Why Weight Loss Surgery is More Effective Than Dieting

Weight loss surgery is more effective at helping you lose weight for good and improving your long-term health than diet and exercise alone. 

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42.4 percent of adults in the United States lived with obesity between 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, that number continues to rise. Individuals with severe obesity have a body mass index (BMI) over 35 and are more likely to suffer from serious health complications like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer

To reduce the risk of developing these conditions, patients are often encouraged to lose weight. But what’s the best way to go about it?

Weight loss strategies typically fall into two broad categories — bariatric surgery or lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. While diet is often the go-to option, a recent study has found that bariatric surgery is more effective when it comes to sustained weight loss and meaningful, long-term results. Here’s what you need to know.  

How Does Bariatric Surgery Work?

Bariatric surgery refers to a class of procedures that surgically reduce the size of the stomach so the patient can consume less food and lose a significant amount of excess weight. Gastric bypass, a procedure in which the bariatric surgeon sections off part of the stomach, is the most popular type of weight loss surgery and most patients lose 60 to 80 percent of their excess weight. Another option, gastric sleeve surgery, involves removing a part of the stomach so that only a small wedge is left — and it can help patients lose 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight. 

Weight loss surgery is more effective than diet and exercise alone because surgery fundamentally changes your body’s relationship to food on a physical and metabolic level. Once your stomach is smaller, you’ll naturally eat less and feel full sooner. This makes it drastically easier to start shedding excess pounds and keep the weight off.

Surgery also helps you lose weight by fighting a slow metabolism that might be working against you. If you’ve struggled with obesity for a long time, your body has become accustomed to the status quo and will fight to hold onto every pound by decreasing your metabolism. That’s why it’s hard to achieve weight loss success through diet and exercise alone, even if you have the willpower. Weight loss surgery kicks your metabolism into high gear to help you get over that hump and lose weight for good. 

The Advantages of Surgical Weight Loss

Researchers at Clalit Health Services in Tel Aviv conducted a study to find out whether or not bariatric surgery was also more effective than dieting at reducing or reversing adverse health outcomes. The research team studied 8,385 people who had undergone weight loss surgery between 2005 and 2014, and 25,155 people who followed non-surgical obesity management programs, like diet and exercise. After analyzing data from each group over four and a half years, researchers found that the participants who had undergone weight loss surgery had a lower rate of all-cause mortality than those who opted for non-surgical treatment.

The short-term benefits of weight loss surgery have been well-documented, but these findings show that bariatric surgery is more effective than dieting for both losing weight and improving health outcomes in the long run. Weight loss surgery can increase your mobility, reverse health complications like diabetes, and improve your quality of life by combating anxiety and depression. If you’re ready to lose weight, improve your overall health, and live longer, opt for weight loss surgery in addition to traditional diet and exercise.

Get Real Answers

The aforementioned benefits are only the beginning. To learn more about bariatric surgery and the many ways it can improve your quality of life, contact the weight loss professionals at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors today. Our team can answer any questions you might have and help you choose the option that’s best for you.