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How to maintain Weight Loss after Bariatric Surgery?


Bariatric surgery is definitely an effective option for obese patients who have been unable to attain lose weight through weight loss programs and lifestyle changes. However, surgery alone is not enough to get rid of the excess weight. To maintain weight loss after bariatric surgery, patients must commit to certain lifestyle changes that will help them maintain a healthy weight and achieve an optimal state of health.


Here are some of the steps to maintain weight loss post bariatric surgery


1. Nutrition & Diet Plan

  • Proteins should be consumed in adequate amounts to minimize loss of lean body mass and facilitate healing. It may also help avoid (but not necessarily prevent) hair loss associated with rapid weight loss
  • Obtain adequate nutrients for optimal health through vitamin and mineral supplementation. After bariatric surgery, your body cannot absorb nutrients as efficiently. Anemia is also a common problem for post-surgical patients. To ensure you maintain sufficient nutrient levels, supplementation is necessary. Specific nutrients like iron, vitamin B12 and calcium are often where deficiencies occur. Your doctor can do blood tests periodically to check levels and recommend the right supplements for your needs.
  • Post surgery the there is a slow transition in the patient’s diet from liquid food to solid food. The patient’s first priority is to drink enough fluid to prevent dehydration; a protein supplement is a secondary priority. High protein liquids include skim milk, whey or soy protein high protein drinks etc. Low calorie liquids such as decaffeinated coffee clear juice diluted with water, broth, sugar free popsicles etc. can also be consumed. Soft foods should be gradually added into your meal plan, focus on high protein foods and avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, or fibre. Slowly you will be able to eat solid foods but in smaller portions.

2. Change in eating Habits

  • Eating small meals: It is necessary after bariatric surgery to eat smaller portions as the stomach can now hold a smaller capacity. Your body can burn calories better when you eat smaller meals, so additional calories don't accumulate in your body and turn to fat.
  • Eat slowly and be aware of when you feel full: When you feel full, stop eating. You may develop nausea due to overeating.
  • Chewing your food well and slowly: You need to make sure you chew your food very well before you swallow it. This makes it easier to digest and pass from your gastric pouch into your small intestine. Chewing your food slower and waiting 2 or 3 minutes between bites allows your stomach time to send signals to your brain when it is full. This will prevent overeating that leads to weight gain.
  • Avoid drinking fluids 30 minutes before and with your meals: If you fill up your small gastric pouch with liquid, you won't have room for your food. Furthermore, the liquids may accelerate passage of the solid food out of the stomach and possibly cause some discomfort.
  • Drink enough fluid to prevent dehydration: You need six to eight cups of fluid per day between meals to prevent dehydration. Water intake helps your body rid itself of toxins more efficiently. Additional water also helps the stomach feel full longer, so you eat less.
  • Avoid food and beverages high in sugar and limit high fat food: High sugar foods can cause "dumping syndrome." After gastric bypass surgery, some people feel light-headed, sweaty, or faint soon after consuming concentrated sugar. High fat foods should be avoided as they may make you feel nauseated
3. Start an exercise regime
  • Consult your doctor before you begin a workout program. Your doctor can advice you on the types of exercise programs that will be safest and most effective for you.
  • Exercise enables your body to burn fat more efficiently. After surgery, your body consumes fewer calories than it burns every day, which that leads to weight loss. However, the body has a tendency is to burn muscle before burning fat. Exercise preserves muscle and body burns excess fat instead.
  • Start slowly and gradually build up your pace as your stamina increases. Walking is one of the best workouts after bariatric surgery, because it allows you to go at your own pace.


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