For people that have a hard time losing weight, sometimes you might be wondering is weight loss surgery right for you? It’s easy to look at celebrities that seem to be in great shape all the time and wish you could look like them. But, that’s not often realistic for most people. Many stars have personal trainers, access to private gyms, nutritionists, and sometimes even private chefs cooking up nutritious meals for them. For the average person, that’s just not possible.
That could be why the obesity rate in the U.S. continues to climb. Currently, it’s over 42%, and it’s even getting higher among children, which means the next generation could have the highest obesity rate ever recorded in the country.
Of course, that isn’t to say that everyone who is overweight is lazy or doesn’t put forth their best effort. Diet and exercise are the best ways to naturally lose weight and stay healthy. For some people, however, exercising isn’t an option if they have other health problems due to obesity. For others, the traditional forms of diet and exercise just don’t seem to work.
That’s why some people turn to weight loss surgery. There are different types of weight loss surgery, and they are meant to help you completely change your lifestyle and lose quite a bit of weight due to alterations of your digestive system.
Weight loss surgery, like gastric bypass, is typically meant for those who have a lot of weight to lose. If you’re not sure whether it is the right option for you, there are a few factors to consider. Let’s take a closer look at some of them so you can determine if you’re a good candidate for this type of surgery.
You’ve Tried to Lose Weight On Your Own
Generally, a good candidate for gastric bypass surgery should have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher. That is the most basic requirement.
But, don’t just assume that because you have that BMI you’re a good candidate for this type of surgery. Weight loss surgery isn’t a quick fix and it isn’t meant to be a cure-all that will help you look good overnight.
Instead, it is designed for people who want to change their lives for the better, and who understand the importance of being at a healthy weight. Most people who undergo gastric bypass surgery have been trying to lose weight on their own for months, or even years. Chances are, the doctor will want to talk to you about that before deciding whether or not surgery is a good option for you.
It can be incredibly frustrating not to lose weight when you’re trying very hard. But, some people simply can’t move very well. Others may have medical conditions holding them back. Whatever the case, you have to have a clear understanding of why being a healthy weight is important before being considered for this type of surgery.
Your Weight is Affecting Your Health
Obesity increases the risk factors for several different conditions and diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
Obviously, these are serious conditions that can be debilitating and lower your overall quality of life. After working with your doctor and discussing your options, they should be able to tell you if losing weight could reduce your risk of any of these conditions. If so, gastric bypass may be a great option for you in order to get control of your health again.
Your Mental Health State
You might not think mental health and weight loss go hand-in-hand, but the connection is important. When a doctor is evaluating you as a candidate for weight loss surgery, they will likely do a psychological screening.
People with mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, or eating disorders typically shouldn’t undergo gastric bypass surgery. We’ll talk more about what to expect from the surgery itself in the next section. But, people with underlying mental health concerns may not be able to maintain the healthy lifestyle required after surgery.
It’s important to focus on your mental health before getting gastric bypass surgery or weight loss surgery of any kind. While these conditions may not prevent you from eventually getting the surgery, they can certainly hinder the process and make the recovery much more difficult.
What to Expect
Even if you are an ideal candidate for weight loss surgery, it’s incredibly important to know what to expect. First, the average weight loss from a surgery like this is about 70% of what you currently weigh. That’s why this isn’t an operation for everyone – only those who need to lose a substantial amount of weight.
The surgery itself isn’t necessarily the hard part. It’s when you get home that the real work begins.
In order to heal properly and get used to your new way of life, you will go through a few different post-op dietary phases. For about a week after surgery, only clear liquids are recommended in small amounts, including things like broth, sugar-free Jell-O, etc.
After that, pureed foods and things like protein shakes can be introduced. Eventually, you will introduce soft foods, and then solids. But, the amount you will be able to eat will be drastically less than what you may be used to. You won’t feel “hungry”, since your stomach will still be getting full.
So, is weight loss surgery right for you? If you fit into the categories listed here, and you feel as though you’ve tried everything to lose weight, you might be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. Like any other surgery, there are risks involved. But, for people who truly want to lose a large amount of weight, the rewards are greater.
This isn’t just a quick fix or some kind of extreme diet. Instead, it is a long-term weight loss procedure that is meant to completely change your life and the way you eat. While it’s not for everyone, and certainly not for those who want to achieve a ‘celebrity body’ through diet and exercise, it can certainly help those who are struggling to lose weight on their own.