Following bariatric surgery, your weight will come off gradually. Your greatest weight loss will occur during the first several months after the operation.
Consistency is Key
Over the long term, we stress consistency of weight loss rather than the speed at which the pounds come off. After a few months, your rate of weight loss will gradually decrease. This is normal. It happens because the weight which is lost is fat (adipose tissue) rather than lean body mass (muscle). Hence, the more fatty tissue that is lost, the less remaining fat on the body that there is to be lost.
8 Tips for Long Term Weight Loss Success
- Attend each and every follow-up visit with the doctors and support staff.
- Eat smaller portions and listen to your “fullness” signals.
- Choose healthier foods for better nutrition. Proper nutrition is essential after weight loss surgery.
- Exercise regularly doing the physical activities you enjoy most.
- Participate in support groups both in person and online.
- Join a bariatric exercise program for support and motivation.
- Get into the habit of monitoring your weight.
- Celebrate your weight loss success with friends and family.
Poor Weight Loss…?
The main reasons for poor weight loss after gastric restrictive surgery are bad food choices and frequent snacking. Some patients “lose track” of their eating pattern and redevelop some of their former eating habits which caused their obesity in the first place. In almost every case, these bad habits can be corrected by minor changes or substitutions in their diet. This is one more reason why regular follow-up visits are absolutely critical after this type of surgery.
Your Improving Health
Obesity-related medical problems will likely improve with a modest degree of weight loss after your surgery. Blood pressure is routinely monitored at each follow-up visit, as is blood sugar (glucose) in diabetics and blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) in patients with hyperlipidemia. You’re encouraged to see your own medical doctor at regular intervals after the operation, particularly for adjustments in any medications you take. With steady weight loss, patients often require lower doses of medications for diabetes and high blood pressure. In fact, you won’t require any medications for these problems after achieving a substantial amount of weight loss.
Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery
Women are strongly urged to postpone planned pregnancy for the first 18 to 24 months after weight loss surgery. We recommend using the most effective forms of birth control during that period. The first two years after surgery is when the most weight is lost and getting pregnant during this time could put the baby in danger and dramatically reduce weight loss. Pregnancy places many demands on the body and the developing fetus can be harmed by the lack of nutrients and calories. If pregnancy occurs, vitamin and mineral deficiencies should be corrected with strict follow-up. If not corrected, these deficiencies can adversely affect the baby’s health.
Note that if you have an adjustable gastric band (LAP-BAND), the band can easily be loosened to allow for a healthy pregnancy.
Next we’ll take a look at your post-surgery nutritional needs. You’re diet will require permanent changes, both in how much food is eaten and what foods you choose. Nutritional supplements will also be necessary.