Is Weight Loss Surgery My Only Option


I’m a big guy, 41 now and both my Dad and his brother died of heart attacks in their early 50’s. I don’t want to wind up like that, so considering something drastic. My Dr. said I need to lose at least 50lbs before he’ll perform bariatric surgery. I’ve dieted before but it always came back, which is why I think I need this surgery.

What’s your opinion?


First off, congratulations on taking the first step – deciding to do something about your weight.

That’s actually the easy part though, and now comes the hard part – making the sacrifices necessary to lose the weight (and keep it off).

You stated that you’ve lost the weight before but it always came back.

Forget the always came back part for a minute – You’ve proven to yourself you CAN lose weight.

I suspect the rebound effect though has much to do with this fact – you never combined diet and exercise (which lets be honest, for many is a 4 letter word).

Where to Start with Exercising

So let’s start here: 3 days a week, I want you to walk. Nothing crazy, just one foot in front of the other for as long as you feel comfortable doing it.

Forget what time of day, how fast, pavement or grass etc – just make sure you walk 3 days a week, minimum.

Eventually, build up to 30 minutes of walking 3 days/week and once you’ve accomplished that – bump it up to 5 days a week.

Diet & Nutrition

On the diet front, I want you to think like this: If you usually eat 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at each sitting, cut it back to 2.

The next week, replace the white bread with something lower on the glycemic index, like whole wheat.

The following week, replace peanut butter laced with hydrogenated fats with real peanut butter, and instead of sugary jelly – try honey or any other sugar free jelly.

Notice what I’m doing here – The worst thing you can do in a situation like this is to recommend a very rigid, extremely low calorie (or low carb) depravation diet. For someone new to all this, it just ain’t happening.

One less PB and J sandwich at a sitting is do-able. It’s realistic, and it will slowly introduce the fundamental habits (and mindset) of healthier eating.

Cycling ketogenic diets with integrated caloric zig zags etc. isn’t realistic, and most people new to it won’t last a week.

The Results

So now you’ve taken 2 giant steps: A move toward healthier eating and consistent exercise, to maximize the effects of that healthy eating.

No drastic lifestyle changes, no traumatic gym visits. No pills that burn fat while you sleep.

Just good, solid fundamentals which you can build on from there.

Bariatric Surgery

I have mixed feelings on bariatric surgery and seen mixed results in people that have it.

On the one hand, if you succeed losing 50lbs – why stop there? Why not try losing more without the surgery, or focus instead on losing FAT vs. just weight?

In rare instances, bariatric surgery may be required but I must tell you – it’s nothing magic and there are lots of downsides. One being that your insides being re-arranged isn’t exactly conducive to optimal nutrient digestion, uptake and assimilation.

Another being twisted intestines and the hospital bills that go along with un-twisting them.

In fact, those that figure they’ll just get surgery and go back to eating like shit, not exercising etc guess what happens? They go right back to being fat, some even bigger than before – and many now with micro and macronutrient malabsorption issues on top of it.

This is a big part of the reason Dr’s want to see you lose weight PRIOR to having the operation.

People who have the surgery, return to atrocious dietary/exercise habits and are still huge are bad for business.

So are people who have the surgery and die later from heart attacks.

In a social media world, that kind of news gets around, and The Dr. doesn’t want you giving him (or her) a bad name.

So try those initial steps FIRST, then get to your goal of losing X number of pounds. I know you can do it, and I want you to write us back when you get there – because ultimately the only surgery you probably really need will be to remove excess skin.

Which is a much better problem to have, vs. the risks involved with bariatric surgery.

Posted in ,

Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.