Help! I’m at a weight loss plateau 1 month out of bariatric surgery.

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"Remember, you don’t get to choose how much or how fast your body will progress in weight loss after bariatric surgery. Focus on things that you do have control over."

One of the most common frustrations we hear from our patients at three to six weeks after bariatric surgery is lack of weight loss progression. There seems to be an expectation that after surgery, weight loss will be fast and steady. But, weight loss is much more complicated. It is quite normal and expected to experience slowing weight loss, especially early after surgery. You are not doing anything wrong – but you do need to trust that if you take care of your body and allow it to heal, you will see a progression in months to come.

There are many reasons for a slow weight loss early after surgery. Your body is under a lot of stress, not only from the surgery, but also from weight loss that may have occurred before surgery while you were on a liquid meal replacement. There are hormonal changes, healing processes and body composition changes that are happening. Your body will lose weight differently than others. Your age, gender, health conditions, past history of weight loss and self-care influence how your body loses weight. Don’t compare your experience to anyone else. Stay focused on you.

Remember, you don’t get to choose how much or how fast your body will progress in weight loss after bariatric surgery. Focus on things that you do have control over:

  • Eat at regular times through the day (meals and snacks),
  • Meet your protein goal and fluid needs,
  • Take time to rest,
  • Begin to enjoy a variety of healthy foods including vegetables, fruit and whole grains,
  • Manage your stress,
  • Start to add exercise to your daily routine.

Keep in mind that weight as a number can be quite a distraction. The intention of bariatric surgery is not to ‘make you lose weight’ or reach a ‘goal weight.’ Bariatric surgery is a tool that is meant to improve your quality of life. Start to reflect on changes to your energy, health conditions and lifestyle. When you shift your focus from the scale to how you are living, you begin to respect your body. Ultimately, respect is what keeps your body healthy.