Weight loss surgeon Terry Simpson on learning how to cook and changing what we eat

Dr. Terry Simpson is a weight loss surgeon. So why is he telling you how to lose weight without having bariatric surgery? Because he believes having any procedure is a drastic action that should be avoided if possible. Dr. Simpson wants you to have bariatric surgery only after you have proven that you can’t lose the pounds any other way. The bottom line is that you always have to improve your diet to cut pounds. That’s right. You have to improve your diet if you expect to keep the pounds off and be healthy even after having weight loss surgery.

In the 1960’s, we opened five times as many grocery stores as restaurants. Today it’s just the opposite. Obesity is expanding and it’s expanding because people aren’t eating at home.

I want less people to come to me for Gastric Sleeve or Lap-band surgery and more people to say, “Wow we can really cook this? We can really learn to cook this?” I want them to avoid my operating room if they can. If a person must have a procedure, once they’re done with it, I want them not to have to come back because they didn’t do so well with their bariatric procedure. I want them to love food and to love cooking.

Dr. Terry Simpson – from weight loss surgeon to teaching patients how to cook

The thinking used to be let’s find out what the ingredients are, break them all down, then we can balance all the various ingredients – all your vitamins, your micronutrients, fats and cholesterol etc. Then we realized that’s not how people work. People thrive and lose weight by eating healthy food. So now the new movement among a few bariatric surgeons is let’s spend more time teaching our patients to cook, and it’s actually kind of fun. Because what we find is that our patients eat out at restaurants and the restaurants they eat at are typically chain restaurants. They have too much fat and too much salt. They’re eating crap. So we want to teach them to start eating at home. One of the things we noted in our practice about our patients is, when we looked at our patients who were five years out from weight loss surgery and successful, the difference between what they did and our unsuccessful patients boiled down to one thing universally – they cooked. Two thirds of them exercised. But they all cooked and they all ate differently than they did before. So, teaching patients to cook is the most empowering thing that we can do. It gets them out of their little fast food world into the great world of real food. I tell them that I want you to become a foodie. I want you to love food. They think they love food. But after tasting a fresh ripe peach or great meals like Sous Vide chicken or beans that they cook for themselves – they love it.

Dr. Terry Simpson – his weight loss story and making changes

Back in 2000 I was fifty pounds heavier than I am now. I had my bariatric surgeon picked out. Then I asked myself, “What am I doing? What can I do differently?” I realized that I had gained all my pounds doing what my¬† patients do. I didn’t think I had time. I ate out at restaurants all the time – crummy restaurants. Even though I knew of great restaurants, most of the time, day in and day out, I ate at crummy places. So I went back into the kitchen. I found all the recipes that I learned from my mom and all my recipes I had done for years. I started cooking again. After that, every year I lost five to ten pounds from the year before. You saw me years ago when I was heavier than I am now. I lose a little bit every year. There are some people who absolutely need the Gastric Sleeve or the Lap-band as a tool. But even with bariatric surgery, you must eat good foods. You can’t do one without the other.