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I am driving myself crazy with pre-op jitters but anyhow. I have a BMI of 35 and my doctor told me to expect to lose 55ish pounds from surgery. I read you lose 8 to 16 pounds first month so I am confused everywhere I read says it takes 18 months to reach that weight. How is that so if I lose 8 to 16 pounds a month? I don't know if weight loss is much slower than what I am reading because I have a lower bmi. Can anyone clarify?

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Posted (edited)

There are a few things you can rely on during this process. And all of them are okay. None are wrong or right.

  • Everyone loses at their own rate. Some lose more quickly. Others lose more slowly. Many factors influence this including, age, gender, pre existing health conditions, medications, etc. Hence the range of possible loss your surgeon suggested in your first month.
  • The more you have to lose, the faster you’ll lose at first.
  • Everyone’s rate of loss slows as they get closer to their final weight.
  • Stalls happen. You will have times the scales won’t move. The first often occurs around week 3+/- & they often last 1-3 weeks. Just stick to your plan & your weight loss will start again.
  • Not every one reaches their goal & some exceed their goal. The average loss at the three year mark is about 65% of the weight you were to lose to put you in a healthy range. I’d expect that is where the 55lb weight loss your surgeon has suggested comes from.

Like you, my BMI was 35. I’d lost all my weight by 6 months but continued to lose for another 11 months while sitting out my maintenance, albeit very slowly, to about where I am now. But that was my journey. Yours could be similar or different & that’s okay.

All the best with your surgery & journey.

Edited by Arabesque

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Some people lose less, some lose more, but you lose more pounds per month the higher your BMI. I lost 23 pounds the first month, but I was also well over 300 pounds. I lost 16 pounds the second month and 17 pounds the third month and only 7 pounds the fourth month and 11 pounds the fifth. My point is... your weight loss isn't going to be steady. It'll be all over the place. And even if your numbers are smaller... every pounds adds up. I reached my goal weight in 18 months (admittedly I did have the gain back that happens during your second year leading up to your third, partially due to a med that made me gain weight, but I'm still satisfied with my weight loss which is maintaining at 186-191. I'm 189 today. But I'm also having my monthly so I'm sure it'll go down again after the fact lol. TMI, sorry.). Technically speaking I still lost over the amount that was projected for me. My lowest weight according to my surgeon's office was estimated to be around 189 pounds (where I'm today) but I got down to 175 at my lowest. It was estimated that I'd end up at 199 during the gain back period when I hit 3 years. I'm at 189 currently and my 3 year surgiversary is about 2 weeks away. So you can certainly lose more than you surgeon says, but it's very much about your own body, metabolism, and dedication. I mean, I honestly feel like I could have lost another 10-15 pounds if I'd been super strict with my diet, but I didn't feel like I could have maintained that and kept my sanity. During the weight loss phase I took that time to learn a new way to eat in a sustainable way. Being super restrictive just is not something that I can do for the rest of my life to keep off an extra 10-15 pounds. My dietician says that the way I chose to go about things is healthier and sustainable and my blood work looks great so I'm clearly getting enough nutrition with my diet and my weight has been steady and maintained for the last 6 months (for almost a year before that it maintained at 179-183, but the stupid med made me gain weight. It's been maintaining where it's at now though for 6 months, so that's good).

Just, take your doctors numbers into account and then try and smash them if you can lol. Also, sorry for the long post. I'm an aspie so sometimes I do give out what some think of as pointless info that they feel they don't need, but hopefully this did help you in some way. That was the intent, anyway.

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I would say that estimate is likely conservative. You're starting at low BMI, as I did. Your prognosis is very good. Many low BMI patients lose all (or almost all) of their excess weight.

These are two great videos that talk about weight loss in low BMI patients:

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Posted (edited)

You see your biggest drops the first month or two. As others have said or implied, weight loss drops off the further out you are from surgery, and the closer you get to a normal BMI. You're obviously starting at a lower BMI than I did, but it took me 20 months to lose all my excess weight. After I hit the year mark, I was losing about 2 lbs a month, despite working pretty hard at it.

Edited by catwoman7

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yep, what they said 👆🏼

...the largest pound "droppages" (is that a word??) happen in the first 1-2 months.

i lost 21 and 17 lbs the first two months respectively and then roughly 10lbs each month thereafter until goal (lost as little as 9 lbs in month 6 and as high as 13 in month 4)

i weighed 235 two weeks before surgery (BMI 43 cuz im a short 5'2") and 223 on surgery day.

am 4+ years out and have gratefully stayed below goal the entire time (so far). this AM i weighed 120 even.

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Not quite sure he w to reply individually but thank you all so much. Very helpful and informative. I am so scared and in complete chaos in my head about it all lol.

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1 hour ago, Billy123 said:

Not quite sure he w to reply individually but thank you all so much. Very helpful and informative. I am so scared and in complete chaos in my head about it all lol.

I started with a bmi similar to yours three weeks ago. I had my surgery on 12/27. I was scared and my brain was chaotic for the weeks leading up to the surgery day. I suggest just taking things a day at a time. Follow your surgeon's plan for you and try to keep your mind busy with other things.

That being said, I was prepared by the day of surgery for any rate of weightloss going forward. All I can do is my best. I have given myself the tools to succeed and I am following directions to the letter.

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9 hours ago, The Greater Fool said:

8 to 16 pounds the first month is not equal to 8 to 16 pounds every month.

Good luck,

Tek

This. Your weight loss is likely to be most in the first month after surgery and then slow down and slow down and slow down more as you progress. Added to that everyone's journey is different. I am exactly the same as you - I wanted certainties going into this surgery, and things I could influence or control. Several months in I just realised that the surgery does its job if I do my job, and it was all SO much relaxed thereafter. Best of luck on your journey xxx

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I don't know how accurate this calculator is overall, but it was helpful for me to see a baseline trend of what could be expected in the first year on a month-to-month basis compared to people of the same demographics (age, gender, height, weight, ethnic group, and WLS type).

That being said, my chart predicts an average weight loss of 12 lbs in the first month, and I lost 9.5 lbs in the first 5 days after surgery. I'm only on day 9 post-op now, but I am 5'3", my surgery weight was 221 lbs, and I was at a BMI of 39 on surgery day.

https://riskcalculator.facs.org/bariatric/

Hope this helps!

Sent from my Pixel 5 using BariatricPal mobile app

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I keep reading through all the posts and regain is a significant issue which is understandable but is it preventable? Will my doctors help me for years post-op to help me?

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10 hours ago, Billy123 said:

I keep reading through all the posts and regain is a significant issue which is understandable but is it preventable? Will my doctors help me for years post-op to help me?

I guess that depends on your surgeon. I’m 3.75 yrs & I still see my surgeon’s colleague. Went from every three months to 6 months this year. Blood test reviewed, weighed, quizzed on issues concerns, etc. Not sure how much longer this will continue but it is reassuring they are just a call away & likely will be for years. My dietician said I could come back to her at anytime too.

As for regain, yes it is a possibility but not a guarantee. Why it could happen is a more difficult a question to answer. It could be because of lifestyle choices, weight re settling, medications, health issues, complacency, life (which can throw lots of crap at you sometimes) & so on. How much you may regain is individual too.

Did I gain? Yes but only a small amount. I gained 2kg (about 4lbs) in a month a year ago because of a health issue. I had to make a dietary change (increase protein) due to a discovered absorption issue (from having my gall removed). I was only able to drop about 500g of it over several months without making significant changes to my diet or exercise (& do something more than stretches). This was a lifestyle choice. Recently we discovered the absorption issue also meant my HRT medication wasn’t being absorbed either (which I believe contributed to the gain too) so I changed to a patch. Benefit has been I’ve dropped another 500g in the last two months (yes even over Christmas) without doing anything. So I sit about a kg heavier than I was when I was initially maintaining. I’m careful about what I eat, portion sizes & still aim to meet Protein & fluid goals every day. But that’s my story & my experience.

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