Thursday, August 09, 2018

Book Review: The Complete Guide to Weight Loss Surgery

Today's guest post comes from our office's newest RD Alex Friel who has reviewed a book for people considering or having bariatric surgery (full disclosure, was provided with a feee copy of the book by the authors)
Thinking about weight loss surgery? You’re not alone. Bariatric surgery has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for obesity and the number of people who undergo the procedure is steadily rising every year. Here at BMI, I work with many different clients. Some are considering bariatric surgery, others are actively preparing for it, and still more have undergone the procedure and are adjusting to life with a new anatomy. At every stage of the weight loss journey, it helps to be well informed.

Last week I was introduced to a new book written by registered dietitians Lisa Kaouk and Monica Bashaw. It’s a worthwhile read so I thought I’d share it with you. ‘The Complete Guide to Bariatric Surgery’ draws from their experiences as Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) dietitians and the many patients they have counseled over the years. Here’s what I liked:
  • It’s from a trusted source. The registered dietitian (RD) credential means that Lisa and Monica are trained in the science and physiology of human nutrition. Their training and practice is regulated in much same way as that of our doctors and nurses so you can rest assured that the recommendations they make are tried, true, and grounded in evidence.
  • Written in a conversational style, the book is an easy and entertaining read (or at least as entertaining as a book about a surgical procedure can probably be). There’s no jargon and you won’t need a degree in medicine or nutrition to make sense of the topics covered.
  • Because the topics are drawn from the real life concerns and questions of more than 5000 patients, the book provides an honest glimpse into the realities of life after WLS. It’s a useful reference, not only for those who are considering WLS and those who have had it, but also for the friends and family who are their cheerleaders and support system.
  • If you’ve ever anxiously wondered if your experience is normal, this book can provide some fast reassurance. The table of contents allows you to quickly skim questions at a glance and is organized into topic sections that range from ‘Tolerance Issues’ to ‘Hair Loss’ to ‘Emotional Changes and Support.’
  • Much like this post, it’s short, sweet, and to the point. You won’t need to set aside hours of time to get through it.
My only critique is that the authors don't provide much information on additional resources, support groups, or further reading. It’s good to be aware of what’s available. Obesity Canada, for example, functions as a resource hub for professionals and lay people alike. In addition to educational webinars and videos, they also link to tools you can use to access greater health benefits for obesity care. The Bariatric Cookery, run by food writer Carol Bowen Ball, hosts a wonderful collection recipes to try at every stage of the WLS journey. As a former WLS patient herself, Carol’s first-hand experience lends the site a level of authenticity that is hard to top. Finally, a quick search on Google or Facebook will undoubtedly reveal a whole host of virtual WLS forums and support groups. Find one that resonates with you.

The Complete Guide to Bariatric Surgery is available for purchase on Amazon. It’s also available as an e-book at www.baritricsurgerynutrition.com.

Alex Friel, MSc, RD is a nutrition science nerd and one of the newest dietitians to join the BMI team. She’s convinced that everyone has a passion for food (even if they don’t know it yet) and is always on the lookout for her next favorite recipe. Alex spent six years living in Atlanta, Georgia where she completed a BSc and MSc in Nutrition Science at Georgia State University. Much to the chagrin of her dinner guests, she also gained an appreciation for collard greens and okra that persists to this day.

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