We, the surgeons and staff at Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians, are concerned about you and your individual success. We care about you and your health as you continue working toward your goals. We delight in your successes. We are here to help you every step of your journey towards a healthier quality of life.
Ensuring Your Continued Success
With the knowledge and tolls you have acquired along your weight loss journey, you are now armed to make better health choices for you and your family. You have been taught principles and given guidelines that are based on 30 years of experience in performing weight loss procedures on over 18,000 patients. Long term weight maintenance and overall nutritional health is largely determined by adhering to these guidelines. Remember, each patient is an individual. Although results may vary among individual patients, we have found over the years that adhering to these guidelines strongly influences overall long-term success.
Maintaining a healthy weight requires continued awareness of the choices you make. This awareness means that you will identify practices and habits that will move you towards the health and fitness outcomes you desire. Developing strategies for successful weight loss and weight control is an important skill to learn and practice throughout your life.
There will be times in your life when you will find you have gotten off course with your healthy lifestyle. You may have gained some or all your weight back. All is not lost. The weight loss surgery tool that helped you obtain a healthy weight is still available to you. To utilize this powerful tool, you must relearn and implement the guidelines and practices that first helped you obtain a healthier weight and lifestyle. If you have gotten off track and regained weight, do not fall into the too frequent trap of being ashamed to reach out for help. Most patients will have periods of struggle. We can help. You must take the first step and call us! Remember you are not alone and have the whole RMAP team to help and support you.
The information in the binder you received (or will receive) is intended to assist you along your weight loss journey. Read the information in your binder often. Add information you receive from your surgeon, such as lab reports, ideas and facts received at support groups, and newsletters from our website, blog, or other research materials to your binder. It will be a source you can refer to often. We wish you continued success as your implement a lifestyle of awareness and achieve your dream of health and an enriched quality of life.
Sustained Weight Loss Expectations
Weight loss following bariatric surgery of any type can be different from person to person. Average weight loss following Gastric Bypass surgery ranges from 60-80% of excess weight loss achieved in the first two years with approximately 15% weight regain between years 2-5 after surgery, leading to 50-60% excess weight loss sustained over time1. Overall weight loss depends on a number of factors, including dietary compliance, starting weight, and ability to exercise. For Duodenal Switch (DS) patients the average sustained weight loss is >80% excess weight. For Adjustable Gastric Banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy patients, the long term results of sustained weight loss are still undetermined.
Many individuals do not lose 100% of their excess weight. In addition, some amount of weight regain is common and should be expected. Having knowledge and understanding that it is natural for the body to regain some weight will help you have realistic expectations. It is common to see a 10-20% weight regain and this may become a new “stable” weight.
Many patients are highly motivated in the initial 2 year postoperative period often due to how quickly they are losing large amounts of weight. When you reach a certain weight and maintenance is your goal, you may need to reassess your motivation to challenge the “obesigenic” environment in which we live.2
It is important to remember that the surgery provided you with a powerful tool to lose weight. This tool is also used to help maintain a healthy weight. However, the surgery alone is not enough to sustain significant weight losses. Surgery does alter the body but not the environment in which we live. You must continually challenge yourself to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some patients who struggle with weight regain have slowly resumed old eating behaviors such as:
- Drinking high calorie fluids
- Resuming chaotic eating patterns
- Sedentary lifestyles
- Not planning or preparing healthy meals and snacks
- Eating mindlessly or grazing on high calorie foods throughout the day
Focusing on healthy lifestyle behaviors and developing skills and strategies that promote a healthy lifestyle will help you be successful. Be sure to discuss your individual goals and expectations for sustained weight loss with your surgeon.
Whether you call it physical activity, exercise, being fit, playing sports, or enjoying recreational activities, all these activities help with weight control and result in better health. The important part is just do it! Be active every day! There’s no getting out of exercise, it is essential to maintaining weight loss and an important addition to your lifestyle to maintain your health for years to come. Patients who are committed to regular exercise are much more likely to maintain their weight loss.
The best investments toward healthy lifestyles are those that you make based on personal interests and personal preferences. If you have not already discovered your interests, take the time to discover your true interests and invest the time to develop skills and endurance in those areas. Re-evaluate your physical limitations now that you have lost weight and don’t be afraid to try new things. Push yourself to increase your level of fitness. You can do more than you think you can.
Some patients stop taking their recommended supplements when weight loss is achieved and they feel they are eating more nutritiously. However, continuing to take supplements throughout your life is necessary to reduce your risk for deficiencies and keep your body functioning properly. You must continue to take your vitamins and minerals for the rest of your life.
1Pories WJ, Swanson MS, MacDonalds KG, et al. Who would have though it? An operation proves to be the most effective therapy for adult-onset diabetes mellitus. Ann Surg. 1995; 222:339-352.
2Cummings S, Letendre J. Weight regain after gastric bypass surgery: surgery failure or poor patient compliance? Weight Management Matters. Winter 2009; Volume 6 No. 3:6-17.
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