Everything is going great post bariatric surgery and then out of the blue the numbers on the scale don’t seem to be moving any more ? I am not discussing the very “early days” where your body is trying to re-calibrate, but longer term when you start to doubt that the losses will begin again. What’s up with that?
When we are actively trying to lose the weight in the early days and we feel almost like we are invincible (the tool is working!) and we are doing all the right things too ! We drink only water and we drink sufficient water, we exercise and we eat like champions – cutting out the snacks and grazing. We don’t drink water a half hour before or a half hour after we eat. Then,,, all of a sudden the losses slow right down or that number on the scale doesn’t seem to move – or GASP, it moves up a bit. MASS PANIC sets in ! We start believing we need to exercise more or do a total restriction in calories in hopes that we can start that scale moving again.
Weight Loss Plateau ? what the heck does that even mean ? that term refers to when your are not responding to your current exercise and diet plan. The body develops a sort of tolerance and this tolerance is your plateau. A plateau will allow your body to adjust to the stresses it is undergoing and slow it down and even stop the effects and results. If you are experiencing one of these stalls or plateaus have a check for some common signs.
Your scale is just not moving in any direction – not north or south.
You continue to do the same things but the results are just not there any longer.
The foods you are eating bore you now and you are eating the same things over and over plus you are fed up with your exercise regime.
Your exercise plan is just a bit easy and you are not having a proper workout now.
You are lacking motivation and aren’t worried about meals any longer.
Does any of this sound familiar to you ? Then this is what you can do …..
THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HIT A STALL OR PLATEAU:
GET OFF THE SCALE WHEN MONITORING WEIGHT LOSS:
Take a few weeks to track your progress instead of your weight loss. Do a side-by-side photo to see how far you have come. Take some measurements to record your transformation up to this stage. By doing this you will take away the stress of getting on the scale for a bit of time and you will have a new appreciation for what is happening with your body and your mind. Do this for four weeks and you will break your stall by yourself and be happier in the process.
PROTEIN INSTEAD OF REFINED CARBOHYDRATES:
A good idea is to replace the refined carbohydrate calories you are eating with protein calories. Protein and fat helps because it always requires more energy in order to break down in the stomach. The protein and fat is going to help suppress the hormones that stimulate appetite and you are going to feel fuller for longer. Don’t eat your protein all at the same time. Aim for about 20 to 25 grams per meal. You can get 20 to 25 grams with a small chicken breast for example.
CHANGE UP YOUR EXERCISE AND WORKOUTS:
Muscles have a memory and can become familiar with the same workouts day in and day out. This makes your regular workout less effective. Get out of your comfort zone and do something different or make a change and introduce something that has a slightly higher intensity.
WATCH YOUR PORTION CONTROL AND SNACKING:
Be sure that your portions are correct. If you snack, make sure to add up the amount you are snacking on. It’s easy to forget about that protein bar you had in the morning or the greek yogurt with almonds you ate while watching TV. Do a calorie count and use an app like myfitnesspal to track your calories and macros. It’s very easy to eat 1500 calories and if you add some slider foods, it’s easy to hit 2000 calories. This will make your weight loss slow down to a crawl.
Before just giving in to the Plateau, see what’s making it occur and see if you can switch things up to get the scales moving in the right direction. Stalls are normal and last 4 to 6 weeks but if your stall is lasting longer than this, there are probably things that you can do to get back on track again. The honeymoon period may be over but the sleeve is with you for life ! Work together with it to accomplish your goals.
Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you. We celebrate in seeing you succeed.
About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens.
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