Regain After Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery is such an exciting adventure! Weight loss happens so quickly, and it changes your life for the better. Patients typically see the greatest weight loss during the first year after the procedure. It is so important that you stay focused and disciplined during that first year. I like to call the first year the “honeymoon stage” as it really is such an amazing feeling seeing the changes in your body. It is all exciting and new and your confidence is greater than it has ever been. You will feel so alive during this time.
There will come a time though that the weight loss will slow down. Your weight will start to stabilize, and you might lose at a much slower rate, or even stop losing. This can be frustrating if you are not at your goal weight. It is important to be patient with your body. You are going through the biggest change your body has ever seen. It is natural for it to slow down and you will hit stalls. Stick with the plan and have faith in the process. If you stay focused and work with your surgeon and/or your nutritionist, you will get to where you want to be.
Weight loss is hard, but maintenance is harder. Once you hit your goal weight, the next step in the journey is maintaining your weight loss. To me, this is the most difficult part of a weight loss surgery journey. As time goes on, you will be able to eat more than you were able to the first year after surgery. This will make it more difficult to turn down food. Since you can eat more, you must be careful with regain. You will notice that you are able to eat more, and if you are making the wrong choices of food, you will suffer the consequences. When you first start this journey, it is so important that you understand the risk of regain and what you need to do to avoid it.
Unfortunately, 50% of patients experience some sort of regain. This does not mean you are going to regain all your weight back, but it does mean you need to be aware that it could happen. The best thing to do to avoid regain is to continue following the guidelines no matter how far out you are. Continue eating your protein first, vegetables second, and carbohydrates last. Also, do not ever put soda back into your diet. I did and unfortunately it had a huge negative affect on my weight loss. Stay away from sweets and processed foods as much as possible.
If you experience regain, do not give up. You can come back from it. I lost 160 pounds and regained 60 of those pounds back. It has been a battle, but I am on the track to get the rest of my weight off. Finding a support group can really help you if you experience regain. A lot of people struggle with depression if they gain their weight back. It is critical that you talk through this with people you can trust and who understand what you are going through. Don’t ever give up on yourself. Focus on why you had this surgery and celebrate the wins that you have had. Be proud of yourself and do what you know you need to do to get back on track. You got this!
- Kimberly H.