Slow Weight Loss After Weight Loss Surgery

When looking at the surgical weight loss journey, it is important to remember that no two patients are the same. Some patients appear to experience dramatic weight loss with ease, while other patients experience a more gradual process. The reality is there is no right or wrong way to lose weight following bariatric surgery. In this article, we take a deep dive into the factors that affect weight loss and share our best-practice recommendations to ensure you reach your weight-loss goals. 

What affects weight loss following surgery?

Our bodies are all unique and this uniqueness extends to three very important elements of the surgical weight-loss journey: 

  1. How our bodies process food and calories
  2. How our bodies use energy
  3. How our bodies absorb nutrients

While the above factors are all part of the digestive and metabolic process, there are 2 helpful perspectives to consider. 

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

To understand how your body processes food and calories, it helps to know your BMR. In short, your BMR is the minimum number of calories your body needs to perform everyday functions. Your BMR takes into account your age, weight, height and gender. Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise habits also affect your BMR.

Knowing your BMR will allow you to plan meals and ensure your base calorie needs are met. While there are online tools to help you calculate your BMR, Dr Kuzinkovas will help you calculate your BMR to ensure you have an accurate figure. Later in the article, we’ll also discuss how this information can be used to plan exercise. 

Body composition

Another important factor that affects the rate at which you will lose weight following surgery is body composition. Body composition refers to the percentage of fat, bone and muscle in your body. There are scientific methods of determining your body composition and, in the context of weight loss following surgery, these are not very important. What is important is the understanding of how even slight improvements in body composition can positively affect the rate at which you lose weight.

Unlike fat and bone, muscles use energy to function. From basic movements such as walking around your home, to resistance training, your muscles will be converting calories into movement. In simple terms, the more muscle mass you have, the more opportunity you have to burn calories and lose weight. 

How to maintain weight loss after weight loss surgery?

Maintaining steady and sustainable weight loss following surgery relies on many factors. Your age, genetics, medical conditions and hormonal changes are elements that contribute to how easy, or how difficult you will find it to keep losing weight. While these factors are considered difficult to change, there are a range of factors that are significantly easier to control and will improve how easily you can reach your goal weight. 

Food and nutrition

Regardless of the type of weight loss surgery you undergo, they all have one vital thing in common. All surgical weight loss procedures rely on a well-balanced diet and calorie deficit to achieve the desired loss of weight. The primary dietary goals are to:

  • Consume adequate amounts of quality protein
  • Consume sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals

Dr Kuzinkovas understands the importance of dietary support and incorporates experienced dieticians to support you following surgery. 

Exercise and physical activity

A tailored exercise program is necessary for maintaining progress throughout your journey. As your body changes, it will also adapt to the new levels of calorie consumption and physical activity. A properly structured exercise program will take into account this adaptation and ensure your weight loss progress is maintained. 

Dr Kuzinkovas recommends a personal trainer to assist you in adjusting a balance of cardiovascular and resistance training. Your trainer will create the best program for your current physical condition, body composition and BMR. Both of which will allow for a longer, more sustainable weight loss. 

Ongoing follow-up care

Following your procedure, ongoing follow-up care plays an equally important role in the weight loss journey. Physical and hormonal changes are likely to result in changes in all aspects of life, not just food and exercise. For many patients, additional support from your weight loss team is likely to be required. 

Dr Kuzinkovas promotes the benefits of a strategically chosen team to ensure you have everything required to reach and exceed your goals. This may include follow-up appointments with your surgeon and dietician. For some individuals, psychological support and counseling may be required. 

If you’d like to know about any of the above information, you are welcome to request a free phone consultation. 

Dr Vytauras Kuzinkovas is an Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon and has performed more than 5,000 weight loss procedures. He is actively involved in the training of medical students and surgical trainees. Please do not hesitate to contact Advanced Surgicare Clinic at 1300 551 533 to address your queries or schedule a consultation. 

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