Weight loss is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions. Anyone who has weight to lose knows this well. The first of the year comes around and you pledge to eat less and exercise more. You also know that keeping a New Year’s resolution is much harder than making one. According to studies, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. 20% of them are broken within the first week in January alone!
The top reasons weight loss resolutions fail is because you:
- Don’t have a plan
- Lack of the proper motivation
- Do not have a support system
- Haven’t set realistic goals
- Don’t recover well after a setback
- Have made a vague resolution in the first place
As the following article will show, weight loss surgery could be the answer to finally creating the new you in the New Year.
Why Is It So Difficult to Lose Weight?
If New Year’s resolutions to lose weight were easy, none of us would be overweight. But there is a reason the desire to lose weight is so strong around the first of the year. Losing weight for most of us is downright difficult. When you become obese, losing weight becomes nearly impossible. Scientists are still trying to figure out why.
However, researchers at Stanford Medicine have identified biomarkers that can predict a person’s ability to lose weight and maintain that weight loss long-term. Examples include signatures from the gut microbiome, levels of exhaled carbon dioxide, and proteins made by the human body. All of these can impact an individual’s ability to drop the excess pounds and keep them at bay for life. These biomarkers also indicate that some people may be better at losing weight on low-fat diets as opposed to low-carb diets.
Notice how we haven’t said anything about willpower. You could be doing everything right and the numbers on the scale may stay the same or even rise, much to your frustration.
It doesn’t help that there is a lot of misinformation out there on how to be healthy. It was recently revealed that on TikTok alone, a particular weight loss advertiser was caught marketing predatory scams to young people. You can be sure this advertiser was not alone in selling ‘hopium’ to the masses intent on dropping a few pounds.
Social Media Effect
Because of promises made on TikTok and other social media sites, many people fall for what are considered to be fad diets that promise quick weight loss. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) warned the public to stay away from diets such as the “water diet” and “boiled egg diet.” BDA spokesperson Marcela Fiuz said that these types of hard-core restrictive eating plans, “can often lead to yo-yo dieting or weight cycling [losing weight then regaining it over and over], which can be detrimental to health.”
Understand that you are not alone in your struggles to lose weight. Even celebrities have trouble changing their lifestyles enough to slim down.
In an interview with E-News on New Year’s Day 2021, talk show host James Corden said, “I’ve realized that every year for the past decade, probably even 15 years, on January 1st, I’ve told myself and anyone that would listen that this is it, this is the year I’m going on a diet. I’m going to lose a load of weight. I’m fed up with the way I look and being unhealthy and this is it, this is the year I’m doing it.”
Corden went on to say, “And because of that, I’ve over Christmas eaten everything that’s in the fridge because in my head, in January, I’m starting this diet and it’ll be a success and as you can see, well, it hasn’t.”
As of this writing, Corden is still by many accounts overweight. This is not meant to mock the man. It is merely to reinforce the fact that losing weight is downright hard!
But consider the following. Studies show that quitting smoking is the hardest resolution to keep. That should give you hope that weight loss in the New Year is possible. Weight loss surgery could be the answer.
What is Weight Loss Surgery and How Does It Help You Lose Weight?
Dr. Abhishek Katakwar and Harsh Daharwal explain bariatric (weight loss) surgery well in the book Beyond Weight Loss Surgery: How to Get the Best Out Of It. “Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure performed on the stomach to change the anatomy of the digestive system. It limits the volume of food intake, decreases appetite, slows digestion, and reduces the absorption of calories from food. It has proven to be an effective weight-loss tool for persons with extreme obesity.”
You have several options when it comes to choosing the bariatric surgery that is right for you. Some of the most common procedures include gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding, and the non-surgical gastric balloon.
Possible candidates for bariatric surgery are those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 40. You are more likely to be considered if you also suffer from one or more obesity comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and a slew of others.
Incidentally, today’s most common bariatric procedures are also seen as viable treatments for over 60 weight-related ailments. By losing a significant amount of weight through surgery, you also reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack, and several types of cancer.
Read our article: What Does Body Mass Index Mean and How Is It Calculated?
Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick by Scheduling a Weight Loss Surgery Consultation
The concept of New Year’s resolutions is popular because we feel as though we have the opportunity to start fresh the moment the year begins. This is known as the “Fresh Start Effect.”
But too many of us say we want to lose weight without forming an actual plan to do so. How many times have you told yourself you’re going to avoid certain foods or behaviors when your hope is to lose weight? For example, you may say, “I’m going to quit eating sweets.” Or “I’m going to stop eating out at restaurants?” What happens, then, when your daughter asks you to try the new cake she made? Or when a love interest invites you to a new restaurant in town?” Do you say no, potentially letting your daughter or love interest down?
It is far better to have a realistic plan that presupposes that side roads will be taken along your weight loss journey.
A large-scale experiment on New Year’s resolutions showed that it is far better to make approach-oriented goals than it is to make avoidance-oriented goals. An approach-oriented goal is one where the end result is positive. For instance, you may say, “I want to lose weight to look great in clothes and meet the love of my life.” While an avoidance goal is, “I want to lose weight because I hate how tight my clothes are,” or, “I want to lose weight because I’m sick of feeling so run down all the time.”
Thinking positively when setting your goal is the lesson here.
Instead of setting a vague plan like, “I want to lose weight this year,” or an avoidance-oriented goal like quitting sweets or eating out at restaurants, set an approach-oriented goal such as, “I want to be healthier.” Then set your plan in motion by calling a weight loss surgery clinic. Book an in-person meeting with a bariatric surgeon to discuss your goals and to pursue those goals in a healthy, positive way.
Establish a Plan to Have Weight Loss Surgery
Earlier we mentioned the top reasons most New Year’s resolutions fail. They include not forming a plan, lacking motivation, lacking a support system, not setting realistic goals, not recovering well after a setback, and making vague resolutions in the first place.
First of all, by speaking to a bariatric surgeon and setting a surgery date, you have already solved the first conundrum. You already have a solid plan in place to change your life for good.
Use Positive Reinforcement to Maintain Your Motivation
As your day of surgery approaches, and even after you have undergone surgery, you can keep yourself motivated by:
- Buying clothing in a smaller size and working toward fitting into those clothes in the near future.
- Keeping photographs of yourself when you were a smaller size visible so you can look at them often.
- Write out the benefits you hope to achieve by losing weight, such as having enough energy to play with the kids/grandkids, go hiking, or even skydiving!
Form a Positive Support System
In the book New Year Resolution Weight Loss, Kaya Jasper writes, “Often New Year’s Resolutions enter the land of pipe dreams, because we leave no one accountable to them but ourselves. If this was enough most coaches and motivational speakers would be out on the unemployment line. Human nature dictates that we are much more geared toward accomplishing our dreams when we let others who are important to us know about our plan and they hold us accountable to them. Even having online support through forums and discussion groups on fitness can be a huge help. Having no accountability beyond yourself is setting yourself up to fail.”
Support is everything if you hope to become a new you in the New Year. Along with your bariatric surgeon and healthcare team, seek out a family member, friend, or support group to keep you motivated. Your support system can even help you track your weight loss milestones.
Plan for Setbacks by Relying on Your Support System
Also, because no one is perfect, your support system can help you keep your spirits up if you stumble along your weight loss journey. You messed up and had too much dessert? That’s okay. Talk it out with your friend, family member, or support group. Then get right back on the horse and keep at it.
Set Realistic Goals for Long-Term Weight Loss
Think of weight loss surgery as the beginning of your health journey, not the end of the road. We have established that there is no immediate fix to losing weight. By undergoing bariatric surgery, and by living healthier (more on that in a moment), you can expect to lose half of your weight within six months. The weight will come off steadily from that point forward, but the results vary. You can maximize weight loss by following the advice of your bariatric surgeon and healthcare support team.
Get Serious About Living Healthily
As you have heard or will hear at some point during your weight loss journey, a bariatric procedure is not a magic wand. You still must put in the necessary effort to achieve your New Year’s goal of losing weight long-term.
Your bariatric surgeon, you, and your healthcare team will form a plan that includes exercise. You might turn to weight lifting, swimming, jogging, or walking to help the pounds fall off faster.
You must keep to a suitable nutrition plan, which includes consuming less sugar and soda, more whole foods, less frequent snacks, and smaller portions.
Behavioral changes must be included as well. Positive habits you may want to plan for include drinking more water, cooking nutritious meals at home instead of eating out so often, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking and biking more instead of driving everywhere.
Your healthcare team will include a bariatric psychologist, fitness expert, nutritionist, and others who can give you advice along the way. That is important to note because, when you choose weight loss surgery, you are never left on your own as you proceed down the road to permanent weight loss.
Read our article: Jump Start Your Weight Loss with These 8 Bariatric Surgery Tips
Ready to Change Your Life for Good in the New Year?
Imagine being able to step out of your body and into one that is slimmer. Imagine having more energy and zest for life. Picture yourself buying all new clothes of a much smaller size. And think of all the positive attention you will receive as people come up to you and wonder what you did to lose so much weight. These are positive goals you can achieve by giving weight loss surgery serious consideration.
Losing a significant amount of weight is like turning your home mirror into a fun house mirror. No, not one that makes you look distorted, but one that makes you look long and narrow. You could find that all new doors open up to you personally, professionally, and romantically.
Don’t be the person who, a year from now, laments, “It’s been a whole year since I didn’t become the person I hoped to become.”
And don’t set vague goals that have you promising to stick to your diet only to say in the next breath, “Is that cake?”
As someone wise once said, “The distance between who I am and who I want to be is only separated by what I do!”
By having weight loss surgery, and finally losing your excess pounds, you can look forward to improved cardiovascular health, long-term remission of type 2 diabetes, relief from depression, relief from joint pain, improved fertility, and many other benefits.
Ready to become a whole new you this year? Schedule a consultation with renowned bariatric surgeon Doctor Babak Moeinolmolki by calling Healthy Life bariatrics at (310)694-4486.