Weight Loss Is About More Than Willpower

Posted: January 16th, 2020
weight loss willpower

It’s time to debunk some myths about weight loss, willpower, and long-term success.


If you ask people what the secret to weight loss is, you’ll probably get a bunch of different answers. Some may say all you have to do is eat right and exercise, while others will recommend talking to your doctor about weight loss medication. The common thread is that most of these strategies stress one thing above all else: willpower. The idea is that to lose weight, you just have to want it badly enough. 

It’s true that weight loss is a mental and physical journey, but willpower is not all it takes. In conversations surrounding long-term weight loss success, the importance of willpower is often over-simplified. 

In particular, it’s important to consider that for many people, bariatric surgery can be the quickest, most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. In addition to a variety of health benefits — from reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes to improving cardiovascular fitness — weight loss surgery jumpstarts metabolism in a way that cannot be achieved with lifestyle changes alone.

Why Is Losing Weight So Difficult?

Metabolism — the rate at which your body burns calories — is a common weight loss topic. It plays a key role in determining energy level and how your body regulates weight. People with faster metabolisms burn more calories throughout the day, while those with slower metabolisms burn less calories while exercising or at rest. 

This concept seems simple enough, but once you succeed in losing weight your body’s metabolic rate changes. A slimmer body requires less energy to function than a larger one, which is why losing weight generally ends up slowing down your metabolism. Combine this with your brain constantly sending you “I’m hungry!” signals, and you have a recipe for weight gain. 

Weight loss is also difficult because the body is designed to hold on to the status quo. Once your body realizes that you’re cutting back on calories, it will work against you to maintain its “set point,” or the weight at which your body is most comfortable. In fact, a study in the Obesity journal found that your body will try to reclaim 100 calories for every two pounds lost. 

Many obese people adhere to strict diets and are extremely motivated to lose weight, but a will doesn’t always equal a way. Fortunately, there are other tools to help you reach a healthy weight and maintain it long-term.

Weight Loss Surgery Is The Best Way To Shed Pounds For Good

Given these challenges, bariatric surgery is an effective option for people looking to lose excess weight and keep it off. Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures re-proportion your stomach to a smaller size, and even alter how your body processes food. For instance, a gastric bypass procedure changes where in the gastrointestinal tract nutrients are absorbed, promoting weight loss and more effective insulin regulation. 

After bariatric surgery, you won’t feel hungry as often, and you significantly increase your chances of keeping off the weight. However, it’s still important to do the work and stay focused on your weight loss goals — bariatric surgery just gives your willpower the boost it needs to take you across the finish line. 

If you’re interested in unlocking the secret to long-term weight loss and a healthier, happier life, contact Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors today! Our licensed professionals will break down your bariatric surgery options and help you get started on your weight loss journey.