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Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:46

Dieting or Surgery?

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We all know that obesity rates keeps increasing. Sad but true many people lose weight in the short term but many end up regaining all the weight back within four to five years or even less. The medical community is trying to fight back with new surgical procedures that claim surgery might be the final answer to this.

But after reviewing some of the data regarding medical procedures like the gastric bypass and the lap-band, regaining weight can happen just as easily than the traditional methods of weight loss. And especially when you have medical non- surgical weight loss protocols in place, there is more of a chance for patients to follow through better with this important phase of weight management. There is more support and accountability involved to help sustain focus on healthy lifestyles.

One medical company advocating the lap-band protocol of weight loss states specifically that: "Yes. Regaining weight is always possible, independently of what method of weight loss or surgery you choose. The lap band is a powerful tool for significant weight-loss, but without the proper care, 'the tool' can lose its effectiveness over time. But, if you stay up to date with your follow up visits and keep to the lap-band diet recommendations it is extremely unlikely that you will gain weight. Nevertheless, if you give up and allow yourself to fall off the lap-band wagon, it is more than possible that you will not achieve the anticipated results."

It goes on to discuss, "Behavioural problems start when you don't comply with the recommendations of lap-band eating, by overeating or making poor food choices. While bad food choices may slow your weight loss or even cause you to gain weight, consequences of overeating may be slightly more serious."

This is basically not that different than dieters not following up with all components of any given diet program, especially maintenance, the step that follows weight loss. Having worked for numerous weight loss companies in the past I have seen dieters lose their weight and then fall short of finishing the program the way it is supposed to. Months later they frequently show up re-starting the program again at their original starting weight. So how is this any different than not following through with the lap-band recommendations?

Then there's the side effects that can occur with lap bands: "Lap-band is considered major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient's ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Band slippage, erosion and deflation, reflux, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the esophagus, infection or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation." While many have used the lap band successfully some are still not successful. There should be more alternative solutions that work.

It all boils down to finding solutions for patients so they do in fact adhere to all the encompassing multifaceted problems around lifestyle behaviors, especially in maintenance. Success doesn't always happen in first time attempts because it is so challenging. Maintenance is really about ongoing focus with these obstacles and it takes just as much dedication at this point of weight management as the dieting process itself. The problem as I see it many patients get too complacent after they have maintained their weight after a while. Then the focus gets lost and those old habits just slip right back in again.

All that being said, readers, what do you think is the solution to really keeping your weight off for the long-term? How do you keep your focus in maintenance so the weight stays off permanently?

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