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 kilos 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.
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.
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 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. With a little luck, you won't require any medications for these problems after achieving a substantial amount of weight loss.
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.
Nutritional supplements will become a mainstay in your diet. Even if you eat nutritious foods most of the time, supplements are still necessary for all patients who undergo weight loss surgery.
The last and most challenging part of Life Change involves adopting essential new habits. This is the key to lifelong success following weight loss surgery.
Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix. It is, however, an effective treatment for morbid obesity. Think of weight loss surgery as a tool to jump start your weight loss and give you the leverage you need to build healthy, lifelong habits. So long as you follow the tips, nutritional advice and life changes we recommend, you’ll lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off… for life.
In addition to the support of your loved ones, the Aspirelife Bariatrics support group should become an ongoing source of support for building new habits and maintaining weight loss. This group, held monthly, serves as an excellent venue for prospective patients, new patients and recovering patients alike to exchange information and renew their motivation. You'll find it much easier to meet your new dietary challenges when you're comforted by others who are already achieving success.
Check our website's Support Group page for upcoming meeting dates and times.
To make your weight loss journey a lifelong success, you'll want to get into the routine of doing some sort of physical activity every day. Choose a variety of exercises you enjoy, such as walking, bicycling, light jogging, swimming and aerobics.
Exercise provides many health benefits and helps to maximize your weight loss. Regular activity not only burns calories, but it helps to preserve muscle tissue during rapid weight loss.
The recommended amount of exercise for bariatric patients is 30 minutes a day. If you are not used to daily physical activity, this might sound like a lot. But you’ll be surprised how easy it can be.
Start small, with just 10 minutes per day (or whatever you're physically able to do). Then slowly build up, adding another minute or two to your daily activity every few days until you reach the recommended 30 minutes. You might also try to exercise at the same time each day. The steady routine will help to reinforce this as a lifelong habit (just like brushing your teeth).
If you've been following our advice and achieving weight loss success,
However, if you're still deciding whether weight loss surgery is the answer, we encourage you to come and see us. You'll have a chance to meet one-on-one with a bariatric surgeon, our dietician, and our bariatric counselor. We'll answer all your questions and help you determine if weight loss surgery is right for you.