Sue and Nic from slimming club Bandboozled understand that losing weight can be a long, hard struggle and opting for weight loss surgery is usually seen as the last resort.

Where diet regimes and exercise schedules haven’t had the desired results long term, it’s nice to know that there is a more permanent solution out there. However, it’s important to always do your research thoroughly as any type of surgery shouldn’t be taken lightly. Research the different types of surgery available, check you have a comprehensive aftercare package with your weight loss surgery provider and have a detailed consultation before your surgery to ask all the questions you need to.

Knowing what to expect

If your expectations about what weight loss surgery will help you achieve is unrealistic then you are going to be disappointed. That’s why you need to ensure you are fully aware of what the surgery is, how it works and what to expect after the procedure.

The care provided by us at The Hospital Group includes a full consultation, pre-operative appointments with both a registered nurse and dietitian and a choice of aftercare packages to fully meet your needs. All of these appointments will help you to be fully informed about the pre and post -operative stages of your surgery so your expectations will be realistic.

It’s no quick fix – you need to be committed!

Patients opting for a gastric band often think it’s a quick fix solution to losing weight – where they will have the operation and the weight will just start coming off automatically without much effort. In reality, a gastric band is an amazing tool that really helps you lose weight, but you still need to work at it. It is estimated that the band does around 30% of the work for you and the other 70% is down to healthy eating and regular exercise.

So, when you opt for gastric band surgery, you still need to be ready to work on a healthy lifestyle too to get the best possible results. Here at BandBoozled slimming club, we believe that’s a good thing – in the long term you want to be leading a healthy lifestyle overall because there is your health to consider in addition to simply just the weight loss on its own.

Understanding how it works

A common misconception with the gastric band is that people think it creates a smaller stomach or a pouch where the food goes into instead of the full-sized stomach where you can fit in more food. This is not the case, as the band is actually placed quite high up around the top of the stomach and it is the action of food passing through the band that helps with the weight loss.

Basically, as solid food passes through the gastric band it stimulates nerve endings on the stomach wall that send messages to your brain to say that you are full. It is this action that helps you to enjoy smaller portions and feel satisfied in-between meals therefore helping you to to lose weight.

Eating with the band

With the gastric band, people generally don’t think about how you need to eat after surgery, but instead, they tend to concentrate on what they should eat. However, the correct eating technique is key to the success of the band and following something called the 20202020 rule is what we recommend at BandBoozled.

Basically, have no bigger than a 20p piece of food on your fork, chew it 20 times, have a 20-second rest between each mouthful of food and if you have any food left on your plate at 20 minutes after eating then to throw it away. This ensures you are only swallowing small amounts of food that is really well chewed and not too quickly. This alleviates many of the problems associated with the band.

Some people also think that for the gastric band to be working properly, then you will find that you can’t manage certain foods, or you may find lots of food getting stuck or causing you to regurgitate.

This isn’t the case, as provided the 20202020 rule is being followed, then really almost everything should be passing through the band without causing you any discomfort. In fact, if you are experiencing some of these symptoms then it could mean the band is actually a little tight and may need some fluid removing.

The importance of a well-adjusted band

People often think that the gastric band can work straight away and that they will lose a lot of weight in the early stages after surgery. This isn’t usually the case as the band will usually need several adjustments before it is what we call ‘optimally adjusted’ – this is when the correct amount of fluid is in there for you.

It is best to view the band as a work in progress in the early stages – eat healthily, exercise regularly and after some time the band will be adjusted and can really help you in your weight loss in the long term. This could take up to 4-6 months for your band to become optimally adjusted so weight loss will generally be less than optimum until then.

So, if you view the band as a longer-term solution to your weight loss as opposed to a quick fix then you will have more realistic expectations of what you can achieve with the band. Many of our patients have struggled with yoyo dieting before choosing to have weight loss surgery, so having a longer-term tool to manage your weight and maintain a healthy BMI can generally be much more effective.

Do your research thoroughly if you are thinking of having a gastric band or any weight loss surgery. If you have a band with The Hospital Group, you will receive a free year’s membership to BandBoozled, an online slimming club and support hub run by Sue and Nic, a qualified bariatric dietitian and nurse.


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