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  • 17 May 2017
    To get the best from your lap band procedure, you need to be aware of the different zones – it will help you in reaching your weight loss and health improvement goals. Always listen to your body and maintain regular contact with us if you’re concerned, we are here to help. The Yellow Zone Symptoms: Eating big meals Not being satisfied after eating small healthy meals Struggling to lose any weight If you’re experiencing above, it’s most likely that your band is too loose. Contact us quickly for an adjustment, as any delay might result in weight regain. The Green Zone Symptoms: Being satisfied with small meals Early and prolonged satiety No snacking Significant weight loss No vomiting This is the optimal zone for weight loss. The Red Zone Symptoms: Reflux and heartburn Pain whilst eating Difficulty swallowing Vomiting If you experience any of these symptoms, your lap band is probably too tight. Get in touch with us for an adjustment and act quickly as vomiting might cause pouch dilatation and band slippage – which then causes snacking and weight regain. You should definitely not be vomiting after the procedure. If you have a  band and you’re not in the green zone, get in touch with us – we will adjust the band to make sure you get the most of its benefits. Your weight loss and the improvement in your health is the aim of our clinic and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
  • 11 Aug 2017
    It’s the easy way out Losing weight and keeping it off is probably one of the hardest things you will do in your life. Unlike other vices such as cigarettes and alcohol, you cannot just quit eating food. You must learn how to eat food without giving in to temptation, to have that little bit extra or indulge in too many sweets. To consider losing weight alone is crazy and the literature proves it! Long-term failure is the rule with more than 95% of people regaining lost weight by 2-5 years after a diet and exercise intervention. Weight loss surgery is the only proven way to achieve long-term results. It’s definitely not the easy way out it’s the only way out for many people in search of a sustainable weight loss solution. Weight loss surgery is not a magic wand. It’s a tool that, to be successful, requires you to make lifelong changes to poor dietary and exercise habits.  The surgery itself is just the beginning. There is still a lot of work to be done with physicians, dietitians, exercise physiologists and other health professionals to achieve lasting weight loss. 2. The risks of surgery outweigh the risks of obesity All surgeries have risks and weight loss surgery is no different. There are some complications to be aware of including leakage, infection of port site, slippage of the gastric band, pouch dilatation and port dislocation. The re-operation rate however is low at 5-10% of cases. On the other hand, the risks associated with obesity, if left untreated, can be life threatening. Obesity leads to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnoea. 3. Surgery is only for really obese people Weight loss surgery is recommended for people with a BMI >35kg/m2 or BMI >30kg/m2 with co-morbidities such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There are different types of weight loss surgeries and your BMI may not be a limiting factor to your eligibility, depending on your overall health status. It’s best to talk with Winnett Specialist Group about whether or not weight loss surgery is right for you. 4. I’ll vomit all the time While it is true that food tolerance can be a challenge after gastric band surgery, you will never vomit because of the band. There are a small number of common problem foods that, because of their texture, may become stuck in the band. The piece of stuck food will either move down into your stomach or come back up with regurgitation but not with vomiting. 5. I will have to eat soup and mushy food for the rest of my life This is probably one of the biggest myths of weight loss surgery. While many people, especially with a gastric band, do eat this way it’s not how it should be. With the right education and support you can still enjoy your favourite foods but perhaps prepared in a slightly different way. Post surgery food tolerance also relies heavily on your dedication to taking small bites, chewing well and eating slowly at every meal. 6. I will be left with a really big scar from the surgery At Winnett Specialist Group, all weight loss surgeries are done laparoscopically, where small incisions are made into the abdomen. This technique results in faster healing, reduced pain and reduced scaring after surgery. 7. It will do all of the work for me You definitely cannot set and forget when it comes to weight loss surgery. It is a tool to help make the lifestyle changes necessary for weight loss easier to achieve. It does not make the changes for you therefore ongoing support is crucial to your long-term success. For best results, it is recommended to engage in regular support for at least 2 years post operatively. 8. It’s impossible to gain weight after surgery If you go into surgery with the wrong mindset then there is a chance that you won’t do well long-term.  The bad habits that lead to weight gain in the first place will still be there after surgery. As mentioned earlier, surgery is a tool not a magic wand. It doesn’t directly help with non-hungry eating and you can still have a high calorie diet from small portions of unhealthy foods and liquids.  To be successful with weight loss surgery you must go into it knowing that there are ways to cheat it and gain weight as a result. You must learn to work with your new stomach to avoid weight gain and get the best results.
  • 19 Jul 2017
    The thought of having surgery to achieve sustainable weight loss is, for a lot of people, scary and confronting. The perception that it’s ‘too extreme’ an intervention for you to consider, could be stopping you from getting the treatment you need to reach your health goals.   Weight loss surgery should be an option on the table, alongside other weight loss tools, as it could be the one that’s the best fit for you. Let’s take a look at 8 compelling reasons why weight loss surgery could be the right choice for you: Long-Term Weight Loss Did you know that 95% of individuals who lose weight by dieting and exercising return to their start weight, or lower within 2 years? Weight loss surgery has been proven to be the only effective treatment to combat severe obesity and maintain weight loss long-term. Studies have found that 90% of individuals maintain 50% or more of their excess weight loss after bariatric surgery. If you have tried diet after diet and know what it feels like to be part of the 95% of whom diets have failed, weight loss surgery could be your ticket out of the this vicious cycle. Increased Energy Levels Carrying a little extra weight is a risk factor for sleep apnoea and in itself can zap your energy levels. After weight loss surgery, many individuals find that their sleep apnoea disappears as a result of the significant weight loss experienced. Imagine what it would feel like to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and full of energy after a good nights sleep. Improved Life Expectancy Do you have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or poor heart health? Weight loss surgery has been shown to improve all of these conditions and more. In fact, individuals who have had weight loss surgery experience an 89% reduction in mortality (early death.) Possibly one of the most remarkable outcomes of weight loss surgery is it’s potential to achieve remission of type 2 diabetes. Controlled Appetite If big portions and feeling hungry all the time are your main barriers for achieving sustainable weight loss then bariatric surgery could be a good fit for you. There are several different types of weight loss surgeries including Gastric Banding, Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass however all will control appetite and reduce portion sizes. A Weight Loss Tool That’s With You For Life Unlike a diet that starts and stops, weight loss surgery is with you for life. As you would know, keeping weight off is hard. It’s even harder when your doing it alone, once the diet has ended and there is nothing and no one there to support you. A good way to think about weight loss surgery is that it’s a permanent tool there to help you. If you can put in the effort to learn how to work with it, you will be rewarded time and time again for the rest of your life. Take Less Medications Taking a cocktail of medications each day doesn’t have to be a part of your future. Weight loss surgery is so effective at improving health outcomes that many individuals find they no long need to take some medications, while the dosages of others are significantly reduced. Improved Quality Of Life Increased mobility, reduced joint pain, reduction in depression & anxiety, improved social experiences, better sexual performance, higher self esteem, increased confidence and improved fertility are just some of the many ways that weight loss surgery improves quality of life. Enjoy Feeling Satisfied On Less Of All Your Favourite Foods It is a myth that you cannot enjoy favourite foods after weight loss surgery, in fact dieting discouraged. A normal and healthy post-operative diet is one that includes a wide variety of fresh foods as well as a few indulgences. Weight loss surgery can help you to achieve what diets and willpower never could. That is, to enjoy favourite foods in moderation without going back for more. To learn more about weight loss surgery and if it is the right choice for you, contact Winnett Specialist Group on 03 9417 1555 to arrange an obligation free appointment today.    
  • 11 Sep 2017
    The cost of weight loss surgery may seem high but the cost of not having it is even higher   Weight loss surgery is the only proven solution to achieve sustainable weight loss, yet only 1.5% of suitable candidates are seeking surgery to combat their battle with obesity. This indicates that only 1.5% of obese adults in Australia are committed to improving their health, reducing their risk of disease and extending their life expectancy. Fear of social judgement, fear of failure and the cost involved, are just some of the reasons why so many are sticking to more conventional weight loss strategies and shying away from bariatric surgery. But are these valid reasons to put off having life changing surgery? . Recent research from Europe indicates they may not be valid at all; well at least the financial reasons may not be. Did you know that a BMI more than 35 incurs $3,000-$10,000 in annual health care costs? The true cost of delaying or not having bariatric surgery is two fold. There is the actual dollar value (as mentioned above) and there is the cost to the health status of the individual, where health status refers to the disease risk and life expectancy.   First, let’s take a look at disease risk.   Weight loss surgery is associated with an 11% reduction in heart attack risk and a 29% reduction in type 2 diabetes. It is also proven to help with sleep apnoea and mental health. But, delaying bariatric surgery by just three years may lead to a loss of clinical benefits and a reduced life expectancy. Research has shown that delaying weight loss surgery until BMI is over 50 can result in poorer health outcomes for the patient. There is fear that Australian’s are becoming de-sensitised to what obesity looks like. With 60% of the Australian population being overweight or obese, it’s easy to feel a healthy weight among society even when the BMI indicates otherwise. The reality is that the higher the BMI creeps the shorter the life expectancy and the lower the chances are of ever reversing existing weight related health conditions such as sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes. One bariatric surgeon from the US has found that medically supervised diet, exercise and pharmacotherapy programs prior to bariatric surgery (that attempt to shed weight and educate patients) do not serve to prepare patients in any more of a useful way than the two week pre-operative VLCD does. These extended pre surgery interventions are delaying surgery and robbing patients of better health outcomes. The best outcomes are seen in those who have a BMI less then 40 at the time of surgery. These people are not only more likely to achieve a BMI under 30 but also comorbidity remission.   Now let’s look at the impact delaying surgery has on life expectancy.   A BMI over 30 results in a 50%-100% increased risk of premature death compared to individuals of healthy weight. Moderate obesity (BMI 30-35) reduces life expectancy by 3 years while morbid obesity (BMI over 40) reduces life expectancy by 10 years. It is true that the decision to have weight loss surgery will mean spending more money on items such as new clothing, dietary supplements, fitness and check up appointments. But significant cost savings will be noticed in food bills, medication and medical bills. One bariatric surgery patient has reported a saving of $8,400 per year on food bills alone. Bariatric surgery pays off in the long-term, money wise and health wise. If you just look at the dollar, research has now proven that bariatric surgery is cost effective at 10 years and cost saving over a lifetime. In light of this new research, now might be a good time to consider if you can really afford to put off having bariatric surgery any longer.
Health 13 views Apr 16, 2018
5 Ways To Master Your Mindset After Weight Loss Surgery

A patient said to me recently “the emotional changes I am experiencing since surgery have been completely unexpected and I think there needs to be more support for this after surgery”.

There is so much support and guidance around the surgery itself and the initial pre and post-operative dietary stages, but this is only the beginning.

Within the first couple of months of having bariatric surgery, most people learn a lot about themselves and their bad habits. Prior to surgery, many of these go unnoticed because it’s auto pilot behaviour, habitual patterns being practiced over and over again without much conscious thought.

So now that these bad habits have been uncovered, what can you do to change them and set yourself up emotionally, for a rewarding and enjoyable new life?

Here are my top 5 ways to master the post surgery mindset shift:

1. Mindfulness training

Mindfulness training, in particular mindful eating training is so valuable and really is the only way to gain control over your food intake including emotional eating. I am asked almost every day about how to stop emotional eating and my answer is always to practice mindful eating, everyday, as much as you can, until it becomes habit.

The simplest way to start practicing mindful eating today is to use a hunger/fullness scale to rank your appetite before, during and after every meal and snack. On a scale form 0 to 10 with 0 being starving, 5 being satisfied and 10 being stuffed full, pick a number that you think best represents your level of appetite and record it in a diary.

You are aiming to only eat when your appetite is between 2-3 and to stop eating when you reach 5.

2. Daily meditation

I know you are probably freaking out reading this one! Bare with me because it’s quicker and easier than you think and believe me, you will notice the benefits immediately.

Meditation is simply focusing on your breath and you do this by switching off from the outside for short time each day. The improvement you will notice in your stress levels, eating habits and wellbeing are amazing!

5 minutes each day is all it takes to reap the rewards of daily meditation practice. Follow these five steps to get started:

  1. Pick a quiet place to sit where you won’t be disturbed
  2. Relax your body, close your eyes and take deep breaths in and out. Focus on your breath
  3. With your eyes closed, observe the breath in and out
  4. When thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge them and gently move them on. Come back to the breath
  5. It’s important that you don’t make meditation a stressful part of your day. It will reduce stress and help you in so many ways if you allow it

 3. Keeping a diary

Self-monitoring is an essential part of life when you are working towards achieving a goal. It is the only way to track your progress and keep yourself on the right path. There are many different ways to self-monitor. Hoping on the scales every week is one, keeping a journal and/or food diary is another.

I had a patient recently come to me for advice on why their weight loss had stopped and number of blockages had increased. I got them to keep a strict food diary for a week (not for me to review but as a mindfulness, self monitoring exercise) and the result was amazing. In just 10 days they dropped 2kg and went from 2-4 blockages per day to only 2 in 10 days!

Start now to keep a journal or food diary, do it every day for a month and see what changes you can achieve.

4. Goal setting

It’s time to start putting yourself first, everyday. You have made the bold decision to have weight loss surgery for yourself and now you need to follow through. Set yourself some goals to ensure that you get the most from your weight loss surgery experience.

Some goals may be weight related but try to set some that have nothing to do with weight as well. After all, life is bigger than just the number on the scale or the number on the tag of your clothes.

It is a good idea to arrange your goals into short, medium and long term.

5. Start each day with purpose

There is only one thing in life that you can never have more of and that is time. How you choose to spend your time is going to determine whether or not you ever get to live the life you dream of or not. Once you have your goals written down, you can then set daily intentions to help you achieve them. Start each day with purpose by selecting an affirmation or word that you will live by that day that will edge you closer to the life you want for yourself.