Deciding to have bariatric surgery after you’ve been unable to lose weight is a big – and sometimes scary -- step. But you might be surprised at some of the physical and mental benefits you will enjoy.
The procedure typically is recommended if your weight poses health risks. Anyone with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 is considered obese, according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and may benefit from bariatric surgery if their previous strategies and plans for weight loss have been unsuccessful.
What is less commonly known about these surgeries is that they tend to produce several benefits to both your mental and physical health, including:
You will have more energy.
After surgery, you will need to commit to eating and exercise plans that will improve your health and give you more energy throughout the day.
Consider, too, that carrying extra pounds can make you more likely to experience chronic fatigue.
You will be more motivated to exercise.
Post-surgery, you likely will enjoy rapid weight loss, which can be incredibly motivating. Movement becomes easier and more enjoyable, which also makes exercise something you look forward to.
Surgery breaks the cycle of losing and regaining weight.
Surgery is a powerful tool. The bodily and hormonal shifts that occur as a result make it easier for you to follow lifestyle changes, but if you do not follow the recommendations, you may regain weight. Not only is it healthier to stay at your target weight, but you’re also avoiding the health risks that arise from roller-coaster weight losses and gains.
Your self-esteem will rise.
It’s a real ego boost when your friends and family compliment your weight loss, and you’ll be happier being able to wear clothes in smaller sizes. You also will feel more confident, which can inspire even more positive changes in various areas of your life, from career to relationships.
Other unexpected benefits.
Often, when you’re obese, the extra weight comes with a host of health complications that require you to take medications. After surgery, you may find that you no longer need medication for issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Enjoying a new and healthier body weight can also allow you to qualify for other surgical procedures, such as knee replacement or kidney transplant, which you may not have qualified for because of your high BMI.
In the big picture, any extra pounds you can lose in any way will help your whole body function.
More to Consider
Bariatric surgery is a highly beneficial tool, but you must go into it with your eyes wide open about what it entails. You likely will meet with a nutritionist who will explain how your eating will change after surgery, as well as a counselor who will make sure you understand the risks of the procedure and that you are mentally ready for life post-surgery.
You can start moving again right after surgery and will be cleared for exercise typically two weeks later. Once you can start working out again, you likely will work closely with nutritionists and other members of your team to make sure your diet and exercise plan is a fit and that you are achieving the results you wanted.
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