Losing weight is hard enough. But you know what’s worse? Keeping the weight off! It’s equally as challenging. Even with our most earnest efforts, the weight we lose just keeps coming back. It sometimes makes us feel that weight regain is an annoying automatic body function.

Weight loss and regain is definitely a cycle that is frustrating to anyone that has tried to lose weight. Getting the weight back also leads to weight-related comorbidities coming back, putting your health at risk once again.

This seemingly never-ending struggle with losing weight, and regaining what little weight was lost, is one of the reasons why individuals with a BMI score of 40 and above, or those with a score of 35 and above and have weight-related comorbidities, are recommended to undergo bariatric surgery.


What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a term used to refer to a variety of weight loss procedures that all aim to reduce the weight of obese or morbidly obese individuals. The most common forms of bariatric surgery include gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass surgery, and gastric band or lap band surgery.

Bariatric surgery is resorted to when diet, physical exercises, and lifestyle changes have not achieved significant weight loss. It is also an option widely subscribed to for individuals who are obese and have a weight-related medical condition.


Is the effect of any bariatric surgery permanent?

While bariatric surgery helps individuals lose weight, it is not a permanent weight loss solution. It is a procedure to help obese individuals lose the weight that they have unsuccessfully tried to lose but have fallen short of.

Once the weight is off (ranging anywhere from 47% to 80% of a person’s excess weight), changes in lifestyle, eating habits, food choices, and adding exercise should help keep the weight off. Relying solely on bariatric surgery without making the necessary changes in other aspects of our lives that contribute to weight gain will not give individuals who undergo any of the procedures any optimal weight loss result. It may in fact lead to weight regain even after the procedure.

Realistically speaking, up to 25% of the excess weight that was lost after surgery comes back. This may lead to frustration among individuals who have had their procedures done. It is important therefore that expectations on how much weight will be lost, and how to keep it off after surgery are clear to the individual undergoing the procedure.


Why is there weight regain after bariatric surgery?

Weight regain after bariatric surgery is primarily diet and lifestyle related. If the procedure is not accompanied by changes in these, you can expect the weight lost to come back. 

For example, if you have the tendency to stress eat, you have to get help in changing that. Or if you were already addicted to chocolates before the surgery, you will have to remove that addiction. 

Of course, there are other factors for weight regain. How our bodies store and burn fat after surgery can change. You might get a slower metabolism, for instance, which will affect the burn rate of your stored fat into energy. And for women, entering the stage of menopause may also contribute to weight regain after bariatric surgery.


How do you manage weight regain?

Of course, just because there’s weight regain even after surgery doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. Here are some things you should pay attention to so that you can get out of the cycle of losing weight and gaining the weight you just lost.

1. Change your diet.

After bariatric surgery, the capacity of your stomach to hold in food will be smaller. You, therefore, have to get used to eating smaller portions of your food. And this has to be maintained after surgery. You also need to learn how to eat slowly and thoroughly chew your food to help your stomach digest the food.

Your food choices also have to go in the direction of healthy options. As much as possible, go for healthier whole foods and forego those that are rich in sugar, calories, and fats. Avoid consuming food with empty calories such as pastries, chips, sweets, and popcorn.

To avoid weight regain, you should also steer clear of alcoholic beverages, sugary and high-caffeinated drinks. Minimizing or avoiding altogether starchy food such as bread, rice and pasta also mitigate weight regain. And while vegetables are healthy choices, avoid fibrous ones such as corn, broccoli, cabbage, and asparagus. Don’t forget to add a variety of fruits in your diet.

Diligently follow the recommended nutritional plan after surgery. As much as possible, avoid snacking in between recommended meals. It also helps if you keep a food log of your daily intake. Discuss this with your medical team or support group to help keep you on track to maintaining your momentum towards weight loss.


2. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

You should reduce periods of inactivity by incorporating more physical activity in your daily routine. This is a must if you want to avoid weight regain after bariatric surgery. You do not have to go grand and big at first. Try to take small steps to add more physical activity and exertion to your everyday routine.

You can pick up a sport, or develop new physical habits such as walking 20 minutes after every meal. Small changes in your lifestyle such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking your car farthest from the establishment that will increase the distance that you have to walk, when done repeatedly, will add up to your sustained weight loss or minimal weight regain.


3. Join a support group.

It is very difficult to adapt to changes. If you find yourself struggling, you may want to consider being part of a bariatric support group. Being with individuals who are also struggling to keep the weight off will provide you with the space where you are understood and supported.

This is also a platform for you to understand other people’s struggles as well, and to be part of their successes. And you never know, you might form amazing relationships with the people in the group. Who will say no to new friends, right?


Sustain your weight loss gains with Davtyan Medical and Weight Loss and Wellness 

Bariatric surgery is the most effective weight loss procedure for individuals with a BMI score of 35 and above. It also has the highest rates of weight maintenance, compared with diet and lifestyle changes alone. Keeping the weight off with bariatric surgery, sustained by healthy food choices, eating habits, and lifestyle modifications will help you sustain the weight loss for years to come. 

If you need the right information on managing weight to regain and anything related to weight loss, talk to us at Davtyan Medical and Weight Loss and Wellness. We guarantee that we can provide you with all the right information you need. 

And if you feel the need to discuss further, such as getting a procedure scheduled, talk to us and explore how we can work together towards achieving and maintaining your weight loss goals and successes. 

We look forward to hearing from you!