How to Prepare for Weight Loss Surgery: Mental Challenges

How to Prepare for Weight Loss Surgery: Mental Challenges

Read time: 3-4 minutes


  • Even as you prepare physically for weight loss surgery, it’s also important to prepare mentally.
  • Rapid weight loss after surgery can lead to mental challenges, so it’s important to have a support system in place.
  • Remember that a weight loss procedure isn’t a magic cure. Set realistic expectations for post-op changes.
  • Address unhealthy habits and set goals to overcome challenges.


After making the decision to undergo weight loss surgery, people take steps to prepare physically for the procedure. This includes completing necessary screening tests and bloodwork, starting a new exercise program and switching to a clear liquid diet just prior to surgery. Following your doctor’s instructions to prepare your body prior to surgery is vital, but even as you prepare physically, it’s also important to prepare mentally.

Mental Challenges Related to Weight

Obesity contributes to a variety of health issues, both physical and mental. If you’ve struggled to lose weight in the past, you know how frustrating and stressful the process can be. However, losing weight doesn’t necessarily relieve those emotions. Rapid weight loss after surgery can lead to mental challenges such as eating disorders, depression or strained relationships. That’s why it’s so important to prepare mentally as well as physically prior to undergoing weight loss surgery.

How to Prepare Mentally for Weight Loss Surgery

Your initial surgery consultation should include an evaluation of your mental and emotional state. Once it’s determined that you’re a good candidate for the gastric sleeve or another weight loss procedure, start preparing mentally for your physical transformation. Use the following tips to get started.

Set Realistic Expectations

Talk with your doctor about what to expect after surgery. Remember that a weight loss procedure isn’t a magic cure. Think of your smaller stomach as an internal tool that can help you on your weight loss journey. It still takes hard work to lose weight after surgery, but your new tool can help you achieve your goals. It takes most patients six months to shed half their excess weight and a year or more to reach their weight loss goal. Setting realistic expectations helps you stick with it for the long haul to achieve lasting weight loss.

Get Support for Long-Term Weight Loss

A good support system is crucial for successful weight loss. Get a system in place prior to surgery by talking with your primary care provider as well as your family and friends. Learn about support groups in your area or online that you can join post-surgery.

Confront Food Addictions

For most of us, eating feels good. While this is normal, it can lead to unhealthy habits related to food. Prior to weight loss surgery, it’s important to evaluate your relationship with food and address any food addictions you may have.

Plan for Ups and Downs

Losing weight can help alleviate depression, but the process can also contribute to it. It takes a lot of emotional energy to support weight loss. With food restricted and your body recovering after surgery, it can be a real struggle to stay motivated. Recognizing the possibility of depression and working with a doctor or counselor can help you maintain a positive attitude.

If you’re thinking about beginning your weight loss journey, contact Dr. Borland’s office or check out our other resources for more information. We are here to help you and provide support for your physical and mental well being at every step along the way.