Supervised Weight Loss is a pre-surgery insurance requirement for most patients planning to undergo bariatric surgery. Most insurance companies require that the patient meet with a dietitian once a month in an individual or class setting to cover diet and exercise topics related to bariatric surgery. The length of supervised weight loss varies based on the insurance carrier but most require 3-6 months of consecutive classes. These classes can initially seem like a punishment – as if your insurance company is making you wait longer for something you have already decided to do. But when utilized correctly and with the right attitude, supervised weight loss can be an extremely beneficial tool in preparing you for long-term diet and lifestyle changes. These changes take hard work! No matter what weight loss avenue you decide on, you have to be prepared to make changes and take accountability and control of your life.
As discussed, supervised weight loss provides many benefits to prospective lap band patients. First, and we think this is a very important one, it serves as a training period to “practice” your diet and lifestyle changes. These 3-6 months provide you with the necessary tools to successfully utilize your LAP-BAND. Meeting with Lauren, our registered dietitian, will provide the educational materials and insight necessary to understand the journey ahead. You’ll be able to ask questions, build a dietary plan, understand what to and what not to eat, and you’ll have a coach that will guide and encourage you!
Your relationship with food will change and this does not happen overnight. So, having these 3-6 months to reshape and rebuild this concept is a huge benefit. You will need to visually adapt yourself to the new recommended portion sizes as well as practice eating slowly, chewing your food well, and many other healthy habits. Throughout the course of your supervised weight loss, Lauren will show you how to measure your meals, prepare your meals, and even help you create a daily meal plan.
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As mentioned, your chewing habits will need to change as well. Most of us do not think about how many times we chew each bite of food but after surgery this step in the eating process will become critical in obtaining satiety (fullness) and avoiding getting food stuck. If not properly chewed, food can get stuck in the opening between the pouch and stomach (stoma) and may cause complications. The first few months after surgery are crucial and under-chewing your food can really thwart your weight-loss progress. Supervised weight loss provides you with sufficient time to re-teach yourself how long to chew and how fast to eat. These are habits you have formed over the course of many years and changing them will take some and time and mindfulness.
Ultimately, your supervised weight loss period will help you build confidence and make lasting diet and behavior changes for your upcoming LAPB-BAND surgery. When utilized correctly and with the right attitude, supervised weight loss is a benefit, not a challenge keeping you from obtaining your LAP-BAND or long-term weight loss. To learn more about Dr. McEwen and his team, join our upcoming FREE info seminar by registering here: firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 317-621-2500.
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