Weight loss isn’t just about changing your diet - it’s about changing your mentality. If you are at the point where you need bariatric surgery to lose weight, you also need to prepare your body and your mind before the operation.
This is where Bariatric Counseling comes in. Deciding to undergo bariatric surgery is a huge decision, especially if you’ve attempted and failed to lose weight by other means. That can cause anxiety and feelings of helplessness throughout your daily struggles with food.
By attending pre-surgery counseling, you’re allowing yourself to move past your mental barriers and learn coping strategies, even as you discover exactly what’s required of you once you’ve decided to have bariatric surgery.
Once you’ve had your surgery, you will not be physically capable of eating, but your mind will still think you need food and want to eat. It’s the same type of mentality that comes when you know you’re full but still keep eating - whether you’re just trying to finish your plate or you simply enjoy the taste of what’s in front of you.
Likewise, just because your stomach won’t be ready for food doesn’t mean you’ll automatically stop wanting it. This is why it’s important to have counseling before your surgery so you can be prepared for what’s coming. This allows you to begin to make small changes to your diet, daily physical activities, and attitude towards food.
Doing this in small increments will allow you to set realistic goals for yourself while also working towards the more drastic changes required by your surgery. While this kind of counseling cannot alter your behaviors, it can start to help you change your mindset about what you need to live on.
Changing the size of your stomach isn’t just a dietary choice - it’s an entire lifestyle change.
If you want it to be successful, you have to change everything about not just your relationship to food, but also to yourself, your body, and others. At times, you may feel that your family or friends are not adequately supporting you or even understanding the journey you’re undertaking. They may offer you food choices that you have had trouble refusing in the past, not recognizing that you need support in other ways. This is how Bariatric Counseling can best benefit you. It offers you coping strategies to get through tough situations, as well as support from others who have gone through the same struggles. In this way, you can build the mental strength needed to not just go through surgery but to change your entire life.
Pre-surgery counseling is often a monthly appointment, although that can vary depending on your specific needs. This allows us to get to know you beyond your medical history. We’ll discuss your eating habits, true, but also the kinds of activities that stimulate you, your family history, work history, past and present relationships, and even your upbringing. The last is important because that often informs how you first began your relationship with food and how that evolved to where you are today.
By having some to listen outside their social circle, many patients feel more comfortable opening up and discussing issues that they’ve struggled to communicate to their family and friends. A big part of this is learning to understand and alter your relationship to eating, from emotional to reactive reasons for dealing with stress, anxiety, or any other triggers that cause your eating patterns.
During your session, you will begin to slowly change your eating habits - nothing too extreme, however, because that often fails. Instead, you will gradually learn to make choices that can have a big impact on your caloric intake, which affects your overall weight loss. Eventually, you’ll begin to manage your eating on your own.
Once you’ve started to understand your triggers, then it’s time to dig into the expectations for your eating once you’ve undergone your surgery. This involves a whole lot of restrictions, particularly in the first month after your surgery as your stomach heals. This is why it’s extremely important to have pre-surgery counseling so you know exactly what to expect.
In order to get Pre-Surgery Counseling for your bariatric procedure, you must first be sure you are qualified for the surgery.
Your BMI must be at least 35 with qualifying comorbidities, including high blood pressure, diabetes, or sleep apnea. Alternatively, you can have a BMI of 40 with no comorbidities. In addition, you must have exhausted all other avenues of losing weight and have no other options. Once you are approved for bariatric surgery, then you should set up a consultation to get started on preparing for your surgery. Call or email RDN Nutrition Counseling to find out more.
While you may be approved for bariatric surgery, you may not feel ready for the changes needed to make your surgery successful.
It’s important to take the next step by coming in for a consultation to discuss your fears and present ways that counseling can help you move into the pre-surgery stage. To find out more, call or email RDN Nutrition Counseling to set up your first appointment today.
After getting approved for bariatric surgery, you cannot automatically go into the procedure. Instead, you need to prepare your body - and your mind - for the coming changes. Because you are making permanent changes to your body, you also have to make changes to your eating that reflects a healthier attitude.
Not only that, your eating post-surgery still needs to maintain the correct level of nutrition, even though you will only be able to intake tiny amounts of liquids and soft foods in the beginning. This is why you will be required to take several vitamins, including Calcium, Vitamin B12, Iron, and a multivitamin, to keep you from any deficiencies that can occur from such a strict limitation on what your body can handle.
You’ll also have to learn to plan your meals, manage cravings, eat slowly, sip your drinks, eat smaller portions, understand your triggers, and exercise more. Pre-surgery counseling teaches you all of this, helping you build better habits, while also preparing your body for surgery.
This changes depending on where each patient is in their weight loss journey, as well as how much weight there is to lose, support (or lack of it) at home, mental hurdles, and anxieties someone may have about themselves and the surgery.
Your insurance provider should cover some, if not all, of the cost of your counseling. If you do not have insurance or it’s not covered, you can apply for payment options such as financing. Make sure to check with your provider to see what is covered.
Put RDN Nutrition in your corner. Schedule an in-person or virtual consultation today.
Today could be the day that you look back on as “the day it all changed.” Today could be the day you take control of your weight. All you have to do is contact us. Our licensed New Jersey registered dietitian nutritionists have helped others fight the fat. They can help you, too.
716 Broad Street Suite 2-E, Clifton NJ 07013