How to Mentally Prepare For Bariatric Surgery

Sep 01, 2023

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How to Mentally Prepare For Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery fundamentally changes the way your body interacts with food. Depending on the type of procedure you have, you won’t be able to eat as much, or in other cases, the change comes in the way your body absorbs nutrients. Some bariatric surgeries combine both approaches. 

Regardless of the nature of your procedure, mental preparation is key to its success. You’ll need to fully grasp how bariatric surgery changes the way you will eat. Since food has a mental and emotional load beyond the needs of simple nutrition, this preparation can be challenging. 

At University Bariatrics, weight-loss and related surgeries are all we do. Led by Dr. Amir Mehran, our team recognizes the importance of good mental preparation, and we understand that you may be saying goodbye to foods and eating traditions that are an essential part of your life. We’ve prepared this list of tips to help you with the processes needed to prepare your mind for your exciting new life. 

How to mentally prepare for bariatric surgery

While the physical results of bariatric surgery may be your primary concern, your mind and spirit change, perhaps as drastically as the size of your clothes. Here are four essential things to remember for your mental health as you prepare for your procedure. 

1. Keep your goals realistic

You won’t wake up after your procedure at your ideal weight. You likely know that already. Bariatric surgery is simply the first link in the chain. You’ve got a long journey ahead to complete what surgery starts. 

Every bariatric patient has their response too. There’s no predictable scale that declares you’ll lose X number of pounds by Y date. Results vary -- sometimes widely -- between patients, even those with the same procedure as you. 

Be ready for a finish line that only comes into focus with time. Plateaus are a weight-loss fact of life. You will have them, and it will be frustrating. 

2. The importance of movement

Any clinically proven weight loss program includes calorie reduction and increased physical activity. Your surgery takes care of calories. It’s still up to you to find the discipline to stick with a regimen of increased activity. Movement is essential not only to your metabolism but also for the healthy function of joints and muscles.

3. Build a support team

University Bariatrics is with you all the way, but you’ll need more medical and personal support. Your primary care physician may already be on board, and you may have talked with a plastic surgeon about post-weight loss cosmetic procedures. 

You’ll also need family and friends for help over the mental hurdles. Nurture the relationships you’ll depend on after your procedures, those important people you can depend on. There are also bariatric support groups that provide invaluable encouragement, practical help, and overall support. 

4. Recognize that food may be an addiction

Your relationship with food is about to undergo a drastic revision. Whether it’s addiction, an eating disorder, a stress reaction, or simply a compulsion doesn’t matter as much as accepting that overeating has been a problem and that you must adapt to the changes that come after surgery. 

When you’re ready for the finest bariatric care in Los Angeles, book a consultation online or by phone with either office of University Bariatrics. We’re ready to help you make the changes you want for your future health. Contact us today. 

University Bariatrics