You did it. You worked hard to meet the requirements necessary for undergoing bariatric surgery. You had the procedure and got through recovery. You quickly shed pounds in the year after surgery, and were keeping up with your post-surgery diet. But…
First you hit a plateau, and now the pounds have started to come back. At this point, some patients want to give up. Don’t let this be you: you can get back on the right track, and we’re here to help.
Why Do Patients Regain Weight After Surgery?
Weight regain after bariatric surgery is not uncommon. While sometimes a result of surgical complications, post-surgery weight gain is usually a result of patients getting a bit complacent. Following recovery, patients begin to be able to tolerate a wider range of foods, so they eat them. They’re tired of constantly counting calories and worrying about their diet, so they begin to cheat a little here and there. Or maybe they think that it’s okay to eat a little more now that they weigh less. There’s a term for this gradual decline in vigilance: behavioral drift.
The truth is that obesity is a chronic disease, and that means you need to make a life-long commitment to maintaining a healthy weight, even after surgery.
The most common factors we see in weight regain after surgery are:
- Eating after reaching fullness
- Binge eating
- Increasing portion sizes
- Eating sweets and fast food
- Taking in too many calories from beverages
- Exercising less
So how do you fix it?
Turn to Your Support Team
The first thing you should do if you find yourself gaining weight after surgery is contact your bariatric team. We promise: they want you to succeed! While many patients gain back some pounds after weight loss surgery, your situation is unique and your team will offer you solutions tailored to your needs. They will help you identify some habits that could use a change and work with you to reestablish a healthy routine. You may also be a good candidate for some of the newer weight loss medications, which could help you shed some of those new pounds.
Another great resource for post-bariatric patients are support groups. Spending time with people who have been on the same journey can help validate your feelings. Patients who join support groups also benefit from increased motivation and accountability, which can help them continue moving in the right direction.
Don’t Give Up!
It’s easy to feel frustrated and hopeless when you gain some weight back after bariatric surgery, but keep in mind what Albert Einstein said: “You never fail until you stop trying.” Remember why you started this journey. Take a beat to clear your head and give yourself a pep talk, then do what you need to do to change paths. Once you see yourself making progress, it will feel easier to keep going. Remember: you can do this!
If you are struggling with weight regain after bariatric surgery, reach out to our weight loss specialists to get the support you need to succeed. Contact us today.
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