Bariatric surgery includes a number of procedures to help people with entrenched overeating behaviors lose weight. Some of the better known procedures include gastric bypass, gastrectomy, and a gastric band.
Bariatric surgery is a very serious step. It is an admission that one cannot control their dietary behaviors quickly enough to prevent more serious medical consequences. This approach is not for everyone. But it can be helpful to some. If you are facing a serious medical problem and rapid weight loss can avert it, it may be worthwhile to discuss this option with your doctor.
However, you absolutely should investigate the side effects thoroughly. There may be changes to the function of your digestive tract. Your ability to metabolize foods may change. And for those who regain weight even after surgery, the elasticity of your stomach may increase, putting you right back where you started.
But in some cases, the alternatives could be worse.
In our approach, bariatric surgery fits in as one of our lower leverage points. In essence, it requires a tremendous effort, but alone will not supply much long term benefit. Changing the structure of the body is difficult and can cause serious problems. And in systems theory, it has not been shown to provide a permanent benefit. Our medical system seems to have discovered the same phenomena. If someone really wants to continue their pre-surgical habits, they will find a way. For that reason, some form of nutrition counseling is normally required as well. Yet nutrition counseling also has its drawbacks along with its benefits. As will be discussed, nutrition counseling alone is not sufficient.
Mindfulness practice should be employed to make the changes last longer term. We typically make upwards of 200 decisions/day with regard to diet. Each decision is made in the present moment. Addressing these decisions in that moment is needed to bring lasting results. Undergoing a procedure as serious as bariatric surgery without a lasting solution is a real tragedy. Mindfulness practice also allows us to address emotional eating, which if not addressed, will continue after the weight loss surgery and undermine your efforts.