- Body Mass Index (BMI)
You are eligible for bariatric surgery if you have a BMI of 40 or higher. An individual with a BMI of between 35 and 40 can qualify if they suffer from serious health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, and high cholesterol.
- Alternative Weight Loss Options
Bariatric surgery should be viewed as the last resort when you finally run out of other weight loss options. This means that you should try out multiple diets and exercise programs that promote weight loss. A successful weight loss program requires consistency and commitment to achieving your short-term and long-term health goals. If you have tried losing weight naturally or you find it difficult to keep it off for long, then it may be the best time to seek weight loss surgery. Your surgeon may recommend following a strict diet in the days leading up to your surgery to prevent complications during the procedure.
- Adjusting to a New Diet and Lifestyle
Nothing can change if you are not willing to change. Weight loss surgery is only the initial step of your weight loss journey, as the procedure can only be termed as successful if it lasts in the long term. You need to commit yourself to the new diet and strict guidelines before and after surgery. After surgery, you will be introduced to a liquid diet and advance to pureed or soft foods. The first weeks and months after surgery focus more on getting plenty of protein. You can later progress to solid foods in the long term with a diet comprised of lean proteins, nutritious starches, and limited portions of healthy fats.
- Dealing with Setbacks After Surgery
Before you opt for weight loss surgery, consider the challenges you are likely to face along the way and how you can deal with them when they come up. Some of the common challenges that you may experience after surgery include stalls or plateaus that occur when you stop losing weight for a while. You can also slip back to your old eating habits or lose motivation during your weight loss journey. Almost every patient who has had weight loss surgery experiences some of these setbacks at a point in time.
- Coping with Your Social Life
Although the decision to undergo weight loss surgery may be personal, it is also important to be open to your friends and family about your experience and the reason you had the surgery. Some patients are often worried about being judged for the decision they made. You need to figure out what to tell people on certain occasions if you want to keep your surgery a secret. Having an excuse for not joining your friends at the bar or why you no longer order fast foods at work can help you avoid social stigma and lead a normal life.
Evaluating if You Are Ready for Weight Loss Surgery
Your doctor, surgeon, dietitian, or psychologist can help you determine whether weight loss surgery is appropriate for you. This evaluation ascertains if the benefits of the surgery outweigh the serious health risks that may occur after the procedure. Your team of health care professionals will review your nutrition and weight history, medical condition, age, motivation, and psychological status to assess your readiness for weight loss surgery.
If you are considered desirable for a weight loss operation, your surgeon and other health care professionals will provide instructions on what to do in the months or weeks following the surgery. It is important to keep in mind that weight loss surgery is not a miracle procedure for overnight weight loss. It requires commitment and hard work since you can regain the lost weight if you do not stick with your new diet and lifestyle.