Weight loss can be a long and challenging journey, and it becomes even more so when you have undergone gastric sleeve surgery. This surgical procedure involves the removal of a significant portion of your stomach, reducing its size and consequently limiting the amount of food you can consume.
While this surgery is an effective way to jump-start weight loss, some patients may find themselves stuck in a weight loss plateau or regaining some of the weight they previously lost. The good news is that there are ways to restart weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery and achieve sustained success.
In this article, we will explore tips to shed those extra pounds and overcome any obstacles preventing further weight loss. Whether you’re just starting on your weight loss journey or have hit a roadblock, these strategies can help you get back on track. So, let’s dive in!
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston S. Churchill
Throughout this post, we’ll discuss everything from developing healthy eating habits to incorporating physical activity into your routine. With our guidance and support, you’ll be able to reinvigorate your efforts towards weight loss and regain control of your health and well-being.
Don’t give up on your weight loss goals just yet. With these proven methods, you can successfully restart your weight loss journey after gastric sleeve surgery and achieve lasting results. Let’s get started!
Understand the Importance of Protein in Your Diet
Protein Builds and Repairs Tissue
Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues throughout our body. This process is especially important for those who have undergone gastric sleeve surgery, as their stomachs are significantly smaller than before and need to ensure they consume enough nutrients to help the body’s natural healing processes.
The human body requires protein to support all sorts of tissues such as muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, and organs. Without enough protein in your diet after weight loss surgery, your body may not be able to repair damaged tissue, which can impair wound healing post-surgery.
To avoid any complications, it’s recommended to take at least 60-80 grams of protein daily following gastric sleeve surgery, depending on your body’s needs and metabolism rate. It helps in restoring the health of damaged tissue by increasing collagen synthesis in the body and better nutrient absorption from food sources.
Protein Is Essential for Hormone Production
Consuming adequate amounts of protein is also critical for keeping up with healthy hormone production in the body. Research suggests that various hormones, including insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and testosterone, play a key role in maintaining muscle mass, improving metabolic function and boosting energy level, which ultimately leads to long-term weight loss success.
Apart from hormonal regulation, protein-rich foods elicit feelings of fullness and satisfaction after eating, offsetting hunger pangs and cravings, leading to significant fat loss results. Incorporating lean meats, fish, dairy products, beans, soy, nuts, and seeds, into your new lifestyle is a great way to get plenty of protein into your diet without adding extra carbohydrates or fats.
Most bariatric surgery patients are encouraged to consume their protein from shakes and powders that contain all essential nutrients required by the bodies for muscle recovery and immune support. These supplements come in handy when there’s face difficulty consuming or digesting whole foods earlier on post-op, making it easier to fulfill daily recommended protein intake quotas.
Increase Your Water Intake
Water Helps Flush Toxins from Your Body
The importance of water in flushing out toxins cannot be overstated. After gastric sleeve surgery, it’s essential that you drink plenty of water to help your body get rid of the harmful substances that can accumulate during weight loss.
According to Dr. Howard Murad, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare, “Your kidneys need water to filter waste products from your bloodstream. If you don’t drink enough water, your kidneys have to work harder and may not function properly. When your kidneys aren’t working at full capacity, other organs pick up the slack. This can lead to overworking and, ultimately, an accumulation of toxins.”
Maintaining proper hydration levels is key to supporting healthy kidney function and flushing toxins from your body. Drinking water regularly after gastric sleeve surgery can help ensure that you’re getting the fluids your body needs to support this critical process.
Water Aids in Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
Drinking enough water also aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat. After gastric sleeve surgery, your stomach volume is drastically reduced, which means you’ll likely need to make some changes to your diet to meet your nutritional needs while consuming fewer calories overall.
Adequate hydration helps break down food particles and facilitates the transport of nutrients across cell membranes, making them more accessible to your body for energy production and tissue repair.
In addition, according to Dr. Michael F. Picco, a gastroenterologist with Mayo Clinic, “When the body is dehydrated, the large intestine pulls water from stools to maintain hydration, leaving them dry and hard. This makes them difficult to pass, leading to constipation.”
If you’re struggling with constipation after gastric sleeve surgery, increasing your water intake can help alleviate symptoms and keep your digestive system moving smoothly.
Water Can Help You Feel Fuller and Eat Less
Drinking water regularly throughout the day can also help you feel fuller for longer periods of time. After gastric sleeve surgery, portion control is key to maintaining a healthy weight, so finding ways to reduce hunger pangs is essential.
According to Dr. Melina Jampolis, a board-certified physician nutrition specialist, “Research has shown that drinking water before meals helps people eat less without even trying. One study found that drinking 16 ounces (2 cups) of water before each meal led to greater weight loss than a group that didn’t drink any extra water.”
This means that by increasing your water intake, you may be able to reduce your food cravings and consume fewer calories overall, making it easier to restart your weight loss journey after gastric sleeve surgery.
- Tips for Increasing Your Water Intake:
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go to make staying hydrated more convenient.
- Try infusing your water with fresh fruit or herbs like cucumber, lemon, mint, or ginger to add flavor without added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Create goals for yourself based on how much water you want to drink daily and track your progress using an app or journal.
Avoid Processed Foods and Sugars
Processed Foods are Often Low in Nutrients
After gastric sleeve surgery, it is important to focus on nutrient-dense foods that will provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals for healing and weight loss. Unfortunately, many processed foods do not fit this criteria.
Foods such as pre-packaged snacks, frozen dinners, and fast food tend to be high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, while lacking in essential nutrients. These foods may also be full of preservatives and chemicals which can negatively impact your health.
Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. These foods will not only provide your body with the nutrients it needs but may also aid in satiety and promote long-term weight loss success.
Sugary Foods Can Contribute to Weight Gain and Health Problems
It is no secret that sugary foods and drinks can contribute heavily to weight gain and a number of health problems post-weight loss surgery. Bariatric patients should avoid foods with added sugars such as candy, soda, baked goods, and sweetened cereals.
The primary issue with consuming sugar after bariatric surgery is that it contributes significantly to hunger cravings. Many people who have undergone gastric sleeve surgery find it difficult to consume enough protein due to stomach restrictions. When you eat sugar, it not only temporarily fills you up but also ignites intense sugar cravings within an hour or two. This makes sticking to any sort of diet plan very challenging and would most likely harm weight loss efforts rather than help them.
If you crave something sweet, try opting for alternatives that are low in sugar but still satisfy your craving. Eating whole fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and apples can help satisfy a sweet craving without derailing your weight loss progress. You could also try making sugar-free desserts using natural, low-calorie sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit.
Avoiding processed foods and sugary treats can be challenging but it is important to remember that nourishing your body with nutrient-dense, whole foods after bariatric surgery is essential for long-term health and success
Start Exercising Regularly
If you have undergone gastric sleeve surgery, congratulations on taking a big step towards improving your health. However, the journey towards weight loss does not end with the procedure alone. To lose weight and maintain it in the long run, you need to make some lifestyle changes based on your surgeon’s advice. One such important habit is exercising regularly.
Exercise Helps Build Muscle and Burn Fat
The primary reason for exercising is to burn calories, which helps in weight loss. The more vigorous the exercise, the more calories burnt. However, focusing only on cardio exercises may limit muscle building, which is equally essential for weight loss. Building muscles increases the body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), resulting in burning more calories even when at rest. A combination of strength training and cardiovascular workouts is crucial for optimum weight loss results.
Regular Exercise Can Improve Heart Health
Your heart is one of your most vital organs that require regular physical activity to remain healthy. Regular exercise can help improve heart health by reducing blood pressure, triglyceride levels and increasing good cholesterol (HDL) levels. According to a report by Harvard Medical School, “The risk of developing coronary artery disease decreases as people engage in regular physical activity.”
Exercise Can Boost Your Mood and Mental Health
Exercising does more than just keep you physically fit; it has numerous psychological benefits too. Engaging in physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins, hormones that reduce stress and create feelings of euphoria. According to Mayo Clinic, “exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, improves mood, and boosts self-esteem.” Incorporating regular exercise into your routine will provide a significant boost to your overall well-being.
Buckle up with a wearable fitness tracker or pedometer that tracks your daily activities, calories burnt and progress. These can be fantastic motivators as you can compete against yourself to keep increasing the limits.
Start small if you’re new to exercising – begin with low-intensity workouts such as walking, yoga or swimming before moving on to high-intensity exercises like weight lifting or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training).
Experiment with different types of workouts to avoid monotony in your routine that might lead to boredom and eventually giving up. Variety will not only help challenge your body but also make exercising fun and enjoyable!
“The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” – Kenneth H. Cooper, founder of aerobics movement
Regular physical activity plays a critical role in achieving sustainable weight loss results after gastric sleeve surgery. Exercise helps burn fat, builds muscle mass, improves heart health, boosts self-esteem and overall well-being. Therefore, develop a workout routine that suits your needs, stay consistent, and remember that all physical activity counts, so aim to move more each day. Keep at it and see how exercising regularly enhances the quality of your life!
Track Your Food Intake and Exercise Progress
If you’ve recently undergone gastric sleeve surgery, it’s important to continue making healthy choices in order to maintain your weight loss progress. One effective way to do this is by tracking your food intake and exercise habits. Here are a few reasons why:
Tracking Helps You Stay Accountable to Your Goals
When you track what you eat and how much you exercise, you can easily see if you’re sticking to your goals or not. This level of accountability can be an incredibly powerful motivation tool – when you know you’ll be logging all of your meals and workouts, you may be more likely to make healthier choices and move your body regularly.
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” -Stephen Covey
Tracking Can Help You Identify Areas for Improvement
If you find that your weight loss has stalled after gastric sleeve surgery, tracking can help you identify potential areas where you might need to improve. For example, if you notice that you’re eating too many processed snacks, you can work on finding healthier options instead. Similarly, if you don’t seem to be getting enough daily movement, you can brainstorm ways to add activity into your routine.
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” -Gail Sheehy
Tracking Helps You See Your Progress and Celebrate Your Successes
When you’re working hard to lose weight and get healthy, it can be easy to overlook the small steps forward you’re taking each day. However, when you track your food and exercise habits, you’ll have tangible evidence of your progress right in front of you. Seeing how far you’ve come can be incredibly motivating, and celebrating the small victories can help keep you going even when weight loss is slow.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
Tracking Can Help You Identify Patterns and Make Adjustments
If you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss journey after gastric sleeve surgery, tracking your habits can help you identify patterns that might be holding you back. For example, maybe you always snack mindlessly while watching TV at night, or perhaps you tend to make less healthy choices on weekends. Once you know what these patterns are, you can work on making targeted adjustments to overcome them.
“In order to change anything outside us, we must first change within us.” -Tony Robbins
Tracking your food intake and exercise progress after gastric sleeve surgery can be an incredibly helpful tool in reaching and maintaining your weight loss goals. Whether you use a fitness tracking app, a notebook and pen, or another method altogether, there are many different ways to get started with this habit today!
Consult with a Dietitian or Nutritionist
Losing weight can be incredibly challenging, especially after undergoing weight loss surgery such as gastric sleeve. One of the best ways to restart your weight loss journey is by consulting with a dietitian or nutritionist. These professionals can help you create a personalized plan that caters to your specific needs.
A Nutritionist Can Help You Develop a Personalized Plan
If you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss journey, it may be time to reassess your current eating habits and make some changes. A nutritionist can help you develop a personalized meal plan that takes into account your unique dietary needs. They will work with you to identify areas where you might be able to cut back on calories while still providing your body with all the nutrients it needs.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “nutritionists are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease.” By working with a nutritionist, you can begin to understand how certain foods affect your body and learn strategies for making healthier choices.
In addition to providing one-on-one consultations, many nutritionists also offer group classes or workshops where you can learn more about healthy eating. The support and accountability provided through these programs can be incredibly helpful in staying motivated and on track with your weight loss goals.
A Dietitian Can Help You Make Informed Choices About Your Diet
If you’re struggling to lose weight after gastric sleeve surgery, it’s important to remember that weight loss isn’t just about cutting calories – it’s about fueling your body with the right types of food. That’s where a registered dietitian comes in. According to the American Dietetic Association, “registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts who translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living.”
Working with a dietitian can help you identify any nutritional deficiencies and develop a plan to address them. They can also provide guidance on portion sizes, meal timing, and other factors that can impact your weight loss progress.
In addition to providing nutrition counseling, many registered dietitians also offer coaching or support services. This can include everything from grocery store tours to cooking classes to ongoing phone or email check-ins. By working with a dietitian, you’ll have access to the knowledge and resources you need to make informed choices about your diet and stay on track with your weight loss goals.
- Consulting with a Dietitian or Nutritionist: If you’re struggling to lose weight after gastric sleeve surgery, consulting with a dietitian or nutritionist can be incredibly beneficial. These professionals can help you create a personalized meal plan, learn about healthy eating habits, and get the support you need to reach your weight loss goals.
- Nutritionist Personalized Plan: A nutritionist will work with you to create a meal plan tailored to your specific dietary needs. They can help you understand how certain foods affect your body and provide strategies for making healthier choices.
- Dietitian Informed Choices About Your Diet: Registered dietitians are experts in translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. Working with a dietitian can help you become more aware of your nutritional needs, identify gaps in your current diet, and make informed choices about the food you eat.
“A healthy outside starts from the inside.” -Robert Urich
Getting back on track with your weight loss journey after gastric sleeve surgery can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. With the help of a dietitian or nutritionist, you can learn how to fuel your body with the right types of food and make informed choices about your diet. By taking a holistic approach to weight loss – one that focuses on both physical and emotional well-being – you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common reasons for weight loss plateaus after gastric sleeve surgery?
Some common reasons for weight loss plateaus after gastric sleeve surgery include not following a proper diet, not exercising enough, overeating, and hormonal imbalances. It is important to work closely with a healthcare professional to identify the cause of the plateau and develop a plan to overcome it.
What dietary changes can help jumpstart weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery?
Dietary changes that can help jumpstart weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery include eating more protein, reducing carbohydrate intake, increasing fiber intake, and avoiding processed foods. It is also important to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day and to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
How can exercise be incorporated into a weight loss plan after gastric sleeve surgery?
Exercise can be incorporated into a weight loss plan after gastric sleeve surgery by starting with low-impact activities such as walking and gradually increasing intensity and frequency. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to develop an exercise plan that is safe and appropriate for individual needs and abilities.
What role do hydration and adequate sleep play in weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery?
Hydration and adequate sleep play important roles in weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery. Staying hydrated helps to maintain energy levels and prevent overeating, while adequate sleep helps to regulate hormones that control appetite and metabolism. It is important to prioritize both hydration and sleep as part of a weight loss plan.
Are there any supplements that can aid in weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery?
There are some supplements that may aid in weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery, such as protein powder, multivitamins, and probiotics. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements, as they may interact with other medications or have adverse effects.
How important is accountability and support for weight loss success after gastric sleeve surgery?
Accountability and support are crucial for weight loss success after gastric sleeve surgery. Joining a support group or working with a healthcare professional can provide motivation, guidance, and accountability to help achieve weight loss goals. It is important to have a strong support system in place to maintain long-term success.