By Garth Davis, MD
The goal of weight management at Mission Weight Management is for patients to avoid surgery through lifestyle changes. Not all weight-management patients need bariatric surgery. Patients may be able to meet their weight and lifestyle goals by improving their diet and incorporating exercise.
As a result, patients who may medically be diagnosed as morbidly obese can seek to decrease their BMI and better control their diabetes by transitioning their diet to a whole-food, plant-based diet.
Patients who may be stuck in a diet rut eating eggs and bacon for breakfast, deli meat sandwiches for lunch and pot roast for dinner may be able to reach many of their health goals by removing processed foods and increasing their fruit and vegetable intake.
As a bariatric surgeon, I would suggest patients try to incorporate a plant-based diet prior to scheduling bariatric surgery. Many patients have demonstrated great success from changing their and their family’s diet. For example, one patient lost fifteen pounds in one month by incorporating oatmeal, legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and starches into her diet. Not only did she lose 15 pounds, but she also increased her energy and quality of life.
Obesity is a disease that has a true physiologic foundation that may make it difficult to lose weight. Bariatric surgery is an extremely successful tool, no question. But if bariatric surgery is not utilized correctly by adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet, success will be short-lived.
Likewise, if you find it possible to change lifestyle without surgery, that is fantastic. Avoid surgery if possible, but certainly don’t be ashamed if you feel it necessary. Surgery is not always essential. It’s just another option to gaining a healthy lifestyle.
When you choose not to diet and focus on a healthy whole-food, plant-based diet and lifestyle, you are thriving!
Garth Davis, MD, FASMBS, is the Medical Director of Mission Weight Management.