By Ayotunde Adeyeri, M.D., FASMBS, Medical Director
Hitting a bariatric weight loss plateau or weight loss “stall” is common for just about everyone.
While it’s certainly frustrating, it’s essential to understand this only temporary.
A weight loss stall is not weight gain!
The good news is it usually happens after you have lost a significant amount of weight—so congratulations!
A stall (or plateau) is normal within the first year after surgery and occurs between one and three times, on average.
During your post-op weight loss, the body will eventually need a ‘time out” to stabilize itself and adjust to your lower nutrition intake, smaller size and increased calorie burn due to an increase in physical activity.
Generally, stalls can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, even though you’re staying on track. Expect from one to three plateaus in the first year following surgery.
Why do weight loss stalls happen?
After weight loss, your body has lost lean body mass (muscle) and fat. Muscle plays a big part in the burning of calories by keeping your metabolic rate high, so you want to hold onto muscle and strive to build more! (This is one of the reasons we ask you to eat so much protein).
A weight-loss plateau usually occurs when your metabolism slows down.
Now that you’re thinner, the activities you’re performing may not be resulting in as much caloric burning.
An increased metabolic rate is not the only reason for keeping muscle.
You want to keep muscle so you can use them to exercise and burn even more calories.
Weak muscles make exercise more difficult, so build muscle with strength training and cardio workouts.
Eight tips to overcome plateaus and boost metabolism
1. Increase the intensity of your exercise
2. Weigh yourself less often.
3. Keep food journaling to ensure there are no negative nutrition issues creeping in.
4. Eat all that protein to help retain muscle, even in shake form.
6. Drink 64 ounces every day.
7. Sleep eight hours nightly and keep a set schedule, even on weekends.
8. Check-in with me and our Sterling Surgicare team for extra support, tips and guidance.
What not to do during a bariatric weight loss stall
First and foremost, don’t turn to food, alcohol or sugar-laden drinks in frustration.
Don’t go in the other direction either—reducing your calorie intake or decreasing your daily water or protein requirements can send your body into a state of confusion that can hinder your progress.
Take your mind off the plateau and remove your feet from the scale for a few weeks.
Focus on fitness, looking great and feeling healthy.
My tip for patients is to ask them to try on favorite clothing they wore before surgery.
The shock factor of this simple (but joyful) exercise makes a temporary weight loss plateau just a brief blip on the weight loss journey screen.
Ready to Being Your Weight Loss Journey in 2020?
Terrific! Start by calling our team of bariatric specialists to find out if you qualify for surgery and investigate your medical insurance coverage.
Call us in Holmdel or Old Bridge at (732) 217-3897 and let’s get started regaining your health TODAY!