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Dr. Claire Parkes - Psychologist

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Claire is a psychologist who has worked in the NHS for the last 8 years in a specialised weight management service. Over the last few years she has taken her expertise and insight into the private sector supporting patients pre and post operatively.

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Why psychology?

I have always been interested in health behaviours but my decision to become a psychologist was made when I started working with overweight children. I quickly realised that, despite my background in nutrition and physical activity, I wasn’t qualified to work with the psychological difficulties the children were talking about. So I retrained as a psychologist.
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Your top weight loss tip

By having this procedure you are committing to making a long term change to the way you will eat for the rest of your life. Try to take each day as it comes, adapting to your procedure. If you are unable to make sustained changes, weight gain is inevitable.
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Your favourite hot drink

Peppermint and liquorice tea.

Often my clients will say to me ‘I know what to do but I can’t do it’

A decision to have surgery is often made because there is a sense that everything has been tried and sustained weight loss is still not possible. I am told ‘I have tried every diet out there but still can’t keep the weight off’. They tell me they can follow the diet for a while but eventually they ‘fall off the wagon’ or ‘have a bad day’ and this leads to a feeling of failure and they will eat. Whatever weight has been lost while dieting will be quickly regained.

You already know this, but I feel this is a point that needs to be stressed: Weight loss surgery won’t stop you from eating ‘bad foods’.

Can the band be removed?

This is another question I am asked frequently and it interests me for a number of reasons. Mainly because it gives me the impression that you want a tool to help you lose weight (yes we have established surgery can do this). But I also believe you might not completely understand the commitment you are undertaking. There is a perception that you can have the band inserted, lose weight, then once at your goal weight the band can be removed and you will be able to eat ‘normally again’. Once you have decided to have weight loss surgery, whether it is a band, bypass or sleeve, you will have to work with your procedure every day. You are making a lifelong commitment to change, something you will have to work with forever. I believe if you are ready for that level of commitment and understand what that means you are likely to be very successful. Weight loss surgery is very successful for those individuals who stick to the post-operative rules and embrace the changes. But despite the information that surgery is a ‘tool’ it can still be labelled as a ‘quick fix’. Surgery is never a quick fix!

Professional Qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Psychology and Sport Degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2003
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Science; Sports Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006
  • Certificate in Counselling Skills at Bournville College in 2008
  • Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at University of Wolverhampton in July 2015

Professional Registrations

  • Chartered Psychologist with British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Registered Practitioner with Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)

For prices and finance options, get a quote here or call 0800 313 4618

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.