Are you looking to lose weight permanently? Weight loss surgery offers a permanent solution. However, while many people think of it as taking the “easy way out”, it is far from it.
Weight loss surgery comes with both pro’s and con’s. I personally had gastric sleeve surgery a little over 2.5 years ago and lost a total of 100 lbs. I’m thrilled with my progress and I’m super happy I have maintained my weight loss. It does fluctuate and I do want to lose a bit more, but I am not obsessed about it.
If you are considering this type of surgery you really need to fully comprehend what it’s about. I’ll share what I know and what I’ve learned with you. I know people that are struggling with their weight loss after surgery. I also know why they struggle. I hope you find this article helps you really understand what you can expect so you can make a more informed decision on how you will personally proceed with your own weight loss goal.
Consistent and Permanent Weight Loss
The most wonderful thing about this type of surgery is that it can be permanent. In my case so I found the weight loss very slow. In the beginning I lost 15 lbs the first month, 10 lbs the second month, and then I started to lose at a consistent 3 lbs per month.
You may not think that is fast enough but in reality it was very fast. Every 10 lbs I lost I dropped down a size in clothing. That’s a lot of money going into cloths.
At some point in time you may want to plan things out so that you put up with baggy clothes and then buy tight so you have a little more time to wear them.
That’s what I did. My biggest pair of pants was size 26 W and I now ware size 12. That is a LOT of sizes to drop over a period of 1.5 years! Those pants/shorts on top of my old fat pants in the picture above are a size 12. The style of these pants are the same and they are almost the same length. The beige “were” a little longer.
The next image is me waring the size 12 capri pants/shorts.
The first thing was I lost my craving for sweets. THAT was something I did not think would ever happen. I thought it only happened to other people, never something I could see happen for me. But yep, it happened and today I still do not crave sweets.
When I say, “crave” I am talking about a desire to eat that drives you insane if you don’t give into it. I do eat them. I just am very careful about what type of sweets I eat. In general, it is good for you sweets like cantaloupe, apples, and frozen strawberries in my protein shakes.
The next thing is the inability to eat a football portion of food. Typically people can fill up their stomach to about the same size as a football. That’s seriously too much food, but that is the problem isn’t it? Eating far too much food for what your body can process and what it needs.
So, the “honeymoon” stage is a vital period you must take advantage of after your surgery. You must retrain your brain to eat proper portions and stick to those portions. It’s not easy, but it is a must. What I do now is I fill my stomach with things like carrots, cucumbers, and nuts before I eat something I really want like cheese less veggie pizza. It’s so good I want to be sure I am well satisfied after eating the few pieces I do eat.
Another thing I do is I eat veggies during mindless eating periods such as when you are watching TV or just have a desire to much. Cucumbers and carrots are really good for mindless eating.
The one fact I am sure is true is this; people who lose weight from weight loss surgery are far more successful in keeping it off than people who lose it through conventional dieting. The reason for this is due to our “thermostat metabolic set point”.
This is something I am studying and will be posting more articles on how to lower your set point and maintain your weight loss as I personally am experiencing it and researching it.
Weight Gain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
You can look online at statistics, but they really don’t tell you the full story. My doctor, Dr. Powell told me that he has about 800 patients who had weight loss surgery and gained their weight back and or are struggling to keep it off.
This picture here I took after I lost about 75 pounds. Those are my “Fat pants”. They are size 36 and I still have them for a reminder.
In my case, I am a success story. I am one of his patience, however, I failed to keep the weight off through his main program. I don’t know if out of those 800 patience there are people like me who have been successful.
At the time he talked to me he said they were the ones that were struggling.
There are many different reasons why. I’ll give you a few I know to be true from my personal experience, and from the few friends and family members that have also had the surgery.
3 Reasons Why Patients Gain Weight Back After Surgery
#1. Marry (not her real name) had the surgery October of 2015 (last year as of writing this article). She lost her first 50 lbs without any issue. In fact she lost it far faster than I did. She also has not been hungry since her surgery.
However, she has told me that she is struggling with food. She eats fast food, sweets, and pretty much indulges in the same type of eating habit she had before the surgery. She has not given up. But she is most definitely struggling.
Her weight was almost 340 lbs before surgery. Now she is about 270. I will keep you updated and hope to get her to allow me to interview her as well.
Right now she should be avoiding bad food and eating healthy.
What she has now is called, “Head Hunger”. It’s wanting to eat without being hungry.
Emotional issues can be at the bottom of Head Hunger. Addiction comes in many forms. And addiction to food is probably harder to overcome than other addictions because you cannot stop eating.
However, you CAN change what your body wants and enjoys eating. I know because I have and am still successfully changing my diet. Right now I eat very well. But I want to raise my ratio of veggies to rice and beans.
#2. The second problem could be due to previous surgery. Mark (name is changed) had his surgery last year as well. However, he only lost 15 lbs after and is able to eat as much food as he ate before surgery. The problem?
I believe it is due to this being his second surgery. Mark originally had lap band surgery. He had nothing but problems after that surgery. One of the issues was with scar tissue building up as well as heart burn and other physically difficult issues like stomach pain, irritable bowel etc…
If you have already had one type of weight loss surgery you may not be able to see positive results if you choose to have a second one. In Marks case it was to fix the other health issues that the lap band caused. So, in his case, at least he is not having problems with his stomach as he did before.
I will have to try and get in touch with Mark as well to see how things are moving along. The doctors want to see if there is a problem with the size of his stomach and that might be why he’s able to eat so much.
Which brings me to the third reason why people gain the weight back.
#3. There are important stages in relation to how much food you can eat you should be aware of. The first 6 months is what some people have called the “Honeymoon” stage. It’s so easy to lose weight during this time you think you’re in “heaven”. Not in Marks case, but remember, Mark had a previous surgery that caused his current issue.
First Six Months is a Breeze
Your first six months you can only eat about 1 half to a full cup of food. You can hold more soup and liquids than meats and solid foods. The more liquid your food the closer to a full cup you can eat.
One Year Later
After your first year you can eat more food. However, you still will only be able to eat about a cup or so of food. Think about a burrito. Basically you can eat half a burrito and then if you wait another 30 minutes you can eat the other half – almost. It really depends on what’s in it and you’re bodies personal physical adjustments.
One and a Half Years After Surgery
At this point from what I experienced is this; you will be able to eat more sooner. So you can eat about the same portions of food but if you eat slowly you can eat more and more during the entire day. THIS is where people get into trouble.
Two Years & Beyond
After my first 2 years I have noticed I get hungry sooner. I personally “never” lost my hunger pangs. However, I do think that has more to do with having Lyme’s disease (not officially diagnosed due to having only 2 out of 5 bands).
Most patients lose their hunger after weight loss surgery. I did not. I was still hungry. I was so upset at this at first. Then I started to think about how hard it would be to adjust to having hunger after not having it for maybe a year or more. I decided it was not a bad thing. I would not have any surprises and could manage my diet from the get-go.
Right now it’s been a year and a half. I still cannot eat a full Starbucks Spinach Fetta Wrap in one sitting. I can eat about half, then I much on the rest for the next 45 minutes. Every so often I can actually eat the entire thing. It’s weird. I think maybe sometimes they are smaller inside or my body is just able to consume more now and then.
Next articles to be posted soon….
More on the Pros and Cons…
Meeting The Criteria for Weight Loss Surgery
Not Qualifying For Weight Loss Surgery Criteria
Is Gastric Sleeve Affordable Without Insurance?
Monthly Payment Plans
Why Do People Say Weight Loss Surgery is Only a Tool?
Yo-Yo Dieting Syndrome