Busted: A Patient Debunks 5 Bariatric Myths

Article By: Gianna Soussan

Gianna is a seasoned Bariatric Patient & Peer Coach who has lost and maintained 120+ lbs on her journey to better health. She is an advocate within the bariatric community and has made it her life’s mission to share what she’s learned to be successful along the way! Follow her journey on Instagram (@vsgianna_).

Welcome back, my fellow bariatric warriors! Today, I want to address some persistent myths that I often hear circulating in our close-knit community. As someone who's navigated the ups and downs of post-op life firsthand, I'm here to spill the real tea on these misconceptions and shed some light on the reality of life after bariatric surgery. Let's dive into my top five most popular post-op bariatric myths and set the record straight!

Myth #1: “You’ll never be able to enjoy your favorite foods again after bariatric surgery.”

This myth is honestly as outdated as yesterday's news — and also very far from the truth! Please cancel your “food funeral” pre-op plans and keep reading... Bariatric surgery isn't about bidding farewell to normal food; it's about embracing a new, healthier relationship with it. While our portion sizes may change, there's still a world of culinary delights waiting for us after we take the big leap. Sure, the first 6 months are a bit tough as it relates to adjusting to our new restriction and learning how to navigate different foods with our new digestive nuances, but with moderation and mindful choices, we can enjoy a variety of foods while still honoring our bodies.

As someone who is 3+ years post-op, I can pretty much eat any food that I want to... But I have definitely shifted my relationship with food to focus on how eating different things makes me FEEL physically... And that keeps me making healthy choices in moderated portion sizes to keep my body healthy, fueled, and feelin’ good! I remember the fear I, too, had before my surgery date — feeling like life would never be the same after the deed was done and that I had to grieve good food (commonly known as the “food funeral” in the pre-op bariatric world). But I can assure you that this is far from the truth and not really necessary.

The thing that you SHOULD rightfully grieve is your past RELATIONSHIP with food - whilst also anxiously looking forward to the positive changes that are about to ensue. The best is yet to come.

Myth #2: “Protein intake doesn't *really* matter after surgery.”

Think again, my friend. Protein is the cornerstone of post-op nutrition. It aids in healing, preserves muscle mass (and that beautiful head of hair that you love so much), and keeps us feeling satisfied longer. Meeting our protein goals is non-negotiable for long-term success. Whether it's through whole foods or quality supplements like BariMelts, prioritizing protein is a must and following the guidelines of our surgeon from the jump is an essential part of our long-term success — no cutting corners!

Myth #3: “You don't *need* to take supplemental vitamins after surgery.”

False, false, false. Bariatric surgery alters our body's ability to absorb certain nutrients, making supplementation essential. BariMelts offers a convenient and effective way to ensure we're meeting our nutritional needs. Remember, our health is now our non-negotiable and a huge reason we made this decision to begin with — investing in quality supplements is a small price to pay for long-term well-being.

Myth #4: “Losing the weight is only about eating less after surgery.”

Listen (aka read) closely... Weight loss post-surgery is multifaceted, and this is one of the BIGGEST misconceptions that I hear from others within this community and from my health coaching clients, alike. This journey is not just about eating less; it's about eating RIGHT and finding a balance that works for you.

Making nutrient-dense food choices, eating often enough to meet our protein and fiber goals, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, managing our mindset & stress levels, maintaining a healthy daily routine, and incorporating movement into our daily lives are all integral parts of this journey. Sustainable weight loss is a holistic approach that encompasses both body and mind — remember that!

Myth #5: “You don't need to monitor your diet after surgery.”

Contrary to the common “my tool will do all of the work for me, and I don’t need to keep track” misconception — consistently monitoring our diet is paramount post-op for more reason than one. You see, our bodies undergo significant changes, and it's crucial to listen to and measure their new cues and responses. Whether it's tracking macros, keeping a food journal, or working with a dietitian, staying mindful of what we consume empowers us to make informed choices and thrive long-term. It is especially important in the first year when we are relearning everything that we know to be true about caloric intake, general and complex nutrition, and our bodies. Monitoring allows us to learn what works and what doesn’t and helps us to understand the nutritional value of our daily intake. No need to obsess, but mindfulness is definitely an important factor to consider.

All in all, let's agree to bid farewell to these unproductive (and frankly, untrue) myths and embrace a new era of understanding and empowerment. By challenging misconceptions and seeking knowledge, we pave the way for a brighter, healthier future as a community. My goal as a bariatric advocate and health coach is to use my own experiences (through my own trial and error... And through lessons of industry-leading professionals) to pass along and empower my fellow bariatric besties within this lovely, growing, incredible community. Together, we'll continue to navigate this journey with grace, resilience, and unwavering determination.

Until next time, my bariatric besties!

Stay informed, stay inspired, and — no matter what — never give up on yourself!

xo, Gianna

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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