Support groups help weight loss surgery patients stay on track following their surgical procedures. While patients are required to go on several post-op visits, attention weight loss support groups or participating in one online has proven to help these patients continue to lose weight, stay on track and stay motivated to remain committed to their new lifestyle change. Experts believe that patients who participate in these weight loss support groups are more successful with losing their excess weight and maintaining that weight loss in the long term more so than those that go at it on their own.
Benefits of Support Groups
Ultimately, these support groups offer a way to learn from other people’s experiences. They also can offer tips on how to maintain weight, exercise advice, nutrition information, and positive thinking. They help weight loss surgery patients to create supportive relationships that help them to stay motivated. These groups also are great for emotional support for those that may be experiencing some psychological or emotional changes post-op.
It’s extremely helpful and positive to have a common ground to talk to people who understand what you’re going through and who can offer advice on how to push through setbacks or how to re-energize yourself with a new workout. If the support group is local, you may even be able to find workout buddies that can push you on days you don’t have the energy or the willpower to get moving.
Online support groups are convenient ways to stay connected 24/7 with other members. One Facebook group called Weight Loss Surgery has fun-themed days where members post pre-surgery pictures of themselves as well as post-op pictures to show their progress. Members encourage each other and even offer meal ideas and workout challenges.
The Biggest Loser also has a Facebook program. However, on its website (https://www.biggestloserclub.com/), members can join the weight loss program which includes access to the support group. The program includes a 6-week express weight loss program, food tracker, meal plans, workouts from trainers, and the support group itself.
On WeightWatchers.com, there is a support community forum where members talk about meal ideas, point values, maintenance, exercise ideas, and motivation. Registration to the boards is free. Members can create alerts for certain types of points and share contact information with members that live close to them. Overall the board’s mission is to keep weight watchers members motivated, positive, and moving.
The organization offers a find a meeting search feature where you can attend local meetings with like-minded individuals who have had weight loss surgery. Many of these meetings are held at local hospitals with medical professionals who can answer important questions about nutrition, complications after surgery, and plastic surgery options. There is also an online support forum where members share meal ideas, talk about setbacks, and ways to stay motivated to get moving every day.
Local Community Centers or Hospitals
Search your city or town’s events calendar to see what type of support groups are offered. Many municipalities even offer FREE or low-cost fitness classes for residents. Here is where you can meet other weight loss journey individuals who may want to work out with you and become support outside of a support group.
Focused Bariatric (Weight-Loss) Forums
- Bariatric Pal – BariatricPal.com is a well-established weight loss surgery forum with many active members. They are the most established right now, with forums dedicated to gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, gastric banding in just about every diverse group possible (ethnic group, sexual orientation, location, and age needing help or support).
- Obesity Help – ObesityHelp.com is another well-established bariatric forum, however, their design seems a little out of date. They do have a full-fledged editorial and news section on bariatrics.
- http://www.gastricsleeve.com – GastricSleeve.com is a dedicated gastric sleeve forum, typically for Mexico medical tourism patients.
Traditional Weight Loss Forums
- http://www.3fatchicks.com – 3FatChicks.com is an older, more fitness and weight loss focused forum for women. They do have a dedicated section for weight loss surgery.
- http://forum.bodybuilding.com – BodyBuilding Forum is the largest, most venerable fitness and weight-lifting forum. The forum has hundreds of thousands of members and has forums dedicated to losing weight as well as motivation and others.
Bariatric Surgery Blogs
- http://milestogo.squarespace.com – This highly informative blog, offers everything from exercise, physiology, and more.