How to Break a Plateau after Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery requires preparation and patience but, it is a rewarding journey. Patients can finally see the scales tipping in their favor. However, it is possible that after a successful weight loss surgery, initial weight loss, strict diet regimen, and regular exercise, patients can hit a weight loss wall. This ‘plateau’ is a common occurrence, but without preparation, it can be incredibly disheartening. That said, the plateau after weight loss surgery can be broken by understanding the body and using smart strategies to get back to losing weight.
Change the Diet
The human body is amazingly adaptable. The body can change its energy requirements to meet the new diet or calorie intake. The post-operative diet usually has a lower calorie count than the patient’s pre-surgery intake. Within a few short weeks or months into the bariatric surgery, the body adapts to this new diet and adjusts its energy spending. Hence, it is no more registering a negative caloric balance and no more weight loss.
To counter this, patients should consult their bariatric surgeon and dietician. They will help them change the proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutrients in their diet. Moreover, patients should keep changing their diet patterns to enjoy continuous weight loss.
Change Exercise Routine
A regular exercise routine is a huge part of any successful weight loss program. However, when the patients hit a plateau after the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, the routine must be changed. As the body changes, so does its workout requirements. Some exercises focus on making the body burn fat, while some others emphasize muscle-building, and so on. Patients that hit a prolonged stall after bariatric surgery should communicate their concerns to their workout instructors, or in some programs, the exercise physiologist. They will then tweak the patient’s exercise regimen to their new body and its workout needs.
Another vital factor to keep in mind is to not over-exert the body. Patients who workout too much burn themselves out. They either become irregular with their exercises or completely stop. Both of which will lead to weight gain.
So, patients who are hitting a weight plateau should look into how their exercise regimens (or lack of exercise) may be a contributing factor.
Patients should understand that weight loss is not a destination but a journey. Weight loss surgery gives a strong foundation, but it is not a destination. Food intake and regular exercises are a big part of a successful weight loss program, but there is more to it. They have to adapt to a better lifestyle.
A better lifestyle also includes sleeping well, finding time to relax, and more. It is well-known that people who do not get enough sleep have problems in burning calories. The longer they are awake, the more mood swings they experience. It can then lead to food cravings and a lack of energy. All of these factors work to nullify all the efforts the patient is putting towards losing their weight.
Change is Key
Weight loss is not easy, but it is not impossible either. With the right strategies and consistency, WLS patients can easily keep their weight loss going and achieve the body they always wanted.