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Weight regain...I don't know where to start.



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I'll be 7 years post gastric sleeve in December. I never reached goal, but lost 80 lbs. I managed to keep most of it off for about 4 years and slowly the carbs crept back into my life and the weight gain began. I gained 35 lbs back and I'm so disgusted with myself. It took me so long to get the courage to finally have WLS. I was so nervous and afraid that I swore if I put myself through surgery I would never gain all my weight back. I've tried Keto, and did really well for about a year and a half until I was no longer losing and just couldn't commit to the lifestyle. It seems I've lost any will power I may once had and I really don't want to get a revision if I can help it. How do I restart my weight loss? I know I've probably stretched my pouch. Do I go back to drinking shakes? Has anyone had any success in losing their significant weight gain without having to have a revision, or is a revision in my future?

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I was on a call with my nutritionist tonight and someone else on my call asked about it and she said that anyone in this situation should do a 10 day liquid diet re-boot. I've seen several on this site, but since my nutritionist recommended it, it's what I would try.

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I had same issue but I had full hysterectomy 3 months after witch sent my hormones every where . I really had to work out 5 days a week to keep weight off . Once we shut down from covid I gained 38 pounds .Had an EGD done and they said sleeve was causing my stomach to twist . They either had to go in and staple it down or do the full byspass surgery . I chose the byspass 2 months in from revision oh forgot to say sleeve gave hernia acid reflux and gerd.

Edited by nicole4sees

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Oh wow, I'm sorry the sleeve gave you so many problems. I guess I was blessed that I never had any complications what so ever from my surgery. Other than after hitting my plateau, I starting feeling sorry for myself and slowly started grazing on things I shouldn't have. I need to retrain my 'tool' and mindset. I wish I never gave into those temptations because once I did the floodgates opened! Good luck with your revision!

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I can totally relate. I'm 2 years post sleeve and gained 10 lbs back with COVID and am working now on getting it back off. It's working! I can tell you that it's possible. I am eating like I did at the beginning with focus on Protein of 60 g or more per day, getting in my 8-10 glasses of Water a day, limiting carbs to fewer than 10 g per day. I haven't exercised yet. I've been back on the "reboot" for 2 weeks and lost 4 lbs so that's encouraging. My stomach hasn't stretched because I can still eat very little during a meal, so that's good news. My downfall was eating sweets all the time. I'm not doing that now. I think you can do it if you just remember why you had WLS in the first place and focus on the basics. Good luck!

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I know several people who swear by Weight Watchers (easier to sustain for longer periods of time than Keto is, because there are fewer restrictions), but some just go back to the way they were eating that first year. Not all the way back to shakes, but how they were eating around months 6-12 - Protein first, then non-starchy veggies, and then, if you have room, maybe a small serving of fruit or whole grain carbs. If you're no longer tracking your food intake, than start doing that again as well.

not everyone recommends calorie counting, but I really monitor my calories if I'm trying to lose a regain. I can maintain my weight if I eat in the 1500-1700 calorie a day range (but that's going to be different for everyone - you'll have to experiment to find your range). If I need to lose weight, I'll eat at the lower end of that range, or just below it. And I step up on my exercising. It's slow, but it works.

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I'm almost 13 years out and have faced my fair share of regains (including 2 pregnancies along the way) but have managed to nip them in the bud in the 10-15 lb range. I honestly think regains are just part of the process and we all face them to some extent and i'm sure i'll face them again in the future, so this post is a good reminder for me as well! So here are my go to moves to get rid of regain:

My go-to moves are:

  1. Eat Meals (don't graze) - don't skip Breakfast, even if it's small
  2. Eat Real food, not processed slider foods like chips and sweets
  3. Stop eating after dinner - get away from the kitchen after dinner. Evenings have always been my toughest time and so i make myself a cup of Decaf coffee, take it upstairs with me, and don't go back to the kitchen under any circumstances.
  4. Focus on the food, not exercise - 80%+ of weight loss comes down to food
  5. Move for Mental Health - aiming for 10K steps works for me and calms my urge to stress eat
  6. Talk to someone about mental health - overeating for me is a sure sign that's i'm heading on a downward spiral and the weigh gain and guilt and shame associated just makes it worse...see a doctor, find a medication that works for you, find your way back to a good mental health state

Things i that haven't worked for me:

  1. liquids / Protein Shakes - it's not sustainable (and really hard for even a few days...how did we do it pre- and post-op?), it makes me unbearably grouchy, and the minute i stop the weight comes back on
  2. Counting Calories - that is a trigger for me after a LIFETIME of dieting and i don't want to go there!
  3. Excessive exercise - it's too hard to outrun a bad diet with exercise and getting hurt would be a sure way to halt my progress.

One more change that has truly been life altering for me is something i did after my last regain in 2018. My weight creeped up to 161lbs. That was 20lbs over my usual set point of 140lbs, which i had maintained for 10 years post-op (i'm 5'2" and started my journey at 200 lbs). It was starting to scare me and i knew i needed to do something.

I went back to all the things I listed above but i also did something i never had done before, i started eating plants for Protein. I cut out the meat first and then the dairy (which seemed overwhelming until i found all my own plant based substitutions), and i started focusing on vegetables! I didn't think about portions (after all, i'm a WLS patient, how much could i really eat) and i found myself shedding weight effortlessly!

Not only did i lose the 20 lbs i had gained, but for the first time in 12+ years post-op, i hit a new set point of about 122lbs which i've been maintaining with ease for the past year! I didn't start a diet, i didn't ever go off a diet. I just focus on plants and i feel great and have never been lighter! And i know what you're thinking...where do you get your protein??? But there is more than enough protein in plants for anyone who's at least 6 months post op! The funny thing is, i eat more than i have in years, but i finally feel like i'm living the healthy life i wanted and it's easier than i ever though it would be.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, i'm just so happy with how this has been working and i know it can work for others too! Feel free to message me if you have questions. Keep fighting the good fight!!

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Thank you Lauren for such a detailed and informative response. I've heard so many people say when they started eating plant-based diets they really lost the weight. I know I won't give up meat completely, but I am going to try to concentrate eating more plant based foods. Thank you again for your help! :)

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8 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

I know several people who swear by Weight Watchers (easier to sustain for longer periods of time than Keto is, because there are fewer restrictions), but some just go back to the way they were eating that first year. Not all the way back to shakes, but how they were eating around months 6-12 - Protein first, then non-starchy veggies, and then, if you have room, maybe a small serving of fruit or whole grain carbs. If you're no longer tracking your food intake, than start doing that again as well.

not everyone recommends calorie counting, but I really monitor my calories if I'm trying to lose a regain. I can maintain my weight if I eat in the 1500-1700 calorie a day range (but that's going to be different for everyone - you'll have to experiment to find your range). If I need to lose weight, I'll eat at the lower end of that range, or just below it. And I step up on my exercising. It's slow, but it works.

I've actually been thinking of joining WW just for the accountability itself. My problem is I love sweets and have fallen into such a bad habit of snacking (cookies, donuts, crackers, chips, etc). I think I need to start monitoring and keeping track of what I'm putting into my mouth with a tracker. Thank you for your support and information!

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8 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

I know several people who swear by Weight Watchers (easier to sustain for longer periods of time than Keto is, because there are fewer restrictions), but some just go back to the way they were eating that first year. Not all the way back to shakes, but how they were eating around months 6-12 - Protein first, then non-starchy veggies, and then, if you have room, maybe a small serving of fruit or whole grain carbs. If you're no longer tracking your food intake, than start doing that again as well.

not everyone recommends calorie counting, but I really monitor my calories if I'm trying to lose a regain. I can maintain my weight if I eat in the 1500-1700 calorie a day range (but that's going to be different for everyone - you'll have to experiment to find your range). If I need to lose weight, I'll eat at the lower end of that range, or just below it. And I step up on my exercising. It's slow, but it works.

10 hours ago, GradyCat said:

I can totally relate. I'm 2 years post sleeve and gained 10 lbs back with COVID and am working now on getting it back off. It's working! I can tell you that it's possible. I am eating like I did at the beginning with focus on Protein of 60 g or more per day, getting in my 8-10 glasses of Water a day, limiting carbs to fewer than 10 g per day. I haven't exercised yet. I've been back on the "reboot" for 2 weeks and lost 4 lbs so that's encouraging. My stomach hasn't stretched because I can still eat very little during a meal, so that's good news. My downfall was eating sweets all the time. I'm not doing that now. I think you can do it if you just remember why you had WLS in the first place and focus on the basics. Good luck!

I really do need to get back to basics. Protein, vegetable, small amount of carbs. You guys have given me hope and motivation! :) Thanks GradyCat!

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I have a very similar story, am 6 yrs post VSG. Had regain about 2 yrs out and it took getting some ugly medical news to get me back on track for good. I went strict Keto, lost all the regain, lost about 20 more and am doing good. But it's always going to be a fight for me.

I had to commit-LITERALLY, FINALLY- to giving up a lot of foods that I'll likely never eat again and that was a huge mourning process. I've been about 3 yrs strict Keto and love the lifestyle, but it's not for everyone. And it can be a challenge. yes we can have all that fat, but it's still really hard knowing I'll likely never eat most 'regular' foods again.

Pre-surgery I had hoped I would be able to eat all things in small amounts again someday- but that got me on a slippery slope leading to the regain. So I have to stick to what works. I've found that when it comes to staying on track, I do great with total abstinence but really BAD at moderation.

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I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I'm still well into the 'honeymoon' period but worried about this even before the surgery. I think it's really important to be aware that you always need to control what you eat and the surgery alone isn't enough for a lifetime. Posts like this are so motivational and helpful for life.

Especially helpful to know that regain will happen, even if just a small amount, in the future years and it just needs to be nipped in the bud. Really so helpful and thank you!

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I was looking for this forum I just joined today. I am 2 years 2 months post gastric bypass . I only had regain like for 2 to 5 pounds and that is where I was not accountable like hanging with people who introduce the foods to me and I was tempted to indulge so most times I remind myself why I did this surgery and remove myself from the situation and get back on tract. Since the pandemic I haven't gain any weight because I am vigilant with my food I do a lot of exercise like waking and work out with a trainer but now we close down again so I do from home. I find that dairy especially yogurt cause the scale not to move. Getting in my Water, Protein and Vitamins really help me so much. I find that snacking doesn't help at all the scale goes up when I snack. Also I will try to do the no meat and see if it will help me to. You are so right nutrition plays a big role in this journey. Keep working hard at the regain it will go. Good luck

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Hello,

I had my surgery in October 2014. I went from a 14/16 plus size and 244lbs at 5’5.5” to a size 6 170lbs. In 2015 I became disabled and depressed. I lost my career and independence, social life... I was put on many medications that caused me to gain 60lbs in two months. After 1 and A half years I weighed over 300 pounds. I was disgusted. The medications were damaging my liver so my husband suggested to go vegan. Three years Later I’m a size 8 and I weigh 169 pounds. I don’t even know how I did it but I did and I wanted to share it with you all. Because you can do it to! Just never give up and make small changes and soon the small changes will become your new habits. I was only vegan for one year. Then I started ensure plus and cooked a healthy dinner. My health problems do interfere with my appetite so I guess that helps a little. But I have my restriction back and my latest report from the doctor was that all my labs are normal including my liver. The picture shows me in July 2017 and me in December 2020. I’d like to stay in touch with the others who are striving to maintain your health. I’m looking for a support system because I don’t have anyone else who’s been through what I’ve been through but I know you’re out there.

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