Dr. John Romanelli, medical director of the Weight Loss Surgery Program at Baystate Medical Center, says that holiday celebrations can present additional challenges to those already struggling with weight issues. “If you’re already having a tough time getting out to exercise, and managing the urge to eat excessively, colder weather and large, fat-rich holiday meals only make things harder.”
“But it’s still completely manageable,” says Dr. Romanelli. “Make a commitment to long-term changes, support that with a plan, and be patient and steady in implementing those changes. Healthier eating choices, exercise and a happy holiday time are not all mutually exclusive.”
Dr. Romanelli stresses that bariatric surgery is neither a cure-all nor the first option for people looking to shed a substantial amount of weight.
“Behavioral changes are absolutely required, whether or not you’re a candidate for surgery, if you’re serious about losing weight,” says Dr. Romanelli. “We won’t even consider operating on people until they’ve completed a program of physical and psychological evaluation, diet changes and exercise to give them the best possible chances for success. If those initial changes make it unnecessary to consider bariatrics, we’re thrilled. And that happens more often than you might think.”