Scale“I lost 50 pounds, but gained back 60” is a lament that I’ve heard more times than I can count.

If you fall into the category of morbidly obese (more than 100 pounds over your ideal body weight), chances are you have suffered through nearly every diet craze out there, hoping that each one will be your ticket to success. Rather than putting yourself through the emotional and physical turmoil of yo-yo dieting, consider having weight loss surgery.

Research shows that diet and exercise – even when combined with weight loss medications – simply do not work for the severely obese. For individuals who have repeatedly tried and failed to lose significant weight, bariatric surgery offers the best chance for success.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Weight loss surgery for the morbidly obese, when combined with behavior modification, is currently the most reliable and only choice for long term maintenance of excess weight loss.” (NIH Consensus Statement, March 1991)

I am always careful to point out to my patients that weight loss surgery is no silver bullet. Successful, long-term weight loss requires a lifetime commitment to healthy eating and regular exercise. Surgery does, however, greatly increase the likelihood of success.

And, while there is a certain degree of risk with weight loss surgery, the risk of death from obesity-related conditions is far greater than the risk of death from bariatric surgery. In fact, obesity is now the second leading underlying cause of preventable death, with tobacco being first. Recent studies show that the risk of an early death for those struggling with obesity is twice that of a non-obese person.

If you are significantly overweight and tired of being on the “diet treadmill,” register for a free seminar to determine if bariatric surgery is right for you.