If your weight is unhealthy, you’re not alone. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Oklahoma has the sixth highest obesity rate in the nation, and Oklahoma City’s population is larger (or, at least, more obese) than that of New York or Los Angeles. But when it comes to excess weight, there is no safety in numbers. Obesity contributes to stroke, heart disease, some types of cancer and type-2 diabetes, and is considered the second highest preventable cause of death in the United States.
You’re also not alone in wanting to achieve and maintain a healthier weight and healthier lifestyle. When you team up with others who have chosen bariatric surgery as a means of weight loss, you give yourself the best chance of finding long-term success. A support group offers a number of benefits to its participants.
- Success – A support group can be instrumental in achieving and maintaining weight loss goals. One study found that bariatric surgery patients who attended a support group also lost more weight than those who did not, and that the more frequently they attended, the greater weight loss they achieved. Support groups are also valuable in keeping weight off; participants who continue to band together are more than twice as likely to maintain their weight loss compared to those who stop attending a group once they have achieved their desired weight.
- Support – As the name implies, the purpose of a support group is to help and inspire you on the path to better health. Your group will be there to congratulate you when you are doing well and encourage you when hit a plateau or bump in the road. While you may feel out of place during the first few meetings, you’ll soon build relationships with those in your group and enjoy interacting with people who share your goals and experiences.
- Education – Bariatric surgery is only the first step in lowering your weight and improving your health. In a support group you can keep up to date on the latest information and advice for patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. You may also learn about nutrition, exercise, meal planning and other topics that can help you to build habits for lifelong health. Your coach and peers may also offer helpful tips for dealing with cravings, eating out, holidays and other pitfalls.
A support group can be a safe place for patients who are recovering from bariatric surgery and those who have achieved their weight loss goals and are eager to continue building a new, healthy lifestyle.
Would you like more information about our support groups? WeightWise hosts several meetings each month. Check out the support-group calendar.
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