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How To Get Back On Track After Weight Regain

How To Get Back On Track After Weight Regain

You are not alone if you are struggling with weight regain after bariatric surgery. In a perfect world of bariatric surgery, everyone would reach their weight loss goals and keep the weight off for their entire life. 

Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. While 5-10 pound weight regain is fairly normal as your body adjusts to life at your new weight, higher amounts of weight gain can be very discouraging. 

Take a look at this article to help give you a roadmap to getting back on track and feeling more comfortable with your health and lifestyle choices.

Reflect on What Contributed to Weight Gain

Before making any change, it can be very helpful to think about the events that happened in your life that lead to this moment. Have you been struggling with work or personal life stressors, returned to emotional eating, been more busy, or recently struggled with your own emotional and mental health?

Reflect on the last several months and the challenges that you have faced, and make a commitment to yourself to begin to make different choices in upcoming months.

While it is good to acknowledge what happened, it is equally important to not dwell on past decisions. We cannot change anything in the past, but we can make changes for the future.

Set Small, Achievable Goals

Half the battle is knowing where to start, especially when you feel like your diet is completely off center. The first advice I give all my patients is to begin with making a list of all the drinks you are consuming throughout the month.

Ask yourself, “Do these drinks have less than 5 grams of sugar per serving” and “do any of these drinks have carbonation?” If the answer is yes, begin by exploring your sugar-free drinks options, and quit all carbonated drinks.

Remember, the goal is to drink 64 ounces of water and/or sugar-free drinks each day. Once your drinks are in order, you can begin to evaluate meal time.

Recommit Yourself to your Nutrition Plan

When the goal is weight loss, we always recommend going back to the Stage 4 Diet. Please refer to your Nutrition Guidelines After Surgery book, CLICK HERE for a PDF copy, for an outline of this diet stage. 

The best place to start with recommitting yourself to a healthier diet is to first make sure you are eating 3 meals each day. For example, if you have been skipping breakfast, think about the challenges you face with eating this meal and think through some solutions.

If you have been waking up late, re-evaluate your bedtime routine to wake up earlier. If you are always rushing out the door, make your breakfast the night before to eat at work. 

Next, make sure protein is always present. Refer to the protein foods list in the Stage 4 Diet section of your Nutrition Guidelines After Surgery book for suggestions.

Once you have begun to eat regularly and have been incorporating protein consistently, begin the process of reducing and eliminating the foods that are very high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates.

Begin to Exercise Regularly

For some, beginning to walk or exercise more regularly is the place they would prefer to begin with getting back on track. Exercise doesn’t have to mean 1 hour of intense exercise at the gym.

One suggestion is to begin with going for a 10 minute walk on your work break or right after your shift ends before heading home. Set a small goal and work towards increasing the amount of time or intensity of your exercise as you feel comfortable. 

Meet with your Bariatric Dietitian

If all of this feels too overwhelming and you need more help talking through these steps and having more support along the way, please give your surgical center a call to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian.

We understand that maintaining weight after surgery is a challenge, and are always here to support your goal of living a healthier life. 

Attend A Bariatric Support Group

Another valuable resource for patients is to attend Bariatric Support Groups. If you are looking for a local, dietitian led, support group, take a look at the information below and this BLOG POST.

Central California Surgery- led by Prudence, Registered Dietitian

Katie Ott, MS, RD

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