How to Break A Weight Loss Plateau After Gastric Sleeve

How to Break A Weight Loss Plateau After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Are you experiencing a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve weight loss surgery? Unfortunately, in 2023, it’s a common predicament that many bariatric patients find themselves in: You were losing weight dramatically after the surgery, and now the scales are not budging. What happened?

Weight loss plateau can be very common in the aftermath of an operation. In many cases, a weight loss plateau may occur as a result of the patient not implementing a healthy lifestyle. This leads to weight gain. In other instances, a bariatric plateau can occur after subsequent weeks of dramatic weight loss.

Even if you’re doing everything right: eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough fluids, a gastric sleeve weight loss plateau may be inevitable during weight loss. What many don’t realise is that patients will often hit a plateau after gastric sleeve surgery, because of physiology, rather than their diet or habits. The important thing to remember is that this part of the journey is normal, and if necessary, you can follow your doctor’s advice on how to break a weight loss plateau and how to avoid weight regain after bariatric surgery. We’ll be with you every step of the way!

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How to Break A Weight Loss Plateau

Before we get down to providing tips on how to break a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery, it’s important to remember that a weight-loss stall is relatively normal after bariatric surgery. Gastric sleeve patients will typically experience rapid and dramatic weight loss immediately following the stomach pouch surgery; after a few weeks of adjusting, your body will naturally slow down this process. Even if you’re doing everything by the doctor’s orders, a weight loss plateau, stall or temporary regain of lost weight can be inevitable.

And if you’re not doing everything that your doctor has outlined? While gastric sleeve weight loss plateau is not ideal, it may be the kick that you need to truly understand that weight loss surgery is not the secret potion to fast weight loss. If you want to successfully lose weight and keep it off with bariatric surgery, you have to stick to your doctor’s prescription of a healthy, balanced diet and regular physical exercise.

what is bariatric plateau

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What Is Bariatric Plateau?

Bariatric plateau refers to the stalling of weight loss, after the completion of bariatric surgery. Gastric sleeve surgery, gastric banding and gastric bypass surgery are all bariatric procedures that are performed to directly help the patient to lose weight. In the majority of cases, patients undergoing these procedures will experience immediate and considerable loss of excess weight in the weeks after bariatric surgery.

Typically occurring after the three-week mark post-op, a gastric sleeve weight loss plateau is when the rapid weight loss slows down or stops altogether. Bariatric plateau is very normal, temporary and is generally caused by the body’s attempts at adjusting to a new diet and an alternative energy source. Whatever the cause of bariatric stalling, there are plenty of ways to continue living healthy and where required, continue losing weight. Here at Central Coast Surgery, we’re going to break down how to break a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery. It is crucial not to get discouraged: stick to your new routines to avoid regaining lost weight.

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Why Have I Stopped Losing Weight After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

So, you’re wondering how to break a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery? First, you need to understand what’s stalled your weight loss journey and why. There are many reasons for you to have stopped losing weight after bariatric surgery. In any case, a gastric sleeve weight loss plateau is normal – don’t stress. Some patients may experience a plateau because they have failed to stick to their diet and exercise routine, and for many, a gastric sleeve weight loss plateau is inevitable; even with all parameters in place. Furthermore, gradual weight gain can be normal during a bariatric plateau. For many, this is just a phase that will either pass, or gradually become less of a concern as you reach your weight loss goals over time.

One reason a patient may have plateau is that the body adapts to the dramatic weight loss and defends itself against further weight loss. Let’s not forget that when one undergoes gastric sleeve surgery, we’re altering the digestive tract and changing the way the body consumes, absorbs and digests food and liquids. The body’s natural defence system when it is put under stress will work to protect the vital organs and maintain steady health. The dramatic weight loss that’s involved in gastric sleeve surgery may result in the body working on trying to maintain body fat and energy stores.

In the case of someone who has not adhered to the diet and exercise plan designed by their doctors, weight loss plateau really is inevitable. Many patients go into gastric sleeve surgery, thinking that the procedure will provide a quick-fix for their obesity and obesity-related conditions. And it almost always will – patients will immediately lose weight and begin reaping the benefits of bariatric surgery. However, the weight will only continue to fall off and stay off if the patient is committed to leading a healthier, balanced lifestyle. Failing to eat well, consume the right amounts of liquid and undergo physical exercise can result in weight loss stalling that can be extremely challenging to break.

As you lose weight, your metabolism will change and adapt at the same time. While your body will continue to burn muscle and fat cells, your metabolism will inevitably change during this process which can lead to a ‘plateau’ in the months that follow gastric sleeve surgery. It goes without saying, however, for most patients this plateau or temporary pause in losing weight can be incredibly frustrating. However, it’s important to remember that this is all part of the journey and is a necessary step in ensuring that your metabolism adjusts to meet your new weights and need habits.

common causes of weight loss plateau

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Breaking Weight Loss Plateau After Gastric Sleeve Surgery: How to Do It

Wondering how to break a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery? You’re not alone. However, the cause of a weight loss plateau or a stall after bariatric surgery will vary from patient to patient.

With this in mind, our strategies for breaking a gastric sleeve weight loss plateau are under the assumption that you will also seek medical advice from your physician, dietician and bariatric surgical team. Post-operative care is a crucial element of your bariatric and gastric sleeve procedure. Central Coast Surgery also recommend the following for breaking weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery:

1. Keeping A Journal

When you undergo bariatric surgery, you’ll be instructed to keep a food, weight and exercise journal for post-operative analysis. Keeping a journal also helps patients to keep on top of diet and exercise; letting go of old habits and reinforcing the good habits that they should be adhering to. Once a patient experiences dramatic weight loss, they tend to put journaling on the backburner. However, a journal can really help you to understand how to break a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery, through your own patterns. If you’re experiencing weight loss plateau, get back to keeping a journal on your diet, calories, weight and exercise habits.

2. Reassess Your Diet

Under the supervision of your dietician, you may need to reassess your diet. Even if you’ve been eating a healthier, more balanced diet than ever before, adjusting the intake of different foods can help to break the weight loss plateau and overcome limited fat burning after gastric sleeve surgery. You may be able to shift your intake of different macronutrients, or your protein sources may need adjusting. Talk to your dietician about potentially wrong foods, be open to change and make sure you’re still consuming enough calories – not eating enough will only increase the risk of binge eating, stress earing, and over-eating.

3. Physical Activity

Have you been exercising enough? Sure, it can be tough to maintain a routine of regular physical activity after your surgery, but not exercising can be detrimental to your weight loss journey. If you’re not exercising, or are not able to maintain a routine, and your weight loss has plateaued, schedule some more time for a workout each day. During your workouts, your heart rate should be elevated, and you should be doing some intense exercise every week!

4. Look After Your Mental Health

A weight-loss plateau and weight regain after gastric sleeve surgery can be stressful, frustrating and really take a toll on your mental health. It’s important to remember that after gastric sleeve surgery, you need to nurture your mental wellbeing as much as your physical health. Surround yourself with a strong support network and take time out of each day practice some self-care.

If you’ve reached a weight loss plateau or gained some weight, don’t let it result in a larger problem. If your efforts towards how to break a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve are not working, continue seeking support from your weight loss clinic, surgeon, support groups, dietician and psychologist. Remember to look retrospectively at how far you’ve already come with your weight loss journey and how much you’ve achieved. Whatever you do, don’t give up and revert to your old eating and exercise habits – this could lead to gaining all of the weight you have lost from your gastric sleeve surgery.

how to break a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery

Slow Weight Loss After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

In 2023, we often have patients concerned at the rate in which they lose weight.

It’s important to remember that each patient will respond differently to weight loss surgery.

Slow weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery is not necessarily a bad thing – it means that while others may experience stalling, your risk of plateauing is decreased. Gradual weight loss also means that you will likely have more energy during this process, lots of fat loss, a decreased risk of excess skin and more time to get used to their new, healthier lifestyles.

Slow weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery is not necessarily a bad thing – it means that while others may experience stalling, your risk of plateauing is decreased. Gradual weight loss also means that you will likely have more energy during this process, lots of fat loss, a decreased risk of excess skin and more time to get used to their new, healthier lifestyles.

How Long Does the 3 Week Stall Last?

If you’ve done your reading on gastric sleeve weight loss plateau, you may have heard of the “3 week stall”. The 3 week stall refers to a pattern that many bariatric patients experience, in which their weight loss plateaus at the 3 week mark following their procedure.

As mentioned earlier, weight loss stalling is relatively normal after gastric sleeve surgery. 3 week stalls may be caused by a variety of reasons, namely that the body is working out the best way to adjust to the new stomach sleeve and dramatic weight loss. Often the first few weeks of repaid weight loss is a combination of water, muscle and fat. However, long-term fat loss results will take time, after some inevitable bumps in the road.

If you’re wondering “how long does the 3 week stall last?”, it really depends. It depends on your body, the food you’re consuming, the exercise you’re undertaking and how your body adapts. For some, the 3 week stall will last for a few days or a couple of weeks. Others may experience the plateau for longer. For more information on how to break a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery, you’re going to need additional support from your weight loss clinic. It’s important to consult with your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or routine.

Learn More About Healthy Weight Loss with Central Coast Surgery

Central Coast Surgery offers a team of expert weight loss clinicians to support bariatric surgery. Our resident surgeon, Dr Ken Wong, is a leading expert in the field of bariatrics and gastric sleeve surgery in Australia. Offering gastric sleeve surgery to all residents across NSW, Central Coast Surgery offer a multidisciplinary team of experts to provide constant support to patients, for addressing weight gain, including surgeons, physicians, psychologists and dieticians.

Whether you’re a Central Coast patient and you’re experiencing weight loss plateau, gaining weight again, or you’re suffering from obesity and want to learn about your bariatric surgery options, get in touch with our friendly team today to schedule a consultation.