Nutrition and Fitness, Your Health Lindsay Guinaugh | 7 years ago

Bariatric Support Groups Move You to Success

Bariatric surgery requires a lot of changes and making them on your own can be challenging, no matter how prepared and committed you are to your new lifestyle. One of the best ways to improve your chance for success is to participate in a weight-loss support group designed especially for bariatric surgery patients. “Support groups provide a sense of camaraderie and encouragement,” said Nicole Marino, LCSW, with Carolinas Weight Management, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. “They also give us an opportunity to spot patients who may be struggling and intervene before a crisis develops.” It’s important for weight-loss surgery patients to know that leaning on others is not a sign of weakness. “In fact, acknowledging that you need assistance is a sign of strength because it signals that you are being realistic about the weight-loss challenges facing you,” Marino said. Benefits of Support Group Meetings
  • Support groups have been shown to increase the chances of both short- and long-term patient success following bariatric surgery.
  • Actively participating in a weight-loss surgery support group will not only make the tough times easier, but has been proven to result in additional weight loss - as much as 12 percent more, along with a 10 percent lower body mass index.
  • Group members are surrounded by people who understand and who have similar goals.
  • Support groups address issues affecting patients and
  • Group topics are informative and engaging.
  • It’s an opportunity for family members to be educated on the process and understand the important role they play in the patient’s success.
  • Patients get the opportunity to share their stories.
Some bariatric surgery patients feel they get enough support from their families and friends. Those individuals, though, typically do not have the expertise a support group leader can provide when it comes to adjusting to a new diet or dealing with painful emotional issues. Carolinas HealthCare System has several support groups: pre-operative preparedness group, post-operative surgical support group, and medical support group.  For more information, visit