Book Review: The Complete Guide to Weight Loss Surgery

Friday, August 23, 2019

This is a great book. It is true to its promise of being a complete guide that finally answers your questions about WLS. It has a direct and simple style so it is easy to understand. In fact, at the very beginning the authors, Lisa Kaouk, MPH, RD and Monica Bashaw, MScA, RD take the time to go over the common vocabulary used surrounding weight loss surgery and the post op experience. This is very helpful.

The topics covered include the real issues of “dumping,” hair loss, weight loss plateaus, eating out, and, of course, our favorite topic, portion control! As Lisa and Monica state, “…we strongly suggest that you weigh and measure your food throughout your WLS journey,” and they go on to say “…we’ve never met anyone who weighs and measures their food everyday for their entire life.” That’s why, with full disclosure, they reached out to Livliga when they discovered our Just Right Set® bariatric dish set because it eliminates the constant need to weigh and measure due to its built in measurements designed into each piece.  Along with their expertise and our tool, it makes the cooking, measuring and balanced meal aspects of a post bariatric surgery lifestyle much easier and more manageable. 

One of the chapters I found especially practical and helpful was Chapter 14: Cooking, Not Cooking & Meal Prep. Like all the other chapters it identifies the real issues surrounding fixing our meals by stating the ideal, and then providing options when it just isn’t possible to meet the daunting task of home cooked, from scratch meals. What Lisa and Monica present are healthy options that are doable and still keep you on track.

They also don’t shy away from the challenging topic of Emotional Changes after surgery. In chapter 18 they acknowledge and list the significant changes that occur after WLS. Lisa and Monica cite the importance of seeking support to help you through these changes. They list the many ways you can receive ongoing support. The key, as they recommend, is to reach out and to find the types of support that will work best for you. It is made clear that you are not alone and you do not have to go through your WLS journey alone. Everyone needs to read this and embrace the message.
It might be helpful to have some information on the authors. Lisa Kaouk, MPH, RD and Monica Bashaw, MScA, RD are compassionate and enthusiastic Canadian registered dieticians who have specialized in all things WLS. They are co-founders of, an online company that offers a variety of nutrition services to the WLS community. They are all about “no more guesswork, just practical expert answers.”

As they state at the end of the book…”our wish for you, is that:

You find moderation and balance with all foods;
You don’t lose the pleasure of eating;
You embrace your journey;
You find your best weight and celebrate it;
You learn to listen for and trust your body’s cues;
You develop new habits that will last a lifetime;
You let go of diet language and see right through the latest weight loss fad;
You won’t be afraid to seek help when you feel alone;
You focus on the positive changes in your quality of life that WLS has brought you;
You be kind to your fellow WLS patients;
You find peace within.”

As you hopefully see, there is a lot to like about this book and the expert wisdom the authors share throughout its pages.

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