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Benefits and Options for Bariatric Support Groups

Benefits and Options for Bariatric Support Groups

Bariatric support groups are a fantastic way to stay connected with other people that have gone through bariatric surgery and provide guidance along your own journey.

Motivation does slowly decline over time, especially once the “honeymoon” phase after surgery is over. This honeymoon phase can last for the first 6 months to 1 year after surgery. This is when you are the most motivated and typically see the quickest weight loss results. 

Over time, it is easy to get comfortable and passive with your weight loss journey or become unmotivated by slowed down weight loss. This is when it is easy to fall back into old habits. 

Many people can struggle with maintaining their weight loss after bariatric surgery and some can also experience weight gain. Attending support groups creates a safe space to discuss these challenges, and facilitate discussion with other people that have had similar experiences.

Joining and attending bariatric support groups can be a great way to stay focused on your goals and even recommit yourself to getting back on track with your health if you feel your motivation has been lacking.

Benefits of Attending Bariatric Support Groups

Research supports that attending support groups regularly, even 5 times a year, helps with weight maintenance and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits.

People that attend support groups have also been shown to lose more weight than people who do not attend support groups.

These groups help individuals stay motivated, provide accountability that is helpful when setting health goals, and serves as a safe space to celebrate accomplishments and provide help when challenges come up. If you are struggling with making healthy lifestyle choices, there is a high likelihood that someone else has experienced the same thing and can offer valuable advice.

These groups can also help reinforce key aspects of nutrition learned through your program, especially if the support group is led by your weight loss surgical center. 

You can gain a wealth of knowledge from people that are further along in their weight loss journey, and those that are early on in their journey can provide a fresh perspective and motivation to those that may be struggling. 

What to Expect

At Central California Surgery’s support group, you will be meeting with the Dietitian Prudence. She will discuss different nutrition related topics each month and provide support and facilitate discussion for people that are about 6 months post op and beyond.

At different support groups, you can expect to hear from different health professionals like dietitians or nurse practitioners who help to guide discussions on a variety of topics. Participants can participate as much or as little as they would like.

Types of Bariatric Support Groups

Support groups are offered in a variety of formats. Central California Surgery has a Facebook Support Group and a Virtually led monthly ZOOM support group. There are also in person support groups through your local hospitals. 

Some support groups are more patient led (like Facebook), while others led by health professionals. For those that are led by other patients, keep in mind that some information may not be accurate and evidence based.

If you are needing more help than a support group can provide, it is always best to call your surgical center and schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian.

It is important to decide what type of support group you feel is the best fit for you. It doesn’t hurt to try different types to see what your preference is.

Local Support Groups

Here is some more information on local support groups in the Modesto, CA area. 

Central California Surgery- led by Prudence, Registered Dietitian

Doctors Medical Center of Modesto - Contact the Program Coordinator at (209) 573-6188 for more information.

Doctors Hospital of Manteca - Contact the Program Coordinator at (209) 923-6372 for more information.

Memorial Medical Center - Contact (209) 530-3784 or (209) 530-3597 to reserve your spot.

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Katie Ott, MS, RD

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