Believe it or not, I love it when new patients report to me that their diet consists of lots of fast food and sugar sweetened beverages. There is plenty of room for change in these patients and we’re likely to see substantial improvement in their health and weight as we implement the Pound of Cure program. Many of these patients are able to lose a substantial amount of weight by changing their diet and never need to proceed with surgery.
On the other hand, if you already eat a very healthy diet and that consists of large amounts of fruit, vegetables, nuts seeds and beans and very little processed food, then you are very unlikely to respond when we implement the Pound of Cure plan. If you are significantly obese, despite eating a very healthy diet, then it is likely that surgery is your only realistic option for you to meet your weight loss goals.
If you are considering Bariatric Surgery and you feel that your diet is much worse than your friends and family, then the first step is to improve your diet, not to move forward with surgery. Success after surgery is not possible without making substantial, permanent changes to your diet. Before you commit to weight loss surgery, you must first commit to improving your diet as much as you can. If these changes result in significant weight loss, then perhaps you can meet your goals without going under the knife.
Many people will struggle to fully embrace the Pound of Cure program that limits your diet to predominantly fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and a little bit of lean animal protein. This does not necessarily mean that they are not ready to have surgery if you feel that you have made your best effort. The hormonal changes that Bariatric Surgery induces will help to steer your taste preferences toward the foods that make up the Pound of Cure program and away from the heavily processed and sweetened foods that most of us prefer today. After surgery, you will find it much easier to follow the Pound of Cure program since your hormonal state will be primed for you to enjoy this way of eating.
It’s important that we’re ready and willing to accept the change in our tastes that Bariatric Surgery imposes on us and be willing to welcome these healthier foods into our new and improved lifestyle. Many patients have preconceived notions about their food preferences or their ability to change the way they eat. I hear this every day as my patients report to me “I’m not a vegetable person” or “I never really eat beans.” It is absolutely critical that you recognize that your current food preferences are the result of your environment, rather that an deeply ingrained, unchangeable personality trait. For some, change is easy, while others find it much more difficult. But, for all of us, change is mandatory. You will not eat the same way after surgery and you must be ready not just to eat less, but to eat differently. Your ability and willingness to change your eating habits is something that you must be honest with yourself about. The surgery will do some of the work for you, but not all of it, and if you wonder whether or not you are ready to change, then you should also wonder whether or not you are ready to move forward with surgery.
However, for those who are ready and willing to make a meaningful change to the way they eat, the surgery will help you make these changes. After surgery, you will lose your taste for processed foods like pizza, burgers, chips, breads and pasta and develop a preference for Pound of Cure friendly foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. Because of this, a willingness to change is all that is necessary for success. If you struggle to fully embrace this diet change before surgery, but honestly believe that with a little help, you could integrate it fully into your life, then Bariatric Surgery will give you the nudge you need to make this meaningful change.