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Pre and Post-Bariatric Surgery
Behavior Modification | Therapy
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Pre and Post-Bariatric Surgery Behavior Modification / Therapy
After weight loss surgery, patients still require hard work and life-long behavioral change in order to successfully lose and maintain weight. This is because their unhealthy habits have evolved over many years and therefore may not just disappear overnight.
Surgeons give patients a diet that they must stick to before and after surgery, which will help them with their weight loss and prevent future weight re-gain. It is recommended that patients learn new habits including:
- Changing their eating habits: food choices, eating times, etc.
- Eating smaller portions
- Not drinking and eating at the same time
- Increasing their exercise
- Chewing slowly
- Not eating for emotional reasons
- Limiting certain foods: alcohol, sugar foods, high fat foods, carbohydrates, carbonation, etc.
Weight loss surgery can result in significant weight loss and an improvement in other obesity related medical conditions. We work with patients post-operatively to help them achieve success. While most patients are very happy with their surgical experience, some patients do need pre- and /or post-operative support to help them with the necessary long-term changes.
Therapy after weight loss surgery is helpful for those:
- having a hard time sticking to the recommendations.
- not feeling happy and healthy or are experiencing depression or anxiety.
- having body image concerns.
- having family concerns at home (e.g., meal issues, food in the house, need support regarding exercise).
- isolating yourself from friends and family rather than going to social events.
- drinking too much alcohol instead of eating.
- not sure if you have the skills to be on your own for this new world of eating.
Considering therapy before weight loss surgery?
everyBody Behavioral Health also works with patients before their weight loss surgery to help them become emotionally and psychologically prepared for surgery. We help them learn their triggers to their unhealthy eating and begin to make small changes so that they are more prepared after surgery.
Why should I work with everyBody Behavioral Health?
Our team includes some of the top bariatric psychologists in San Diego. We specialize in Eating Disorders and Obesity and are compassionate to people who struggle with their weight. Our Director, Dr. Shapiro, has trained at the most esteemed obesity centers including Duke University’s Weight Loss Surgery Center, Duke University Eating Disorder Program, Structure House LLC, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eating Disorder Program. We have trained psychiatry residents and psychology graduate students on how to treat obesity and bariatric surgery patients and we have authored several chapters and medical journal articles on both eating disorders and obesity.
When choosing a team, particularly for mental health, it is important to select one that is experienced in the area that you want help in managing. If you feel depressed, you’d want to see a depression specialist. If you have cancer, you’d visit an oncologist. If you have a rash, you’d likely go to a dermatologist. We specialize in eating disorders and obesity. We have spent our entire careers focusing on this area and our practice is dedicated to disordered eating. We are sensitive to the emotional issues of obesity. Rather than know a little bit about a lot of areas, we know a whole lot about disordered eating!
How will everyBody Behavioral Health work with me?
We will first meet with you and get to know you. We will gather information about your eating, activity, social history (family, work, relationship, upbringing), the role that food and body played in your family, etc. We will then work with you to collaboratively put together a treatment plan to address your own individual needs. We are compassionate and trusting, and patients feel that they can genuinely open up to us to talk about anything – things that they have a hard time discussing with their friends and family. And, aside from listening, we focus on helping you resolve the issues with which you are struggling.
During sessions, we will help you identify and change your own personal relationship with food. While this can include a history of what triggered your initial weight gain or unhealthy eating patterns, the focus is not on the past but rather it is on the present and what is maintaining this behavior. This includes discussing the emotional and behavioral reasons for eating and learning different ways of managing these situations.
After surgery – you may physically not be able to eat, but you may psychologically want to eat. We will help you change this relationship with food.
We work with bariatric surgery patients to help them make small dietary, physical activity, and general behavioral goals that will stick so that they can achieve long lasting benefits. These are SMART goals –Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Typically, we meet with patients weekly (but is flexible upon the needs of each patient). As treatment progresses, patients transition to every other week, and then monthly, until they graduate from treatment. The ultimate goal is for patients to manage their eating and weight alone without our assistance.
Common Topics for Bariatric Surgery Patients Include:
- Sticking to the Recommended Diet
- Learning to Make Small Changes and Stick to Them
- Lifestyle Activity and Exercise
- Mood and Food (emotional eating) – Get to know the strong relationship between your feelings and eating.
- Binge Eating
- Restaurant Eating and How to Still Have Fun
- Meal Planning
- Managing Cravings
- Mindful Eating – Slow Down
- Triggers (Reasons for) Eating
- Body Changes and Body Image
- Discussing Surgery with Friends and Family – Pre-op
- Discussing Surgery with Friends and Family – Post-op and noticing rapid weight loss
- Goal Setting
- Time Management to Exercise
- Weight Maintenance for Long Term Success.…..and more