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How to Prevent Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery

obese man
Obesity-the root cause of many diseases
Bariatric Surgery, also known as Weight Loss surgery is one of the most effective ways to help obese people lose a significant amount of weight in the long term.

The surgery is a life-changing procedure. It is certainly not a quick fix, and the results are quite dramatic. The surgery offers new opportunities to the patients by not only giving them an assurance of life without any obesity-related medical conditions but also a life full of confidence.

benefits of bariatric surgery
Many benefits of Bariatric Surgery

But what about the weight gain after weight loss surgery?

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery considers it as one of the most common myths surrounding Bariatric surgery. As per ASMBS, “weight-loss is arbitrarily defined as weight-loss equal to or greater than 50 percent of excess body weight.”  

The doctors at ASMBS believe that “successful results are determined by the patient, by their perceived improvement in quality of life. In such cases, the total retained weight-loss may be more, or less, than this arbitrary definition. Such massive and sustained weight reduction with surgery is in sharp contrast to the experience most patients have previously had with non-surgical therapies.”

It is a fact that few patients do experience weight regain a few years after the bariatric surgery. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, 50% of patients may regain approximately 5% two years or more after the bariatric surgery.

But just staying concerned about the possibility of weight regain post-surgery will not serve any good. You should develop strategies so that you stay away from weight regain. 

Here, we discuss some important guidelines to follow as a part of your new lifestyle.

Causes of Weight Regain after Bariatric Surgery:

The medical causes of a weight regain are uncommon. But, in the absence of medical causes, other parameters like nutrition quality, dietary habits, and lifestyle behavior can have a significant effect on body weight post-surgery. Diet is the most common factor that influences weight gain after the surgery.

The most common dietary causes of weight regain after bariatric surgery are:

·    Eating the wrong carbs
·       Skipping Meals
·       Mindless Munching
·       Not taking specialized bariatric supplements
·       Not meeting protein requirements
·       Eating processed food
·       Drinking calories

Check the Reason for Weight Gain

Generally, patients may start to experience weight gain at 12 to 18 months post weight loss surgery. This weight gain might be due to muscle gain but the scale numbers may alarm some. In such cases, patients should not worry much. Patients should properly evaluate their body composition. Body fat is the most important indicator to evaluate healthy weight.

A healthy weight is directly proportional to a healthy body fat percentage. The fat percentage for men should range between 8 to 18% and for women, it is 21 to 30%.

Focus on a Healthy Diet Plan

Weight regain can be prevented by following a strict and healthy diet plan. All you need to do is focus on whole foods and follow the below-mentioned suggestions for eating after surgery and stay on track.
  • Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy
  • Only select foods low in fat content
  • Avoid foods that have high sugar content
  • Protein intake should be at least 60-80 grams/day
  • Make sure to meet your fluid needs
  • Eat at least three times a day. Eating slowly is very important. Spend at least 20 to 30 minutes/meal.
  • Eating and drinking should be separated by 30 minutes. Make sure you stay consistent with this primary diet principle.
  • The most important thing is to take the prescribed multivitamins and supplements daily
Foods to avoid include:
  • High-calorie liquids, malt drinks, milkshakes
  • High-fat snacks and chips
  • Fried foods
  • Pastries and cakes
  • Candies
  • Ice creams
  • Soft drinks

Best Time for Weight Loss

The main window of opportunity to burn fat is during the first five months of surgery. Make the most of this period and burn the initial waves of body fat. The best way to do this is to exercise. Patients should exercise 250 to 300 minutes per week. For proper maintenance of weight loss, this level of activity is important.

Light weight lifting at 2 months post-surgery combined with cardio and resistance training works wonders. Cardio drives weight loss from muscle to fat. Resistance training helps in muscle building.

Some more useful tips to keep the weight off for years ahead:

Be honest with your surgeon: If you feel any emotional issues post-surgery or feel like your old habits are slipping in, don't hesitate to discuss them with your surgeon or the medical team. Address all your problems to avoid any situation leading to weight regain.

Surround yourself with support: Try to stay on track by talking to family and friends. You can also join a support group that will let you be with fellow bariatric surgery patients.

Get help from a nutritional counsellor:  Seeking help from a nutritional counsellor after bariatric surgery helps you avoid weight regain. These experts help you with eating the right for the best results.

The Last Word

The most important thing is to remember that we all face setbacks. If you have a bad day, week or month, get up, dust yourself off, and get back on track. With some hard work and commitment, most bariatric patients can achieve significant and lasting weight loss.

About IndiCure

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