Dropout Rates Lower after Weight Loss SurgeryPosted: Mar 27 in Weight Loss Blog by Staff
Losing weight involves challenges that many people find they are not up to at certain points in their lives. While short-term diet and exercise often feel doable, losing weight and keeping it off requires permanent lifestyle changes that are stressful, difficult and often discouraging. Medical weight loss programs take these challenges into account and provide counseling and guidance during the process to help you along the way, but sometimes this guidance isn’t enough.
A Canadian research team found that close to half of all participants involved in a medical weight loss program dropped out before reaching their goal. This number was much lower for those who underwent bariatric surgery to lose weight.
Why Weight Loss Surgery is Different
In a study that tracked data from medical weight loss programs and weight loss surgery patients over the course of six years, the dropout rate among bariatric patients was significantly larger among those who pursued weight loss without surgery. The results showed a 54 percent dropout rate during medical weight loss programs compared to only a 12 percent dropout rate for weight loss surgery patients.
This indicates that aside from any benefits that either program has, the willingness and motivation to continue through a weight loss program despite difficulties is much higher among those who make the decision to undergo bariatric surgery, which contributes to a higher success rate among bariatric patients.
The researchers speculated a number of reasons as to why there is such a stark difference in the drop-out rate between the two forms of weight loss programs. While medical weight loss uses tools like appetite suppressants and meal replacement products, there is no physical limitation to the amount of food one can eat. Despite following the diet plan for most of the day, making simple slipups like indulging in a favorite treat or overestimating a portion size can interfere with one’s ability to lose weight.
This isn’t so much of a problem after bariatric surgery. While the mental temptations are still there, physical limitations are imposed on the stomach to prevent the patient from overeating or indulging in foods that are off of the meal plan. This physical barrier will stop you from straying from your weight loss program more often than plain old will and self-restraint during a standard medical weight loss plan.
As the researchers noted, comfort foods are incredibly hard to give up. Sometimes medical weight loss programs aren’t enough to encourage the lifelong changes necessary to be healthy. If you have been unsuccessful with medical weight loss programs, it may be that weight loss surgery offers an appropriate solution for you to lose weight.
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