Understanding & Completing the 6-Month Supervised Diet Before WLSAugust 27, 2018
Prior to weight loss surgery, your insurance company or provider may require a 6-month supervised diet. Many insurance companies will not consider a request for weight loss surgery unless a patient has previously participated in a medically supervised weight loss program.
The purpose of this requirement is to show a patient’s efforts at weight loss and that the patient is willing to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes for bariatric surgery. This type of weight loss program includes diet, exercise and/or medication for weight loss which is monitored by a bariatric surgeon, physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner.
Your health care team may also include a registered dietitian, nurse, psychologist, medical assistant, office staff and insurance specialist.
The focus of weight loss surgery should be to reduce co-morbidities, improve longevity, improve quality of life and help patients live a happy, healthier life. Each bariatric surgery center or provider may have different requirements and expectations to follow during the six-month medically supervised weight loss program.
During the 6-month medically supervised program, your health care team will help you in your journey to a healthier life. This time will be used to help you establish healthy behaviors necessary for long-term weight management success as weight loss surgery is a tool to aid in weight loss.
6-Month Supervised Diet Initial Appointment
What to Expect at Your Initial Appointment for Bariatric Surgery
At the initial appointment, your health care team will begin tracking your height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse collect information about your past medical and surgical histories and perform a nutritional assessment. Your dietitian will ask you to start making behavior and lifestyle modifications that may include:
- Giving up beverages that have carbonation, sugar, and caffeine
- Eating 3 smaller, protein-based meals and 1-2 protein-based snacks daily
- Reducing added fat and sugar in your diet
- Beginning a multi-vitamin and calcium supplementation
- Slowing down the pace of eating
- Decreasing food and eating temptation
- Eating and drinking at different times
- Having a strong support system in place
- Beginning an exercise routine within your limitations
- Goal setting
These nutrition and lifestyle changes are meant to be practiced prior to surgery and become important for long-term weight management.
Appointments Two Through Six
During visits two through six, your health care team and dietitian will continue to track your weight and vitals and provide nutrition education and healthy lifestyle reminders. You can never learn too much when it comes to a life-changing procedure like weight loss surgery. Embracing these dietary and behavior recommendations can help you maintain weight loss long-term.
The Ultimate Goal Is To Live A Healthier And Happier Life
Weight loss surgery is a tool to help you lose weight and the focus is to improve your health and quality of life. Behavior and lifestyle modifications are necessary for long-term weight management success. Many insurance companies or providers will not consider a request for weight loss surgery unless a patient has previously participated in a 6-month medically supervised weight loss program. The ultimate goal is to live a healthier and happier life at a lower weight.
It can be frustrating to put off your weight loss surgery journey for six months. We understand! If you're required to complete a 6-month supervised diet, your journey actually begins with that very first day.
There are benefits for patients to lose weight before their surgery. Any weight lost pre-operatively makes the surgery easier for your surgeon to do. Even a slight weight loss pre-operatively is better for you.
During the 6-month period, you have the advantage of a head start because you'll be monitored and checking in with your bariatric surgery team. Working with your bariatric team, you'll receive important education and support even before you've had surgery.
6-Months Gives You Time To Start Making The Changes
The 6-months gives you time to start making the changes that will be important for you as a post-op. After you've had surgery, you will already have the healthy habits in place which can make it easier to adjust to eating as a post-op. Six months seems like a long time, however, when you compare it to the many years of health you've added to your life, it will be worth it.
ABOUT THE AUTHORKristi Nadler, MS, RDN, CSOWM, LD earned her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Cincinnati and her Master of Science in Physical Education, Health and Sports Studies from Miami University. Kristi has over 16 years of experience in weight management, health and wellness. Prior to joining Premier Weight Loss Solutions, she served as a Clinical Dietitian in a comprehensive weight management program providing medical nutrition and lifestyle coaching for surgical and nonsurgical approaches to weight management.