There are 10 major reasons why you are not losing weight after bariatric surgery, especially following weight loss procedures like gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy) and gastric bypass surgery (roux-en-y).
If you are experiencing difficulty losing weight after bariatric surgery, it is important to address any potential issues as soon as possible. This can help ensure that you are able to achieve long-term success with your weight loss goals. By addressing any potential reasons early on, you can increase your chances of success and improve your overall health and well-being.
What Does Not Losing Weight Mean?
If you are not losing weight after having gastric sleeve surgery, it is important to investigate the possible causes. This may involve being diligent in following the recommended diet and exercise plan, as well as addressing any potential medical issues that may be contributing to the lack of weight loss. Here is a list of the top 10 primary reasons for not losing weight after gastric sleeve surgery.
1. Post-Operative Eating Behavior
If your not losing weight after gastric sleeve surgery, the first place you want to look is at your daily diet. Whether you were misinformed, misguided, or unaware of post-operative nutrition guidelines, following the proper diet regime is the first thing to check off your list to get back on track and start losing weight again.
2. Protein Deficient
Protein is an important nutrient that can support weight loss and overall health. It can help you feel full and satisfied, and can also help preserve muscle mass while you are losing weight. It is generally recommended that bariatric patients aim for 60-90 grams of protein per day, depending on their age, sex, and activity level. Without sufficient protein intake, hitting a stall or plateau can be impossible to avoid.
3. Insufficient Water Intake
Drinking enough water is important for overall health and can support weight loss. When you are dehydrated, your body may not function as efficiently, as water is needed for many of its processes. In addition, being dehydrated can make you feel tired and sluggish, which can make it more difficult to stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Aim to drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day after undergoing weight loss surgery. Pay attention to your body’s thirst signals and drinking water regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated and continue losing weight after bariatric surgery.
4. Empty Calories (Juice, Soda, Alcohol, etc.)
It is generally recommended to avoid drinking alcohol or other sugary or high-calorie beverages after gastric sleeve surgery, as they can interfere with weight loss and overall health. Alcohol and other sugary beverages tend to be high in calories and can contribute to weight gain, and they do not provide the nutrients your body needs to support weight loss and overall health. In addition, these types of beverages can cause blood sugar spikes and may not help you feel full or satisfied, which can make it more difficult to stick to a healthy diet.
Instead of alcohol and other sugary beverages, it is important to focus on drinking water and other low-calorie, nutrient-rich beverages, such as unsweetened tea and coffee, and low-fat or skim milk. These types of beverages can help you stay hydrated and can provide important nutrients, without adding excess calories to your diet. If you are craving something sweet, you can try adding a splash of 100% fruit juice to your water or adding a few slices of fruit to your water or unsweetened tea for a natural sweetness. Remember to pay attention to portion sizes and to drink liquids slowly to avoid overloading your small stomach pouch after gastric sleeve surgery.
5. Eating Processed Foods
It is generally recommended to avoid processed foods after gastric sleeve surgery, as they tend to be high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, and may not provide the nutrients your body needs to support weight loss and overall health. Processed foods may also be more difficult to digest, which can be a concern after surgery. Instead, focus on eating whole, minimally processed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These types of foods can provide the nutrients your body needs and can help support weight loss.
If you are not losing weight after gastric sleeve surgery, it may be helpful to keep a food journal to log what you are eating. This can help you identify any potential problems, such as the inclusion of processed foods, and can help you make changes to your diet as needed.
Undergoing gastric sleeve surgery can be a significant change for your body, and it is normal to experience a variety of physical and emotional changes as you recover. It is important to be patient and give your body time to heal after surgery. This may involve taking things slowly and allowing yourself time to rest and recover.
If you are not losing weight as quickly as you expected after gastric sleeve surgery, it is possible that your body is still in the process of healing. It is important to be patient and to follow the guidance of your healthcare provider as you recover. It may also be helpful to focus on healthy habits, such as following a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and staying hydrated, to support your weight loss goals and overall health. Remember to be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to adjust to the changes in your body.
7. Adapting to Your New Stomach
It is normal for people to experience a slowdown or plateau in weight loss after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, particularly in the early stages of recovery. This is because the body needs time to adjust to the changes brought about by the surgery, and weight loss is not always a straightforward process.
It is important to be patient and to focus on healthy habits, such as following a balanced diet and exercising regularly, to support your weight loss goals and overall health. If you are having difficulty losing weight or are unsure what to do, it is important to speak to your primary care physician or a registered dietitian for guidance. They can help you identify any potential issues and provide recommendations for how to move forward.
8. Prescription Medications
Medications can sometimes affect weight loss, and it is important to consider this as a potential factor if you are not losing weight after gastric sleeve surgery. It is important to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medications, as some medications may be necessary for managing medical conditions or addressing side effects of the surgery.
If you have noticed a change in your weight loss after starting or adjusting a medication, it is important to bring this to the attention of your healthcare provider. They can help you determine if the medication may be impacting your weight loss and can advise you on the best course of action. It is also important to keep in mind that it may take time for your body to adjust to any changes in medication, and that weight loss may not always be a linear process. It is important to be patient and to work with your healthcare provider to find the best approach for your individual needs.
9. Lack of Physical Activity
If you are not losing weight after gastric sleeve surgery, it may be helpful to consider adding exercise to your routine, or increasing the amount of physical activity you do on a regular basis. This could include activities such as walking, running, swimming, cycling, or strength training.
It is important to find activities that you enjoy and that are safe for you to do, and to work with your healthcare provider or a fitness professional to develop a plan that is right for you. Remember to start slowly and build up gradually to avoid injury and to allow your body time to adjust.
10. Anxiety and Emotional Stressors
Stress and sleep are important factors to consider when it comes to weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery. Stress can affect appetite and can make it more difficult to stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine, which can impact weight loss. It is important to find healthy ways to manage stress, such as through exercise, meditation, or talking to a therapist. If you are unable to avoid a stressful situation, try to focus on what you can control and take steps to manage your stress in healthy ways.
In addition to stress, sleep is also important for weight loss and overall health. Adequate sleep can help regulate appetite, metabolism, and energy levels, while insufficient sleep can disrupt these processes and make it more difficult to lose weight. It is generally recommended to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but the specific amount of sleep that is right for you may vary based on your age, lifestyle, and other factors.
It is important to pay attention to your body’s sleep needs and to make sleep a priority. If you are having trouble sleeping, it may be helpful to speak to your healthcare provider for guidance.
It is important to prioritize your own health and well-being after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, as the surgery can help improve obesity-related comorbidities and can save lives. It is not selfish to focus on your own health and to make a commitment to improving it.
If you are experiencing a stall or plateau in weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery, it is important to take an unbiased look at your life and to identify any potential issues that may be hindering your progress. It may be helpful to work with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to develop a plan that works best for you, and to be completely honest about your current situation and any challenges you may be facing.
Remember that you cannot help others if you are not able to help yourself, and that it is essential to your success to prioritize your health and to work towards achieving your weight loss goals. Be patient and to focus on healthy habits, such as following a balanced diet and exercising regularly, to support your weight loss and overall health.