Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Can't You Just Diet? Why Do You Need a Lap Band?

If you can just get a good start on a diet, wouldn't you be just as successful without the band?

What a thought provoking and common question that we sometimes receive from our friends/family/etc, especially when we are researching the idea of getting banded.

So I thought about I'd ask this question to YOU.

Can you please answer in the comments section below? Pretty please? With Splenda on top?

Here's how I would answer this question:
  • The most important thing about the band for me is the hunger control. It takes the hunger away and most of the thoughts of food that used to flow freely in my mind...all...the..damn...time.  Now those thoughts are there only there when I get hungry or someone puts a plate of cookies in front of me.  Mmmm....cookies.
  • In the past, I always lost and gained the same 30 lbs over and over and over again.  With the help of the band, I was able to push past that 30 lbs mark and lose much, much more...AND STAY THERE.  I'm starting to learn that the band is a pretty awesome tool for weight maintenance too.
OK, your turn to answer the question.  Comment away!


  1. I like you was on a cycle of losing and gaining the same 30 lbs. The band for me is about maintaining this weight loss. I could always lose...that wasn't the problem. The problem was I couldn't keep it off. The band changed the rules because I don't obsess about food (well, unless it is M & M's).

  2. There will always be bad days and the band stops bad days from turning into bad weeks or even bad months.

  3. I've had great starts on diets. I actually lost more weight with a "good start" on a diet within the first few weeks of it. Then I would run smack into a wall. There will probably be walls with the band, but the thing about it is that while I was getting that "good start" on my diet I was feeling starved all the time and deprived. So when I wouldn't see the scale move no matter how much exercise and hunger I had, I would just give up and eat whatever and I had every excuse in the book.

    Now if the band is working properly, no hunger and great portion control... all of those things that make the scale go down.

    My band is the portion and hunger police!

  4. Excellent question! I've tackled this many times and I have 1000 answers. In fact, I have a post that I'll be editing and posting to my blog tonight that gives just another reason why--essentially saying that it lets me live my life the way I want to live it.

  5. What I would want to say... Can't you just get a mouth band?

    What I would probably say....I have tried every diet under the sky, but none have been able to address that issue that I am always HUNGRY! This band will help address that so I can concentrate on changing my lifestyle....

  6. for me it was about being hungry and getting some kind of control over it.. I can lose wt all day long, I can never keep it off.. I would do great for awhile then my husband would come home and say, we are on the move again ( for awhile we were moving every 2 yrs ) so bang there comes the stress, saying good bye to friends, moving to new place and trying new foods. Now I feel like I have some kind of control over it.. I can now say, stop!! I'm full, I don't want that, words I never thought I would ever say.. I'm new to the band and I have a long way to go, but so far I've made a great start..

  7. My problem is that I never got a good start on a diet. When I did diets, I would do everything perfectly 100% and I wouldn't see any results. I also grappled with the feeling that I was "being punished" for being fat by not being able to eat how much I liked or what I liked. It lead me down a path of disordered eating and thinking.

    With my band, I don't have to totally perfect 100% of the time . I also I eat what I want (within reason) so I don't feel punished.

    I have often said that my Band is my "moderation switch." I had to have it installed because mine was broken ( it either never worked or I ignored it so long I broke it, IDK). But with a band, I get to live a life of moderation with food. I no longer have to live on either end of the extreme.

    I would also respond "Don't you think if I thought I could do it that I would have done it by now? Or do you think I like being this miserable?"

  8. No way. My band stops me from overeating -- every meal, every day. I put on my weight by eating a little too much basically every time I ate, for years in a row. That's my default, and what I would do on a regular basis, if not for this wonderful tool. I was never able to keep up portion control for an extended period of time without it.

    Also, I was never able to really enjoy food -- because I always had related feelings of guilt and self-loathing -- before the band. Now I don't feel like that at all. The band was a total game-changer for me.

  9. Hunger control... hmmm, am I sesnsing a common theme? :) I just needed some help. I was willing to do the work, exercise, ANYTHING, but the weight never stayed off. I know one of the biggest things for me was I knew I needed to lose 130 ish pounds (when I was at my highest weight.) Well, I know all the numbers 3500 calories burned = 1 pound fat loss. Well I could never control my hunger long enough to lose a significant amount of weight and then KEEP it off because I was hungry all the time. I needed something to help me be satisfied with a smaller portion of food. I, like Catherine, probably overate to some degree every meal of my life and it just added up.

  10. Nope, and as AJ said, wouldn't I have done it by now if I could have?? My band helps me with portion control as i absolutely could not control myself with portions. I would always have way too much and beyond full was my norm.

    Even tonight, I truly wanted more mashed potatoes at dinner, but I couldn't even finish my 1/4 C portion.

    I love my band and it's been my constant companion this past year to help me reach my goals.

  11. Of course if we could have done it without, would we really be doing this? I have started a good diet many times, but never could get past 20 lbs. In 3 months I have lost 39 lbs. And I'm still at it. Havent given up. It works. Hunger control, portion control... it just works. Why not do what works to make yourself healthier and happier. To those who dont understand... they never will. So dont do it for them... do it for yourself!

  12. I agree that the band kept me from eating more than I should. Not having it anymore is proving to be very difficult because I tried at first (when it was first removed) to eat the same amount I ate when banded. But over time I slowly ate more and more until I was eating too much again at each meal. Ahh, it's frustrating going back after being in the banded world.

    1. May I ask why you (and the others that made this decision) decided to have your band removed?

  13. I have successfully lost between 20-30 kilos (44 - 66 lbs) many times... but what the band does is stop me from re-gaining the whole lot like I did every other time.

    In saying that, I deserately need a fill right now to stop me from gaining more weight. eeeek!

  14. My band never stopped my hunger never. What it used to do for me was to control the amount of food I could eat, BUT ONLY SOLID PROTEIN. I could eat all the FOOD PORN you would ever want and it would slide right through my band without fail. No matter how tight I was I always could eat those things. My band caused me to get stuck when I would take too many bites, for me that was anything over five bites.

    Looking back on it, that was not how the band was intended to work. You should be able to eat more than five bites of solid protein. I mean shouldn't you?

    I do believe that I had a major eating disorder before my band, and that my eating disorder just changed with my band. To where I was barfing nearly every time I ate solid food for the last four months I had my band. I only had two fills that is right 2, the entire 4 1/2 years I had my band. So I cannot say that I had too many.

    For me the band was tight even when there was no fluid in it, I lost 75 pounds right out of the gate with the band without anything in it!!

    My band did not stop me from regaining, because it will not control what goes into your mouth. The band will allow you to regain all of the weight you lose, if you go back to the old lifestyle and way of eating that got you here in the first place.

    What I do feel my band did was keep me honest. It made me think about eating healthy, first and for most when I allowed it to.

    I positively believe that I have learned the proper way to eat while having my band. I still use small plate, baby utensils and I do not drink with meals. I have been unbanded now for 31 days. I have lost 8 pounds.

    I will never go back to a buffet ever, I will not partake of fast food on a daily basis, I will never drink a soda again ( I have not for nearly five years) because all of these things lead me down a path of unhealthy living. I will have sweets now and then, and I will not leave out food groups, I just log everything I eat and I always know where I stand with my calories for the day if I do. As for exercise I gained weight because I was a person who never did any type of physical exercise my entire adult life. This is why I believe we as Americans have weight issues. We lead such sedintary lives now. Most of our jobs we sit all day long. We come home exhausted, and we sit some more. While we are sitting we EAT, and sometimes a lot!

    I understand totally why you get attached to the band. But in the long run, it is YOU who makes it work not the band at all!

  15. My friend actually asked me this question. I honestly can't answer if I could maintain without the band now (my gut says no, but I don't know for sure, I guess), but I know I couldn't have lost the weight without it.

    I have never been able to sustain good diet behavior because of my hunger. I couldn't exercise a lot because of my size...my body got in the way. With my band, I was able to lose weight and now I exercise pretty hard core regularly.

  16. Thank you all for this post and the replies. I met with my surgeon yesterday to have the surgery explained to me in details...mi got really upset. Felt like such a loser why the hell do I have to do this??? Can't I just stop eating... Apparently not.

    This really helped me today...... I am new and just began my blog a few weeks ago. I am truly enjoying all the info I am getting

  17. I lost 79lbs all by my lonesome but it still didn't help with my Type 2 diabetes. I had the lap band to save my life :)

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