While weight loss surgery can lead to significant weight loss and improvements in your overall health, it’s not a guarantee against weight regain. In fact, 20-25% of bariatric surgery patients regain a considerable amount of weight.
Contributing to weight regain after bariatric surgery are everything from diet and lifestyle to emotional factors and physiological changes in your body.
If you’re experiencing weight regain after bariatric surgery, you’re not alone. You have options to get back on and stay on track with your weight loss journey.
At Peachtree Surgical and Bariatrics, our team of weight loss care providers offers a number of treatment options at our office in Atlanta, Georgia, but first, we must learn why you are regaining weight.
What causes weight regain after bariatric surgery?
Here are some of the most common factors that may contribute to weight regain:
A healthy, well-balanced diet is the key to losing and keeping off excess weight, even after bariatric surgery. In addition to avoiding food and beverages that are highly processed and high in saturated fat and refined sugar, portion control is also important.
We can help you create an individualized diet plan that suits your specific needs and optimizes your nutrition, while ensuring successful weight loss and long-term health.
Sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining weight loss and improving your health. If your physical activity level decreases after your surgery, it can contribute to weight regain.
Emotional eating, stress, and other psychological factors can influence eating behaviors and lead to weight regain after surgery. It’s not unusual to experience shame and stress around diet and weight loss, and long-held habits can be hard to break even after bariatric surgery.
Over time, your stomach may stretch, making it easier to consume larger portions of food without noticing it at first.
How to lower your risk of weight regain
Everyone’s weight loss journey is unique, so what works for someone else may not be as effective for you and vice versa. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and support before and after your bariatric surgery.
Here are some general guidelines to help you manage your risk of weight regain after surgery:
Follow your post-surgery diet plan
Stick to the recommended dietary guidelines provided by your weight loss team. This includes consuming the appropriate portions, focusing on high-quality protein, and avoiding high-calorie and high-sugar foods.
Practice mindful eating
Be aware of your eating habits and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and stop eating when you feel satisfied, rather than overly full.
Be cautious of high-calorie drinks like carbonated soft drinks, fruit juices, and sweetened coffee drinks. They can contribute to weight regain. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Not only is dehydration bad for your health, but it can also mimic hunger.
Don’t forget to exercise
Exercise is crucial for weight maintenance and overall health. Aim for a combination of cardiovascular exercises (e.g., walking, cycling) and strength training to build lean muscle mass and boost your metabolism.
Stay accountable with support systems
Join a support group or seek regular counseling to stay motivated, share experiences, and receive guidance on post-surgery lifestyle changes. Connecting with others who have undergone bariatric surgery can be valuable for long-term success.
Manage stress and emotional eating
Develop healthy coping mechanisms for stress and emotional challenges that do not involve food. Especially helpful are activities like meditation, yoga, or therapy to address emotional triggers that may lead to overeating.
Track your progress
Monitor your food intake, exercise, and weight regularly. Keeping a food diary or using mobile apps can help you stay accountable and identify areas for improvement.
For more information about bariatric surgery and how to safely and successfully manage your weight loss, contact us today to schedule a consultation with a weight loss specialist at our office in Atlanta, Georgia.