What do I need to do to maintain weight loss after Bariatric surgery?
In the journey towards weight loss, Bariatric surgery is an aid and not a magical cure. After having bariatric surgery, one of the greatest fears is that the patient may regain weight again. But the hard truth is that this fear might become true. It takes a good 12 to 18 months after the surgery to regain weight, and there are many reasons for this to happen. In this blog, we will explore ways by which you can maintain the weight loss that you achieved by Bariatric Surgery.
Factors affect the chosen bariatric procedure and any medical complications after the surgery, but in most cases, weight regain is diet-related.
Why can weight regain occur after bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery produces rapid weight loss and medical issues linked to obesity like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and others may disappear. It lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, premature death, and many forms of cancer.
As soon as the surgery is over, patients are very happy with the weight loss and their new look. For almost a year, they are diligent with diet and exercise, and they follow all dietary measures as suggested by the surgeon. The metabolism decreases after bariatric surgery, and hence the required calories drop as you lose weight.
The slippery slope starts once they can digest a wider variety of foods, so they tend to eat more and exercise less. This makes the weight loss sluggish, and slow weight gain starts to creep up. The increased weight requires more calories to function.
Below are the five eating habits which contribute to weight gain after bariatric surgery:
- Binge eating
- Eating even after feeling full.
- Eating all day continuously.
- Out-of-control eating.
- Eating fast food.
How can you prevent regaining weight after bariatric surgery?
Just because weight is common, it does not mean you have to go through it. So below are a few tips for maintaining your weight loss:
- Don’t be embarrassed by weight gain. Obesity is much more than what is seen on the surface. It is a chronic, multifaceted condition that programs your body to gain weight.
- Make a dedicated bariatric team your ally in the journey towards weight loss. Your surgeon wants you to succeed. As soon as you see some weight loss, don’t skip on the regular follow-ups. These follow-ups help you stay on track and motivated.
- Diligently follow the recommended nutrition plan. The plan is devised for you to adequate nutrition while maintaining muscle mass. Ultimately the patient is conditioned to have smaller meals in regular intervals.
- Avoid snacking since they always make you feel like you need more and these extra calories will increase the weight.
- Exercise is now a part of daily routine. If you cannot do it by yourself, join group classes, or find a home tutor who will push you and help you achieve your goal.
- Find similar patients and form a support group. The members of the group can help you maintain the recommended lifestyle changes. Remember, they might also be struggling with the same issues. Find a mentor who succeeded in maintaining weight loss. Your hospital must be able to find you one.
Five years after the initial procedure, if 50% of your weight loss is retained, it can be termed a successful surgery. Although bariatric surgery is widely known for permanent weight loss, choosing the right procedure itself affects success.
Exercise after Weight Loss surgery to maintain weight loss
Start exercising within two to three weeks of surgery. Strength-training exercises are crucial for the first six months after the surgery since weight loss also means muscle loss. For 3 – 5 days a week, a continuous exercise for 30 minutes is a must. You can choose between:
- Swimming, walking, biking, or aerobics fitness.
- Muscle building training with dumbbells, weight bands, or gym machines.
Within six months to 1 year after surgery, increase up to 45 minutes of exercise at least four times a week. After a year, many patients feel they need not exercise anymore, but it is not optional but a must. You can choose regular exercise like a treadmill with varying speeds and incline for 45 minutes by this time. Try outdoor activities like hiking, running, or bicycling, and you will be able to show off your new body too.
Dietary guidelines after Weight Loss surgery to maintain weight loss
- Eat balanced, small portions of low-calorie meals. No fats and sweets.
- Daily note down your calorie and protein intake. Eat slowly and chew the food thoroughly.
- Foods to avoid are rice, bread, and meats that are not easily chewed,
- For the first two months, intake must be between 600 and 900 calories a day and daily, not exceeding 1,000.
- Stay hydrated with water and low-calorie or calorie-free fluids. Drink at least 2 litres of fluids a day. Avoid alcohol.
As discussed in detail in this blog, don’t think Bariatric surgery is the end of the road for weight loss. It has to be combined with exercise, diet, and regular follow-ups for optimum results. Dr V.Pareek and his team will be with you not just during the surgery but for aftercare too. Call us or WhatsApp us at +91-9177777715.