While bariatric surgery offers life-changing potential, it’s merely a weight loss tool. Putting that tool to work remains in the hands of the individual. The good news? Patients don’t have to do it alone. A variety of products can make the journey to wellness easier and more successful. Read on for a roundup of eight products aimed at helping bariatric patients adhere to post-surgical guidelines in order to reach their weight loss and weight maintenance goals.
Dehydration is the most common reason for hospital readmissions among bariatric patients, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). But how many patients really know if they’re getting the recommended 64 ounces of fluid following surgery? Portable water bottles with visible gradations make it simple for patients to see how much more they need to drink in order to keep their bodies healthy and functioning at their best. One type of bottle to avoid, however: Those with attached straws, which can lead to painful air bubbles.
An abundance of research points to the pivotal role food journaling plays in sustaining long-term weight loss and weight management. Take one study from Kaiser Permanente, for example, which determined that keeping a food diary can help patients lose twice as much weight as those who don’t record their meals. From the latest smartphone apps to conventional paper logs, food journals are effective resources for bariatric patients.
Shakes are a go-to for many bariatric surgery patients, but as anyone who has ever used an inferior blender knows, these handy household devices aren’t created equally. A powerful, high-quality blender can be used to whip up everything from fruit smoothies to vegetable soups with a minimum of effort, time, noise and clean-up.
“The phenomenon of unknowingly eating larger amounts when presented with a large portion is an important aspect of weight management….The most accurate way to monitor portion sizes is to measure out food with a scale and measuring cup,” says the CDC. Because many bariatric patients have long struggled with portion control, it can be a stumbling point for them. Food scales can play a vital role in ensuring that patients are preparing and consuming portion-friendly meals.
Bariatric patients are often discouraged by the limited number of nutritious and delicious meal options available to them. Achieve pouches from Rational Foods are a game-changer. Packed with whole, organic ingredients including apple, butternut squash, carrot, raspberry and yogurt, these high-protein, nutrient-dense meals offer a real food alternative to less appealing conventional bariatric foods, like shakes and granola bars. All this, and they’re shelf-stable and grab-and-go, too — meaning smarter choices will always be within reach of your patients.
Nutrition is only part of the post-bariatric surgery success equation. Contends Obesity News Today, “While the success of gastric bypass surgery depends most importantly on choosing an experienced and accredited center and surgeon, the long-term success of the treatment is determined by the patient’s behavior — or more specifically, the patient’s willingness to change their eating and exercise routines.”
Enter fitness trackers. These high-tech pedometers not only help users count their steps, but can also reveal useful insights into other aspects of health and wellness, including body weight, body mass and heart rate.
Some fitness trackers also measure sleep — an important metric given that “a healthy sleep pattern (called “sleep hygiene”) is another key to successful weight management,” according to ASMBS.
One bariatric product many post-op patients swear by? Abdominal binders. Offering compression and support, many believe that bariatric abdominal binders can actually accelerate the recovery process by protecting the incision site and reducing swelling.
Connected scales claim to make real-time weight tracking easier than ever, but do they work? Yes, according to a study on the internet of things and bariatric surgery follow-up published in the academic journal, Minimally Invasive Therapy & Allied Technologies. Not only were more than 90 percent of participants satisfied with the WiFi scales they used during the study, but they also “considered [the technology] valuable in saving time, and considered seeing their evolution graphics extremely motivating.”
Bariatric surgery is the best chance many patients have of losing weight and taking control of their weight and overall health. These eight products offer invaluable partnership along the way.