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Weight Loss Surgery is Just the Beginning

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Don’t look at weight loss surgery as the end of your health and fitness process. If you decide to get this type of surgery, be ready to make lifestyle changes. You definitely do not want to regain this weight after undergoing such a life-altering and painful surgery.

I always recommend that clients focus on fat loss rather than weight loss. If you decide weight loss surgery is for you, fat loss should still be your focus after the surgery. Fat loss and muscle gain is the only way to truly transform your body and keep the weight off in the long-term.

Wake Forest University has launched a study to determine the importance of follow-up care for patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery. Each year more than 200,000 people with morbid obesity undergo gastric bypass surgery, but research has shown that more than half of patients regain at least 20 percent of the weight they had lost.

"You wouldn't invest $25,000 to remodel your home and not maintain it. Shocking as it may seem, follow-up on diet and exercise just isn't the norm with gastric bypass," said Gary D. Miller, who heads the team for the study at Wake Forest. "With so many more people seeking gastric bypass each year, we can improve the long-term outcome of gastric bypass by keeping up with patients as they figure out their new lifestyle."

If we can get them to change the way they live and to keep the weight off, they'll reap so many additional health benefits, including lower risks of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer," he continued.

Miller said that typically, gastric bypass patients receive guidance on exercise and diet, but little to no supervision on post-surgery habits. He said the goal should be to help people "cement the healthy lifestyle revolution they have started with the gastric bypass.” Miller hopes the results of the study will show that having a supervised exercise and diet program will result in more efficient weight loss in overly obese people.

And, according to the Mayo Clinic:

”Gastric bypass surgery can provide long-term, consistent weight loss if you exercise and eat a healthy diet," the website said. In addition: “Gastric bypass isn't for everyone, however. It's a major procedure that has risks and side effects and requires permanent changes in your lifestyle. Before deciding to have gastric bypass surgery, it's important to understand what's involved and what lifestyle changes you must make. In large part, the success of the surgery is up to you.”

My tips to help in your long-term strategy to transform your body:

1. Don’t limit your health and fitness to time limits, per se. Although it is important to reach short-term goals, your attitude should be “I will do whatever it takes to improve my health and change my body.”

2. Keep a food journal to help you chart your new way of eating. This is important until you get a handle on why you eat, how much you eat and when you tend to eat.

3. Regular exercise will always be in the fitness equation. Don’t try to exclude it. Besides, its good for your health, makes you feel better and will help you get the body you need and want. This means strength training and cardio exercise that you enjoy.

4. Get an exercise buddy to help make the process more fun and supportive. Spin and Zumba group classes work well for this purpose.

Never quit in your journey to get the health and body you deserve.


Wake Forest University http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/228909.php

The Mayo Clinic

Reviewed July 4, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Alison Stanton

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and My Nutrition Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:

Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.