I had gastric sleeve surgery seven years ago. I have learned a lot about stalls since undergoing this weight loss procedure. Annoying long periods of plateaus following by rapid drops are expected after sleeve gastrectomy.
Patients who receive gastric sleeve have to work with the tool they acquired to keep their weight down after the first two-year of WLS honeymoon.
I have found a few things that work for me! So, I would like to share these with you today. Let’s go over what is stall first.
What is a gastric sleeve stall?
A gastric sleeve stall is a period of time when your weight loss is interrupted, and you fail to lose weight or start regaining weight. It turns out our bodies naturally get stalled from time to time. This is incredibly frustrating while on your weight loss surgery journey because it creates serious doubts in yourself.
We cannot expect to lose pounds every single day as our body needs to adjust after a period of weight loss. Factors affecting the stalls,
- Starting weight
- Weight loss before surgery
After undergoing bariatric surgeries like gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or duodenal switch, losing weight is not always a guarantee. According to the University of Iowa, “40 to 50 percent of bariatric patients are unable to sustain lasting weight loss after 10 to 14 years post-surgery.” Patients who hit a post-surgical cliff have to work 70% harder towards their post-op program to catch up and resume weight loss.
5 Tips to Break A Weight Loss Stall
#1 Start moving
Whether you increase your cardio or take a cycle class, find some sort of exercise routine that works for you. If you haven’t already started exercising regularly, a weight-loss stall after bariatric surgery is the time to do it.
By adding it in, you will burn more calories which can help move the scale. Every time I hit a plateau, I try to change up my exercise routine. It helps me get back on track, and I usually see the scale move within a few days.
Plus, it is excellent with generating endorphins and will make you feel better.
#2 Change up your eating
The post-op diet is essential but not always a one size fits all solution. To maintain long-term and rapid weight loss, you must find the root of the stall to regain balance. If you are like me, you might find yourself eating the same thing every day. This works well for a lot of people, so I understand why we do it.
However, over time your body might get used to the way you are eating and plateaus.
I have found that changing up what I am eating usually kickstarts me back on track to losing weight after gastric sleeve. Sometimes I take my calories down or sometimes I take my carbohydrates down. Sometimes I even increase calories or carbohydrates. You must evaluate your eating habits and make the call.
Make sure you follow adequate gastric sleeve surgery aftercare methods provided by your surgeon and dietitian. Exercise regularly to burn more calories and continue the weight loss process.
#3 Keep a food journal
Yes, I know it sounds silly, but journaling can really help you in a weight loss stall after vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). Sometimes there are other things going on that can cause plateaus, like stress or anxiety. By taking the time to journal, you will be in a clearer mental state to decide why you are hitting weight loss plateaus in the first place.
Using an app like MyFitnessPal is incredibly useful in measuring portion sizes and counting calories.
#4 Set new weight loss goals
This is the time to refocus your energy and set new weight loss goals for yourself. There might be things that you are doing that are not on the right track. Use this time to re-evaluate where you are in your weight loss journey so you can determine if you are in the healthiest place possible.
Set realistic goals and have realistic expectations. Stay in touch with your support group and always check in with your bariatric doctor and nutritionist.
#5 Be patient
Your body is changing fast, and sometimes you just need a second to catch up. Take a breath and remember why you started this journey. When you are losing 5-10 pounds a week, and then it stops, you might freak out.
However, it is important that you stay balanced and remember that your body is going through a lot. Give yourself time to relax and it will eventually start up again.
Food for thought
Weight loss is a never-ending battle! Bariatric patients must be determined and motivated to follow best practices for eating, exercise, and lifestyle changes. When hitting a plateau, you must be 100% focused on avoiding overeating and fighting the increased craving and appetite during stall and regain phases.
Stalls are going to happen after bariatric surgery. It is just part of the journey. I have found by doing these 5 things, I am a lot more open-minded and get back on track quicker. Take the time to do these things and you will be back on track in no time.
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