The Full Mind Weigh® to Lifelong Weight Management, a program of the Institute for Lifelong Weight Management – teaching you the skills you need to keep the weight off forever!
Most wellness professionals agree that bariatric (weight-loss) surgery is merely a tool which helps people reach a healthier weight, but is not a cure-all or a quick fix. Without conscious behavior change including the practice of mindful eating, unresolved emotional issues and entrenched eating habits can result in medical problems following bariatric surgery, as well as weight regain.
Mindful eating can prevent these common problems that disordered eaters suffer:
- Eating too quickly, without tasting or savoring, and therefore not enjoying the food and not feeling satisfied with reasonable amounts of food
- Eating while distracted, resulting in overeating – which for bariatric surgery patients can result in discomfort, gastro-intestinal difficulties, and stretching of the stomach pouch
- Overeating due to emotional, stress or comfort eating
The fact that the weight can – and does – return after bariatric surgery has shown us that surgery alone can’t change or eliminate the underlying behavioral factors that commonly lead to obesity. A recent study showed that in the first year after undergoing the gastric sleeve procedure, patients lost 77% of their excess weight, but by the 5th year they regained weight, bringing their weight loss to only 56%. Also, 51% of patients saw their Type 2 diabetes disappear in the 1st year, but by the 5th year only 20% were still free of type 2 diabetes. The lead researcher, Dr Andrei Keidar, explained this as follows: “The main reason is that the stomach dilates, meaning you can eat more. The appetite comes back so patients can eat more and they want to eat more”. He further described weight-loss surgery as a “behavioral surgery”, adding, “If you don’t change your behavior, you are going to regain weight.”
In fact, it is believed that 80% of people who undergo weight-loss surgery will experience weight regain of 10-30 pounds depending on initial weight loss. It is further believed that 20% of those will relapse to their former weight, and possibly gain even more. The main reason people regain weight after weight-loss surgery is because they stretch their stomach. This results in the stomach’s hunger signals being distorted. When this happens, you don’t feel full when in fact you’ve consumed an adequate amount of food. You also start to feel hungry before your body is in fact in need of nourishment.
Look out for my next blog post, in which I’ll be describing how to prevent weight regain after weight-loss surgery with mindful eating.
I’m hosting a free call on how to prevent weight regain after bariatric surgery. Please join me for this call by registering below:
With your continued health in mind,
Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Lifelong Weight Management
Creator, The Full Mind Weigh® to Lifelong Weight Management
The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management provides education and training. The Full Mind Weigh® is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.