Is surgery the easy way out to losing weight? It’s certainly very effective, with the majority of people having a gastric band fitted or a gastric by-pass losing a considerable amount of their excess weight, supposedly without much effort. It’s good news for obese people whose health is at serious risk and current attempts at losing weight have failed.
If you’re overweight because you love your food, then be warned. Any form of weight loss surgery will limit the amount of food you can eat post surgery because of the drastically reduced size of the stomach. This means smaller, more frequent meals which in the initial weeks after surgery will be no more than a couple of tablespoons of pureed food with a gradual move to more solid foods. Alcohol and sugar are usually poorly tolerated by the majority and even moderate amounts can make people feel ill. The challenges of social occasions and dining out cannot be underestimated. In fact, it’s probably like being on a diet, albeit one in which you are almost guaranteed to lose weight but on which you’ll feel considerably worse if you don’t stick to the eating plan.
Weight loss after surgery occurs primarily due to reduced food intake. Over time, the body adjusts to the smaller stomach size and enables a gradual increase in capacity. This is why weight loss also slows down over time as the rate of calories consumed and used start to equalise. When people reach this stage, they need to follow the habits that everyone else needs to in order to maintain their weight. It’s undeniable that weight loss surgery is highly effective and for some, a life saver. But the path to maintaining a healthy weight, whilst well known is tread less well. That is a diet high in vegetables and fruit, moderate levels of protein and healthy fats, low in refined sugar and saturated fat and supplemented with plenty of water and exercise- most of the time. Sadly, there’s no other way but at least on this path I can have some wine and occasionally, a slice of cake – and yes I get to eat it too.