What's the point of bariatric surgery?
on 2/27/21 8:26 pm
I was obese, and was able to drop down weight in a year or so just by limiting my calorie intake to 1,500 calories a day. Can someone please educate me?
Thanks in advance!
less than 5% of people are able to lose a significant amount of weight and maintain it long term without the benefit of surgery, so it sounds like you are one of the lucky ones. And I don't know how obese you were, but 30 lbs overweight vs 100+ lbs overweight (as many bariatric patients started out) is a pretty significant difference.
You're lucky you were able to lose weight on 1,500 calories a day. I tried so many 1,200 calorie diets, and I would lose a pound or two, but no more. After surgery I discovered the reason: I maintain at about 1,100 calories a day, and have to cut back to 850 in order to lose weight. Without surgery, there's no way I could have stayed on such a restrictive regimen for any length of time.
By the way, I applaud you for losing the weight without surgery. I'm certainly not saying you had it easy; just explaining why it's impossible for many others.
Bariatric surgery is more for those who are morbidly obese (BMI 40-50 or so), or super morbidly obese (50 or above) than for those who are "merely" obese (BMI 30-40) who tend not to have as significant a metabolic problem (or at least not yet.) The longer you go and higher weight that you get, the less effective mere dieting (or dieting and exercise) will be, because typically your metabolism at a BMI of 50 isn't what it was when you were a BMI of 25 - you typically need fewer calories to live, which means that it is that much more difficult to lose weight by just reducing calories (this is sometimes referred to as the "fat trap". This can continue even if you lose that weight, such that if you get back to a normal 25 BMI after having been a 50, you won't need as many calories to maintain your weight as someone who had never been fat.
This doc describes some of the changes that go on with bariatric surgery:
I don't necessarily buy everything this guy says - there are lots of different hypotheses around about the causes and solution to obesity and no strong consensus yet on everything, but he does describe the problem well.
Congratulations on getting your weight down; now comes the hard part - keeping it off (and it is a challenge for us, as well, though some WLS procedures are better at helping with that than others.) The typical profile of one who lost a lot of weight on their own is that they start to regain once they got down where they want to be (or as far as their diet would take them, and they gave up.) This is most pronounced with those who went with one of the popular fad diets of the day (Keto is the big one today, used to be Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Ornish, etc.) as they feel that they accomplished what they set out to do and can now go back to normal - which is usually what got them fat in the first place. They never learned how to eat a healthy sustainable diet so they go back to their old habits. Those who started out learning to eat better and sustainably while keeping their intake under control (which is part of the same thing) tend to do better long term as they don't have to learn something new to maintain themselves after the loss. This can include those few who adopt one of the fad diets as their long term lifestyle (like someone who goes vegetarian or vegan), as they learn how to adapt to the deficiencies inherent in those diets, but they are rare. Those who go into the "diet of the day" as a weight loss diet, either with or without WLS, tend to struggle long term with maintaining their weight.
Good luck with continued success
1st support group/seminar - 8/03 (has it been that long?)
Wife's DS - 5/05 w Dr. Robert Rabkin VSG on 5/9/11 by Dr. John Rabkin
on 2/28/21 5:56 pm
1 year so far
You say you were obese...how obese? I'd be interested to know your starting and ending weights. The only way I can respond is if I know exactly what kind of data we are working with.
5'3", CW: 165 Ultimate Goal: 150 ............. Livin' La KETO Loca!!
134 lbs lost since surgery, 195 overall!! Initial goal reached 9/15/17, (10.5 months)!
SW*: 299 GW: 175 HW 3/2015: 360 PSW* 5/2016: 330 *PSW=Prog Start Wt; SW=Surgery Wt
M1 -31, M2 -10, M3 -15, M4 -16, M5 -8, M6 -6, M7 -11, M8 -8, M9 -8, M10 -4, M10.5 -7 GOAL
on 2/28/21 5:55 pm
250 LBs at 5'9
I restricted my calorie intake at 1,500 calories a day - with at least 50 grams of protein per day
I also stopped eating carbs, and ran for 60 minutes daily + 10,000 steps per day
Right now I am 145 pounds