The primary goal of bariatric surgery is significant weight loss to improve your health. However, a persistent myth that you’ll lose a substantial amount of weight immediately after surgery gives bariatric patients unrealistic expectations. While it’s true that bariatric surgery expedites weight loss, it still happens at a gradual and safe rate. Most patients lose 1-2 pounds per week. However, if you’re not losing weight at all, one of the following issues could be the culprit:
- You just had the surgery. Many patients begin losing weight immediately after surgery. However, some may not experience any weight loss for several weeks. You may retain water, and you will likely find it challenging to move around during the first couple of weeks following surgery. These issues resolve with time, and then weight loss begins in earnest.
- You’re eating too much. Your doctor will discuss your new dietary regimen for weight loss success. If you’re not tracking your calories or deviate from your diet frequently, you’re likely eating too many calories. Downloading a food diary app and following portion sizes can help you stick to your calorie goal.
- You’re indulging too often. While bariatric surgery doesn’t mean a lifetime of salads, you will have to curb unhealthy eating habits. Sugary foods are empty calories as they lack adequate nutrition. They also trigger cravings for more sugar, which will show up on the scale if you eat sweets too often.
- You’re not minding your beverages. Hydration is a critical component to weight loss success after bariatric surgery. Your primary source of hydration should be water rather than sugary sports drinks. Soda is also a poor choice as it doesn’t contribute to hydration, it’s high in sugar, and the carbonation may upset your stomach. If plain water bores you, you can infuse it with citrus or other fruit flavors.
- You’re not taking your vitamins. Consuming adequate nutrients after bariatric surgery is challenging, which is why your surgeon will recommend a multivitamin and supplements. If you forget to take your vitamins, your body may take longer to heal. You may also feel tired and weak. Without proper nutrition, you will struggle to lose weight.
- You’re not working out. You may have struggled to workout before bariatric surgery due to joint pain. However, you will find it’s much easier to be active as you begin to lose weight. Regular exercise is essential to long-term weight loss success. You will lose some weight initially due to dietary changes, but you will still need to exercise to continue and maintain your weight loss. You should start slow and aim to increase your exercise duration to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. For the best weight loss results, your eventual goal should be 60 minutes a day, five days a week.
Calorie intake and exercise are the primary factors that will influence your weight loss after bariatric surgery. However, several other things can affect the number on the scale as well. If you’re not losing weight after bariatric surgery, your dietary habits or lifestyle may be a contributing factor. To learn more about weight loss surgery, contact us.