Diet and behavior modification
There are literally hundreds of diets available. Moving from diet to diet in a cycle of weight gain and loss, i.e., "yo-yo" dieting, that stresses the heart, kidneys and other organs can also be a health risk.
Doctors who prescribe and supervise diets for their patients usually create a customized program with the goal of greatly restricting calorie intake while maintaining nutrition. These diets fall into two basic categories:
- Low calorie diets (LCDs) are individually planned so that the patient takes in 500 to 1,000 fewer calories a day than he or she burns.
- Very low calorie diets (VLCDs) typically limit caloric intake to 400 to 800 a day and feature high-protein, low-fat liquids.
Many patients on VLCDs lose significant amounts of weight. After returning to a normal diet, however, most regain the lost weight in under a year. Ninety percent of people participating in all diet programs will regain the weight they have lost within two years.
Behavior modification uses therapy to help patients change their eating and exercise habits. Like low-calorie diets, behavior modification, in most patients, results in short-term success that tends to diminish after the first year.
If diet and behavior modifications have failed you and surgery is your next option, it is important to understand that diet and behavior modification will be instrumental to sustained weight loss after your surgery. The surgery itself is only a tool to get your body started losing weight—compliance with diet and behavior modifications required by most surgeons will determine your ultimate success.