There is a lot of interest at the moment in gastric bands, both physical and hypnotic. I listened to Vanessa Feltz earlier this week talking about hers and she did sound enthusiastic – although somewhat dismayed to learn from the bariatric surgeon on the programme that there could be complications way down the line. I have every sympathy with people who feel desperate about losing weight. Vanessa Feltz was talked about losing the same 5 stone several times and how she simply could not face the hunger and deprivation of another diet. Many of you out there will also have experienced the dispiriting effects of yo-yo dieting.
So gastric bands can seem like a miracle solution. One thing that is overlooked I think is the fact that, for the overweight, much hunger is mental and emotional rather than physical. I think, and the bariatric surgeon on the programme also pointed out, that gastric bands still entailed some habit changes. They do not always work and it is easy to get round the smaller stomach size with foods that dissolve like biscuits, chocolate and ice cream! So if you were an emotional eater before the band, you may still be one afterwards. And your band may stop you bingeing on broccoli but could still allow ice cream and chocolate. A dieting nightmare I should have thought.
Whether you decide on a physical band, and I think this really should be a last resort, or a hypnotic one, it is essential to deal with your reasons for over-eating in the first place. I read somewhere that hypnotic bands had much the same success rate as physical ones, again, I am not sure where I read this. However, whether there are current stats to back up this claim or not, I would still advocate a hypnotic band, in conjunction with other psychological approaches, before embarking on serious (expensive!) surgery with possible complications further down the line. Hypnosis is a gentle way to introduce changes into your life and find a way to lose weight permanently. Try that first.