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WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU: DON’T LET IT DERAIL YOUR PROGRESS


The good news is weight loss plateaus usually happen after you have lost a significant amount of weight—so congratulations!

During your post-op weight loss, the body will eventually need a ‘time out” to stabilize itself and adjust to your lower nutrition intake, smaller size and increased calorie burn due to exercise.

It can happen at any time in your weight loss journey, but is particularly common 3-6 months after bariatric surgery.

Generally, stalls can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, even though you’re staying on track. Expect from one to three plateaus in the first year following weight loss surgery.

WHY DO WEIGHT LOSS STALLS HAPPEN?

You can blame your body’s metabolism—

When you lose weight rapidly, you are losing lean body mass (muscle) and fat. Muscle plays a big part in the burning of calories by keeping your metabolic rate high, so you want to hold onto muscle and strive to build more! (This is one of the reasons we ask you to take in so much protein).

A weight-loss plateau usually occurs when your metabolism slows down. Now that you’re thinner, the activities you’re performing may not be resulting in as much caloric burning.

An increased metabolic rate is not the only reason for keeping muscle. You want to keep muscle so you can use them to exercise and burn even more calories. Weak muscles make exercise more difficult, so build muscle with strength training and cardio workouts.

EIGHT TIPS TO OVERCOME BARIATRIC WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS AND BOOST METABOLISM

1. Increase the intensity of your exercise.

2. Weigh yourself less often.

3. Keep food journaling to ensure there are no negative nutrition issues creeping in.

4. Eat all that protein to help retain muscle, even in shake form.

6. Drink 64 ounces every day.

7. Sleep eight hours nightly and keep a set schedule, even on weekends.

8. Talk to your bariatric team during the plateau for an added level of support and guidance.

KEEP IN MIND…

If you are weight training, consider that muscle weighs more than fat; while you are building muscle, you are still losing inches (girth) even though if it isn’t reflected in pounds lost.

USE YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK

Remember there are several layers of people supporting you during your road back to good health:

  • Your doctor
  • Bariatric dietitians and nutritionists
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Colleagues
  • Live and online support groups. (They understand more than anyone!)

If a plateau lasts more than a few weeks and you haven't contacted your bariatric surgeon yet, make an appointment for an ASAP visit to rule out any issues.

Meanwhile, stay positive and celebrate how far you have come in a short time.

This is a very brief traffic jam on your highway to success.

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Nice post, thanks! One modification would be nice. Please say muscle weighs more than fat by volume, otherwise some of our readers' heads may implode...

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Thanks Doctor Adeyeri.

There's a lot of great tips in that very recent post.

I've taken a screenshot of the EIGHT TIPS part for personal reminder. (Actually SEVEN TIPS ... no #5 to see!)

BTW, I have been great at #1, #2 and #3 for 1275 days in a row.

Since I retired, I have been spot on with tip #7 ... my sleep now is nearly always in the range 7.75 to 9.25 hours daily plus a day nap of 50 to 90 minutes. (I'm almost 14 months retired from full-time work.)

#8 is very new to me but I have a good 90 day history and will build!

#4 has been hard ... switching from a Protein:Carbohydrate ratio of 1:2 to 4:3 is a very new thing. I have been phasing the change well over the last month and a half. (This very week is the first time I, the son and grandson of the district's finest bakers, have gone SIX days without so much as a slice of bread. I can't ever recall a time in my life I've previously gone longer than 30 hours without bread!)

#6 has been tough. I like liquids (... espresso coffee, black tea, peppermint tea, tonic Water and 5-10 beers per week) but water consumption has been in the back seat all my life. I'm drinking about a litre in three Protein Shakes plus about 2-4 tumblers of other water each day.

Hey, what was the missing #5?

Edited by Rainbow_Warrior
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