Is weight loss surgery cheating?

Is weight loss surgery cheating?

This question gets asked a lot “Is weight loss surgery cheating?”. I want to give you my input on this question. 

No. 

I don’t even understand what people mean when they make this statement. What are you cheating? Who are you cheating? When you cheat you’re going against the rules, so what are the rules for weight loss? I’ve been in the fitness and health industry for over 10 years and I never remember anybody ever telling me there are the set of rules that people must follow in order to lose weight. I’ll take that back there is one rule to weight loss – create a consistent calorie deficit. Weight loss surgery isn’t cheating that what it does. Actually that is the entire purpose for weight loss surgery, to limit your calories. So let’s talk about weight loss surgery and maybe start to break down where people find this a cheat then I want to debunk that crap.

It’s more than eat right and exercise.

 First off I think a lot of people have a misconception of obesity. Obesity isn’t something that you give yourself, this is something that you have. You unfortunately have the genetics, the metabolism and quite possibly a mental state that promotes excessive weight gain. It’s never been as easy as the”eat less and exercise” solution. But that doesn’t mean you’ve not tried that. Personal trainers, group classes, spin classes, every diet under the sun, weight watchers, bought fitness equipment, etc. But yet you are still at a weight you don’t like and isn’t healthy for you. And if that’s the rule you’re supposed to follow, you did! 

But let’s take a different tact with this and say you didn’t exhaust all of your other options before having weight loss surgery. You’re cheating then right? NOPE. As I mentioned above weight loss surgery is all about limiting your calorie intake so you will lose weight. Weight loss surgery is just an aggressive form of every other legitimate weight loss program out there. You are making permanent changes to your digestive system and this shouldn’t be taken lightly. So investigating the pros and cons of the actual surgery and the surgical team is very important. But the reason for the surgery isn’t extraordinary. 

Maybe it’s too fast and easy?

So maybe it’s the fact that you lose weight so fast that you are cheating? It’s not out of the ordinary to lose 70+ lbs in less than a year with no real “work” on your part. That isn’t something you are going to see very often in other weight loss programs.  Yet that doesn’t mean weight loss surgery is wrong or cheating, it’s just different. You have a tool that allows that weight loss to occur at that pace. 

Let’s talk about the “no real work” part of that sentence. Any one that has been successful at losing weight and keeping it off with weight loss surgery knows that there is a lot of work that went into it. Just because you have had this procedure doesn’t mean you get a free pass from eating right and exercising. Those have to be a part of your overall plan to be successful with losing the weight. What weight loss surgery does for you though is get you to the point where moving and being healthier allows you to do the work more effectively. Where once it was difficult to move now it’s not (of course new pains can arise but it’s not all bad). So your life is freer than before to be more active.

If you eat crappy after the surgery you will not get any of the benefits from the tool. Well that’s not entirely true. Depending on the type of surgery you did you can get a wonderful dumping that comes with eating simple carbs. So you do have to be mindful of what you eat, quantities and qualities. Sounds a lot like any other weight loss program to me. But you still have to watch your portions, not over indulge in processed foods, eat good quality meats and veggies. It’s just all done on a smaller scale. 

Weight loss surgery isn’t a cheat, it’s a tool. Sure it’s drastic in its creation but there is nothing illegitimate about it. When you hear that phrase from people understand that they don’t really understand. You can help them if you like or you can just let it roll off your back and know that you are just as dedicated (if not more) than any other person on the weight loss journey.