gain their weight back had gone back to drinking carbonated beverages.The carbonation continues to bubble inside your pouch. It can stretch it. It can stretch the opening into your intestine. Which means you can eat more, you get hungry sooner. YOU GET FAT AGAIN. It doesn’t matter if your Coke is diet or not. It’s not the sugar or the calories – it’s the bubbles. Drink them and you fail. It’s that simple.
  • Eating crap. Just because you’re more than a year out and your pouch will tolerate pasta, bread and other carbs, doesn’t make them OK. Personally, when my pouch feels pissy absolutely nothing calms it down better than cheese-its. But if I ate cheese-it’s all the time, I wouldn’t keep losing weight, now would I?Your new life has to be about moderation, restraint, and wise choices. Except for carbonated beverages, it’s unrealistic to say that any particular food will never cross your lips again. But any time bad stuff happens more often than “once in a blue moon” you’re headed for trouble.

Listen to your doctor. Do what he says. Go to your support group meetings so you always have those recommendations fresh in your mind.

You’ve gone through a lot of crap to get this surgery. It’s not been an easy road. So don’t waste your sacrifice – do everything you can to make yourself succeed!

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4 Responses to How Gastric Bypass Surgery Patients Can Lose 35% More Weight

  1. Hi Lisa,
    I live in London Ont.Canada.
    My doctor supports my decision to have WLS, I have read all of the helpful pros and cons of having the surgery; the blogs of regrets or issues, and spoken to several acquaintances who have had the surgery. The only concern I am having is how do I find out about information sessions in my city or surrounding areas. How do I find a surgeon? if anyone is from around London, ON..please help me out

  2. Hey… I just wanted to post a link to belovedideas (AKA Lisa at “Halfway to Skinny”) post concerning this one. She has a lot of good points, so check it out here: http://theskinnyonline.blogspot.com/2008/11/other-lisa.html

  3. Oh, and I added your blog to my blog links :-)

  4. Hey! I’m Lisa too! I’m a gastric bypass patient too! My blog has the word “Skinny” in the title too!! Lisa, I’m so sorry to hear about your complications. I pray that you get well and stay well!! I’ll need to blog in response to this particular post of yours. I may be disagreeing with stuff you say, but please know that I am rooting for you as a person, for your recovery in general and support your blogging about your Truth!!