Experiencing a plateau after weight loss surgery is never easy. Here's how to overcome a weight loss stall after bariatric surgery.

Dealing With “Plateaus” After Weight Loss Surgery

Last Updated on July 29, 2020

Weight loss after surgery occurs at a different rate for everyone. If you started off having more weight to lose, your weight loss may be faster, and if you have less weight to lose, it may be slower. Generally, you will lose 3-5 lbs per week for the first 3 months. After the first 3 months, weight loss will slow down and you may experience a plateau after weight loss surgery, but you will still continue to lose weight until 12-18 months after your bariatric procedure.

Plateau After Weight Loss Surgery

Plateaus are a normal part of the weight loss journey, as it allows your body to adjust to your weight loss. Even if the scale if not budging, you need to look at other parameters: are your clothes fitting differently? Have you lost inches? Are you strength training?

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Sometimes, the stall in your progress or weight loss plateau can also be related to your eating and activity habits and can be a result of the following:

  1. Grazing All Day
    • Are you eating bites of food here and there? Are you tasting food while cooking? These seemingly innocent morsels can add up over the day, making you go over your calorie limit. It’s important that you stick to a scheduled mealtime to avoid eating unnecessary calories throughout the day.
  2. Drinking Higher Calorie Beverages
    • Have you started drinking juice, ice-tea, or alcohol? These calories can add up fast, stalling your weight loss. Your fluids should come from zero or very-low-calorie beverages such as water, crystal light, and decaf coffee or tea.
  3. Drinking With Meals
    • Drinking with meals with enable your food to move through the stomach quicker, which will decrease the period of time you feel full and have your reaching for food sooner. 
  4. Not Drinking Enough Fluids
    • You may think that you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. Make sure you are getting at least 1.5-2L of fluids per day.
  5. Meet Your Protein Needs
    • Eating enough protein will help you preserve your muscle mass. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. Make sure you are getting 60-80g protein every day.
  6. Not Tracking Food
    • Recommit to tracking your food. This will help pinpoint any areas of concern.
  7. Old Exercise Routine
    • If your exercise routine has not changed in months, your body may have adapted to it and is no longer burning as many calories. Consider changing up your exercise program by altering the intensity, duration or the type of exercise.  Try exercising regularly so your body burns calories. 
  8. Not Enough Sleep
    • Lack of sleep can contribute to cravings, aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
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For more information on post-weight-loss surgery, have a look at our article on “Do I Need To Take Vitamins After Bariatric Surgery?”.

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As one of the leading weight loss surgeons in Canada, Dr Gmora has gained a reputation for being a master of his surgical craft and producing outstanding weight loss results.