Weight loss surgery is a tool we use to help you achieve permanent and long-lasting weight loss, but about half of people who undergo weight loss surgery gain back about 5% of what they lost.
Eric Ibegbu, MD, and our team of experts here at Atlantic Medical Group want you to know that there are steps you can take to prevent regaining weight. Here are our tips for keeping the weight off.
Follow all instructions carefully
One of the most important things you can do after bariatric surgery is to follow all of your post-op instructions as thoroughly as possible. Not only does this help you recover smoothly, but it also helps you learn how to eat the right portion sizes after your surgery.
Find healthy outlets for stress to avoid stress eating
Stress-eating is one of the biggest sources of weight gain. In a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association, 38% of adults reported stress-eating in the past month. If you’ve been inclined to stress-eat in the past, consider trying new outlets for managing your stress.
Good outlets for stress include:
- Listening to music
- Engaging in a favorite hobby
Exercise reduces cortisol (your stress hormone), boosts your mood, and supports your overall health.
Not only does exercise serve as a stress management technique, it also helps keep the weight off by burning more calories and supporting your metabolism.
Exercise doesn’t have to be an intense regimen either. Any form of aerobic activity helps you maintain a healthy weight. This includes walking, jogging, dancing, biking, hiking, HIIT classes, and swimming. Aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Plan ahead for parties
December is here, and that means it’s the official party season. Holiday parties and family gatherings can make it hard to stay on track with your dietary goals, but you can navigate parties by keeping these tips in mind:
- Eat nutrient-dense meals before the party (to help limit snacking)
- Bring your own dishes to potlucks and focus on healthy alternatives
- Don’t drink your calories
- Count your calories before you eat
- Use a smaller plate
- Focus on fiber to help you stay full
Stay active. Go for an extra walk or add in an extra workout if you know you have a few parties coming up.
Focus on your why
Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t always easy, and there will be times when you’re tempted. But remember your “why” and keep that at the forefront of your mind. For example, if you want to maintain a healthy weight so you can stay active with your grandkids, post that on a sticky note and keep it on your mirror.
Find an accountability partner
Accountability partners (or any support person) can be a wonderful way to stay on track. This can be a friend, a family member, a personal trainer, or even a support group.
Focus on nutrition
Not all calories are created equally. Of course, 100 calories is 100 calories, but if you’re not eating enough protein, you may find that you have more snack attacks.
Speaking with a nutritionist can help you identify your specific nutritional needs. You might also benefit from nutritional supplements.
Don’t ignore upward trends on the scale
If you notice that you’re gaining weight, don’t wait before a small weight gain snowballs out of control. Dr. Ibegbu offers many solutions for post-op weight gain including:
- Identifying the source of your weight gain, including lifestyle factors and underlying medical conditions, such as fistula development
- Determining if a fistula, which is a connection between your gastric remnant and gastric pouch, has developed
- Performing a bariatric revision to correct the transoral gastric outlet (if that has contributed to your weight gain)
Do you have questions about weight gain after weight loss surgery? Visit us online or give us a call to schedule an appointment. We’re located in Jacksonville and Kinston, North Carolina, but we’re more than happy to see patients wishing to travel to us.