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Gym or no gym, that is the question



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I have been going to the gym a couple of times a week. I'm 5 weeks post RNY. My surgeon gave the green light after 2 weeks (no weights or core exercises) so I've been doing elliptical, huge stair stepper thing, and walking or jogging.

I just watched Dr V.'s video on Why You Should Not go to a gym after WLS. He is taking about the period after surgery for about 6 months. it actually makes sense and he says surgeons and their teams who tell us to go to the gym and workout are wrong.

Dr. V. says it leads to hunger & weight loss stalls, among other things, since we cannot consume enough calories.

So- are you exercising? What are you doing and when did you start?

not sure if I should save money and forego the gym for a while and just go walking around my neighborhood. Thoughts??

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I watched that video too. He really does make some valid points.

Personally I don't go to the gym yet. I'm 4.5 months out. My weight loss is pretty steady and the lighter I am when I do start exercising, the less likely I am to injure myself... not to mention the self esteem issues of being the fat lady in the gym ;)

I already notice on the days that I'm more active I get hungrier.

I have a theory. The body is working so hard disassembling itself during our rapid weight loss phase, that to exercise beyond a normal level (daily activities), that it throws it into a panic mode. "We're starving and having to run around searching for food! Halt all non-essential functions!"

So then the body starts using itself up. Mood may destabilize, and ultimately the body becomes a shrivelled up shell...

But then...

"goal" is reached, the person relaxes, eats a few more calories to halt weight loss, and the body says, "Yes!" Time to get to work putting myself back together!" And suddenly the patient regains 20lbs.

And what happens when they regain? ... You got it! They flip out and either give up, diving into the bag of Cookies, or they go the other way, stressing and straining to get back down.

Edited to add:

Sorry, had to jump off before my conclusion!

So, what to do? Feed the body so it can function optimally with reduced calories, and exercise lightly to moderately (moderate would be walking 2-3 miles a day and lightweight weights 2xs a week). Save the intense workouts and heavy weightlifting until the scale is only moving by 5 pounds a month or less.

And, if my theory is correct, the patient should be able to slide effortlessly into maintenance and a few extra calories (or lazy days) wouldn't budge the scale. Hunger would be manageable, mood stable, skin and hair healthy, etc.

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For real, the amount of conflicting advice and recommendations out there vis a vis this surgery is enough to drive a person completely bonkers.

Crush pills/pills are fine not crushed
Eat this after surgery/don't eat this
Some peopl;e get to eat this/some people get to not eat
Work out/don't work out

Damn, y'all.

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5 minutes ago, Berry78 said:

I already notice on the days that I'm more active I get hungrier.

Completely normal reaction of the body. I would be concerned if my body didn't scream for more nutrients and calories after a hard exercise session or a 3 h bike ride.

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5 minutes ago, Half-Tum said:

For real, the amount of conflicting advice and recommendations out there vis a vis this surgery is enough to drive a person completely bonkers.

Crush pills/pills are fine not crushed
Eat this after surgery/don't eat this
Some peopl;e get to eat this/some people get to not eat
Work out/don't work out

Damn, y'all.

This. Worth a full quote. :lol:

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I've been walking since right after surgery. I walk 2.5 miles in the am & pm, plus I take my big ol' Italian Cane Corso puppy w me, so we walk in the dog parks w each walk. I teach H20 aerobics daily. Now that I've lost over 40 lbs, I'm adding my Pilates Reformer, Yoga & weights since we have a home gym. Will warm up w 10 min on recumbent bike & treadmill.

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19 minutes ago, MTL said:

I've been walking since right after surgery. I walk 2.5 miles in the am & pm, plus I take my big ol' Italian Cane Corso puppy w me, so we walk in the dog parks w each walk. I teach H20 aerobics daily. Now that I've lost over 40 lbs, I'm adding my Pilates Reformer, Yoga & weights since we have a home gym. Will warm up w 10 min on recumbent bike & treadmill.

How do you train with your weights? What's your routine?

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AZBlackhawk since you had RNY gastric bypass surgery, either walking through your neighborhood or going to the gym is fine. Realize that you will transition to the Maintenance phase much sooner than someone who was sleeved. I had gastric bypass and I transitioned for the Weight Loss phase to the Maintenance phase at around 7 months. Sleeve patient have much slower weight loss rates and sometimes transition at 2 years. So if you hold off exercising until after the 6th month, that makes no sense. All the sources that I have come in contact with advise exercise. It doesn't need to be strenuous. It should be around 30 minutes of walking each day or equivalent.

For the first year after surgery, I did hill walking. My driveway is very steep and I walked each day. The next year I tried the gym but since a round trip to the gym was 1 1/2 hours, I only went around one or two times a week. I am a firm believer in manual labor. There is always work to do such as shoveling snow off my 700 foot driveway or cutting my large lawn. And I have projects. On my 2nd and 3rd year post-op, I build an underground shelter. We were struck by tornados soon after I retired. It destroyed around 200 of my large trees. In this project I moved 100,000 pounds of gravel by hand along with around 60,000 pounds of concrete blocks the second year and about the same amount in the 3rd year. This year I constructed a log cabin playhouse for the grandkids.

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12 minutes ago, James Marusek said:

AZBlackhawk since you had RNY gastric bypass surgery, either walking through your neighborhood or going to the gym is fine. Realize that you will transition to the Maintenance phase much sooner than someone who was sleeved. I had gastric bypass and I transitioned for the Weight Loss phase to the Maintenance phase at around 7 months. Sleeve patient have much slower weight loss rates and sometimes transition at 2 years. So if you hold off exercising until after the 6th month, that makes no sense. All the sources that I have come in contact with advise exercise. It doesn't need to be strenuous. It should be around 30 minutes of walking each day or equivalent.

For the first year after surgery, I did hill walking. My driveway is very steep and I walked each day. The next year I tried the gym but since a round trip to the gym was 1 1/2 hours, I only went around one or two times a week. I am a firm believer in manual labor. There is always work to do such as shoveling snow off my 700 foot driveway or cutting my large lawn. And I have projects. On my 2nd and 3rd year post-op, I build an underground shelter. We were struck by tornados soon after I retired. It destroyed around 200 of my large trees. In this project I moved 100,000 pounds of gravel by hand along with around 60,000 pounds of concrete blocks the second year and about the same amount in the 3rd year. This year I constructed a log cabin playhouse for the grandkids.

James - I love your posts! You give great advice and I always walk away with something!! Thanks!

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I started couch to 5k at four weeks out and ran my first half marathon at eight months out. Added yoga at three months out and did 4-5 hours per week.

Reached my goal weight at a year out. Lost 136lbs from 271 to 135. Size 20 to size 4. 74% body fat to 17%.

Didn't cause any stalls or hunger for me. I think there is no one answer. We are all different with different genetics and habits and histories and mental process. One day science will know a lot more and know the people for whom exercise will work well off the bat and those if will cause hunger and stalls for.

If I hadn't exercised like I did my lean body mass and musculature would be very different so it was definitely the right thing for me. So I suggest experimenting with your study subject of one--yourself.


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For real, the amount of conflicting advice and recommendations out there vis a vis this surgery is enough to drive a person completely bonkers.
Crush pills/pills are fine not crushed
Eat this after surgery/don't eat this
Some peopl;e get to eat this/some people get to not eat
Work out/don't work out

Damn, y'all.


True. Because there isn't one answer because our genetics and such are very different and because science doesn't have all the answers yet so each surgeon is making their best educated guess based on their clinical experience.

Science will slowly catch up and provide more certain answers. The best doctors will keep up with the developing science and change or adapt their recommendations to fit.


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I watched that video too. He really does make some valid points.
Personally I don't go to the gym yet. I'm 4.5 months out. My weight loss is pretty steady and the lighter I am when I do start exercising, the less likely I am to injure myself... not to mention the self esteem issues of being the fat lady in the gym [emoji6]
I already notice on the days that I'm more active I get hungrier.
I have a theory. The body is working so hard disassembling itself during our rapid weight loss phase, that to exercise beyond a normal level (daily activities), that it throws it into a panic mode. "We're starving and having to run around searching for food! Halt all non-essential functions!"
So then the body starts using itself up. Mood may destabilize, and ultimately the body becomes a shrivelled up shell...
But then...
"goal" is reached, the person relaxes, eats a few more calories to halt weight loss, and the body says, "Yes!" Time to get to work putting myself back together!" And suddenly the patient regains 20lbs.
And what happens when they regain? ... You got it! They flip out and either give up, diving into the bag of Cookies, or they go the other way, stressing and straining to get back down.
Edited to add:
Sorry, had to jump off before my conclusion!
So, what to do? Feed the body so it can function optimally with reduced calories, and exercise lightly to moderately (moderate would be walking 2-3 miles a day and lightweight weights 2xs a week). Save the intense workouts and heavy weightlifting until the scale is only moving by 5 pounds a month or less.
And, if my theory is correct, the patient should be able to slide effortlessly into maintenance and a few extra calories (or lazy days) wouldn't budge the scale. Hunger would be manageable, mood stable, skin and hair healthy, etc.


Maybe science will bear out your theory one day and figure out that it's dead on for a certain segment of the population! I'm glad you've found what works for you because you are your own subject.

What worked for me was completely different and exercise didn't cause any stalls or increase in hunger. You and I have discussed set point on another thread and I would argue it's because I wasn't at mine and that the exercise helped me set a new one that gave me a body fat percentage in the low 20's and amazing muscles... long and lean but awesome legs and yoga arms.

Not sure that would have happened if I waited till my weight loss slowed because it never did till I got to goal.


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How did you eat while losing?

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How did you eat while losing?


Typical low carb high Protein. Didn't get above 400-600 calories till about six months out. Then maybe 900 a day to goal at 12 months out. Needed at least one Protein Shake a day to meet my 90g goal till about 18 months post op because I couldn't eat enough.

I didn't touch bread, rice, potatoes or Pasta till goal and still don't eat rice or pasta and bread and potatoes are once a month or so. I save those extra calories/carbs for my sweet tooth and have a cookie or few bites of other dessert a few times a week. fruit was maybe once or twice a month till goal unless I had a race long run or race. Ditto oatmeal. I kept carbs to 30-40g per day and most were from dairy.


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"Yes! If I wanted to stay in the 120's I would have to eat 1000-1200 per day! If I'm happy with 135-140 I can eat more than 2000! Crazy!"

Ok this is a quote from you, Jess, from the other thread. It kinda shows what I mean. You lost to the 120's, but when you started eating, it went up to 135. Now, you seem to have made the right decision to stay put and be happy. But what if you continued striving after that 120? You'd be struggling and miserable.

So, yes, your example shows set point and the idea of the body needing to rebuild after hitting goal.

My concern is if people spend their entire weight loss phase living on, say, low carb and low fat.. Protein Shakes and artificial sugar, then exercise on top of it, then they will be so depleted that they may regain 50lbs while their body tries to heal the damage.

We should all attempt to eat for a strong, healthy body, not just weight loss, and if we consume enough of the right fuel, then exercise and muscle building can come easily, and the body can stay happy and nourished throughout.

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