One essential component to WLS patient success is journaling–tracking weight loss, food intake, etc. Our patients have found it easiest to journal via the Internet. When our patients are scheduled for surgery and visit the clinic for pre-operative teaching, they are encouraged to visit the ObesityHelp website to start their own personal weight loss journals. ObesityHelp offers free tools that encourage post-bariatric patients to map their weight loss, thus motivating the patients to stay focused and compliant.
Patients are able to track their weight beginning with their pre-operative visit and at every visit thereafter through ObesityHelp’s weight loss tracker. When patients return to our clinic for a post-operative visit, they are given a copy of their current weight analysis. We then encourage them to load this information into the tracker. The easy-to-use graphic visualization allows patients to view their overall weight loss progression.
The weight loss tracker not only motivates the new WLS patient, but is also beneficial to the WLS patient who has hit a plateau and has come to you for support. Our staff suggests this tool, along with the use of food and exercise journals, as a way to help get the patient back on track. Following surgery, it is vital for exercise to become part of the patient’s everyday lifestyle. We all know that exercise is an important part of the patient’s overall success, and that the surgery will help limit food intake.
The patient should also be encouraged to become accountable for making good choices. Tracking weight loss is one of the simplest ways for patients to reflect on and reinforce their new behaviors. ObesityHelp’s weight loss tracker shows patients the success those behaviors have brought them.
Using OH’s weight loss tracker, in combination with exercise and making the right nutritional choices, can improve patient outcomes, encourage patient compliance and make plateaus shorter and less stressful.
Jeremy Korman, MD, FACS, is a practicing bariatric surgeon in Marina Del Rey, CA. This article originally appeared in ObesityHelp’s magazine Bariatrics Today Issue 2.