Non-Surgical Treatment

Most non-surgical weight loss programs are based on some combination of diet/behavior modification and regular exercise. Unfortunately, even the most effective interventions have proven to be effective for only a small percentage of patients. It is estimated that less than 5% of individuals who participate in non-surgical weight loss programs will lose a significant amount of weight and maintain that loss for a long period of time.  According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 90% of all people in these programs regain their weight within one year. Sustained weight loss for patients who are morbidly obese is even harder to achieve. Serious health risks have been identified for people who move from diet to diet, subjecting their bodies to a severe and continuing cycle of weight loss and gain known as "yo-yo dieting."

Diet & Behavior Modification

Diet & Behavior ModificationThere are literally hundreds of diets available. Moving from diet to diet in a cycle of weight gain and loss - yo-yo dieting - that stresses the heart, kidneys and other organs can also be a health risk.

Doctors who prescribe and supervise diets for their patients usually create a customized program with the goal of greatly restricting calorie intake while maintaining nutrition.

 

These diets fall into two basic categories:

Many patients on Very Low Calorie Diets lose significant amounts of weight. However, after returning to a normal diet, most regain the lost weight in under a year. Ninety percent of people participating in all diet programs will regain the weight they've lost within two years.

 

Exercise 

ExerciseStarting an exercise program can be especially intimidating for someone suffering from morbid obesity. Your health condition may make any level of physical exertion next to impossible. The benefits of exercise are clear, however. And there are ways to get started.

 

 

 

A National Institutes of Health survey of 13 studies concludes that physical activity:

 

Examples to get your startedNew theories focusing on the body's set point (the weight range in which your body is programmed to weigh and will fight to maintain that weight) highlight the importance of exercise. When you reduce the number of calories you take in, the body simply reacts by slowing metabolism to burn fewer calories. Daily physical activity can help speed up your metabolism, effectively bringing your set point down to a lower natural weight. So when following a diet to attempt to lose weight, exercise increases your chances of long-term success.

 

 

Examples to get you started:

Overall, walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Start out slowly and build up. Your doctor, or people in a support group, can offer encouragement and advice. Incorporating exercise into your daily activities will improve your overall health and is important for any long-term weight management program, including weight loss surgery. Diet and exercise play a key role in successful weight loss after surgery.

Over-the-Counter & Prescription Drugs 

New over-the-counter and prescription weight loss medications have been introduced. Some people have found them effective in helping to curb their appetite. The results of most studies show that patients on drug therapy lose around 10 percent of their excess weight and that the weight loss plateaus after six to eight months. As patients stop taking the medication, weight gain usually occurs.

Weight loss drugs can have serious side effects. Still, medications are an important step in the morbid obesity treatment process. Before insurance companies will reimburse/pay for weight loss surgery, you must follow a well-documented treatment path.

"Since many people cannot lose much weight no matter how hard they try, and promptly regain whatever they do lose, the vast amount of money spent on diet clubs, special foods and over-the-counter remedies, estimated to be on the order of $30 billion to $50 billion yearly, is wasted." (New England Journal of Medicine)

The fact remains that morbid obesity is a complex, multifactorial chronic disease.

PATIENT TESTIMONIAL
Numbers don't lie. Waist size 62 down to a 38 (and almost into a 36). Shirt size 5-6x down to a XXL. I've lost 208 pounds in less than a year. Had someone told me this last summer when I was 470 pounds and struggled to put shoes on, I would have laughed in your face.

I had tried every diet under the sun. Every one of them. Not a single one of them proved successful. I tried exercising. I tried everything. I was spiraling out of control. My portions were enormous. A Double-quarter pounder sandwich, TWO large fries, and TWO double cheeseburgers and a large Coke were the norm on a trip to McDonald's. A DiGiorno's pizza with a bag of shredded cheese on top was a meal, not to mention snacking while it was cooking.

To even think of those portions or that type of food today, however, makes me absolutely disgusted. Not only can I not eat that food, I won't.

In 2007, I had enough. As a truck driver, I was encountering trucks that I could not fit into. I was at the lowest point I had ever been. I kicked smoking in 2006, I quit dipping snuff in 2007, and quit sugar and carbonated drinks in 2008. In 2008, I was up to 12-24 cans of diet pop per day.

Something had to give. I made the decision that, after years of trying (and a lot of failing) I could not lose the weight on my own. I contacted Hope Bariatrics, desperate and scared. I figured if I could give up my addiction to caffeine, sugar, and fatty foods, I could do it for a lifetime. Enough was enough; there were people who weighed LESS than I did who died of a heart attack! The thought of my wife having to put me in a supersized coffin or being removed from my house by a crane was NOT what I wanted my final memory to be. What did I have to lose? Everything else failed, and I must admit I was a tad scared this may fail too. I had my share of advice from people and know-it-alls...Many people may say that surgery is the "easy" way out. Those are the same people who don't struggle with weight!

After the hoop jumping process my insurance company requires, I was scheduled for surgery. I was eating low fat foods, but still big portions. I was drinking 1-2 gallons of water a day. Every day. August 12, 2008 was the moment God and Dr. Felix and his staff gave me a new life. They enabled me to start over. Dr. Felix was my personal miracle worker. I literally owe my life to Dr. Felix and the Hope Bariatrics staff. EVERYONE at Hope Bariatrics treated me like gold from day one. I didn't get the "MY God he's huge" stares from anyone on the staff. No one talked down to me. No one made me feel bad about being 30 pounds shy of 500 pounds. Cindy is just as nice to me at 260 pounds as she was when I was 470. I love the staff!!! I can't say enough good things about them!!!

At almost one year post-op, I am often asked if I would do it again. Yes. Without hesitation I would. I went from 470 pounds to 260 pounds in less than a year. It is a lifelong commitment. Even at a year out, I am often asked if I miss junk food like pizza and McDonald's. Simply, no. I don't. The smell of McDonald's nauseates me now (seriously). Do I miss the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants? No. Do I miss the pop? The tobacco? The caffeine? No. Not at all. I still am able to eat the good things, just in small quantities. There is a wonderful variety of no sugar added or sugar free "sweets" I had never noticed before while buying Oreos and sugared ice cream.....As for fast and processed foods? No way. I don't eat them. If I can succeed, anyone can!

Thank you to everyone at Hope Bariatrics for giving me my life back. With all of my heart, thank you all so much for everything.
 

- Bill



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