Weight loss following bariatric surgery can be very significant. As our bodies adjust to new lower calorie diets as well as exercise, our metabolism must find alternate sources of energy to burn. Calories stored in fat are burned first, followed by a carbohydrate known as glycogen that is stored in muscle. As glycogen is used, water weight is also burned off resulting in this significant initial weight loss.
Lean muscle tissue is responsible for regulating metabolism. Once the lean tissue begins to be used for energy, metabolism slows and as a result weight loss also slows. In a lot of us, including those of us who have had weight loss surgery, this may cause a weight loss plateau. Although these plateaus may be very discouraging it is important to take steps to climb over this weight loss hurdle and further our progress.
The first step to overcoming a weight loss plateau is to reassess the diet and exercise patterns that we had following the initial weight loss surgery. If you keep a diet and exercise journal it will be easy to look back and review each week to see where exercise or diet may have lapsed. It also will be easy to see a pattern in the weight loss and adjust accordingly.
If you find your diet needs adjustment, you may want to look at additional sources of nutrition to add variety to your diet such as different vegetables or lean meats. You may notice that your daily calories may need to be adjusted to account for your daily calorie burn. If your diet is already at or below twelve hundred calories, you may need to consult your bariatric surgery physician to see if it is safe to drop any more calories. It may leave you hungry throughout the day and additionally may leave you short on valuable nutrition that helps weight loss efforts.
Another option for hurdling the weight loss plateau is to adjust your daily exercise ritual. As you exercise, you become more fit and burn lean muscle. It may be time to add strength exercises to your workout to build additional lean muscle mass. Alternatively, you might want to add more aerobic exercise to your routine or you can get outside the gym and add a team sport to your regimen. This will not only spur weight loss, but will give you the camaraderie of friends to take part in exercise with you. If after trying these tips you still find that you cannot clear the weight loss plateau, visit you weight loss surgery physician for alternatives that may help.