Weight Regain After Bariatric Surgery

So you decided to have weight loss surgery and now you are struggling with a few extra pounds that you gained. No one really wants to believe that this can happen but it can and it will if you are not careful. Weight regain can be extremely frustrating to a patient after they have worked so hard to get to their goal weight.

Let’s remember a few things about any bariatric procedure. Bariatric surgery is NOT a cure for your obesity. For example, an alcoholic is not cured of alcoholism because they attend AA meetings and have remained sober. Bariatric surgery is a tool to help make your weight loss journey a little less of a struggle. It is meant to reduce your appetite and control your portion sizes. If you used any tool the incorrect way it would bear no benefit to you. Can you use a hammer upside down to help you build a house? No, definitely not.

Remembering that bariatric surgery is supposed to be used as a tool is paramount to success. If you begin falling back into old habits of poor eating or picking at food all day long, your weight can begin to increase. Remember that there is no procedure available that will make you feel full from eating a handful of cheese doodles several times a day. If excessive amounts of calories are getting into your body due to frequent snacking on high carbohydrate foods (crackers, chips, cookies, juice, alcohol) your surgery is not “cancelling out” the calories. Foods that are high in carbohydrates that provide little nutritional value can be a disaster to your diet.

Bariatric surgery is a lifetime commitment to healthier eating. Motivation is usually extremely high in the beginning when the weight seems to be coming off effortlessly. Once you get down to a comfortable weight it’s easy to get lazy and begin to make poor choices again. Frequent follow-up with our practice is essential for long-term success. It’s very common to see patients who simply stopped following up have weight gain. Oftentimes it’s due to embarrassment that they have gained weight or have not done well overall. One office visit can pinpoint these issues and a patient can go on to lose any gained weight. Always remember that obesity is a lifelong illness and surgery does not cure it. Your emotional attachment to food does not always go away and if you are struggling please start making regular appointments again. Becoming accountable again is a great start to getting back on track.

Of course weight gain can happen for a number of reasons and is not limited to just making poor dietary choices. There are certain medical conditions, hormonal imbalances and medications that could attribute to weight gain as well. If you have gained weight and have stopped following up in the office please make an appointment to be seen. Discussing these issues with your healthcare provider could be what you need to get back on track.

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