After Weight Loss Surgery

Can You Lose All Your Excess Body Weight With Bariatric Surgery?

Woman smiling while measuring waist looking in mirror

When discussing bariatric surgery, we usually talk in averages. We use excess weight loss numbers to set goals for our patients and let them know what to expect during their journey. After all, expectations are an essential part of the weight loss process. If our expectations are too high, we can quickly get frustrated and quit without realizing the phenomenal progress we’ve made. Low expectations can also stop us short of the achievements we can reasonably expect from ourselves. But with all these averages, is it possible to lose 100% of your excess body weight with bariatric surgery?

The Answer Is Yes and No

Anything is possible. With enough focus, dedication, and mental toughness, you can lose all your excess body weight with or without bariatric surgery. Of course, doing it with a tool – bariatric surgery – is significantly easier, but, in the end, it is entirely up to you. If you stay on a strict diet and exercise regimen, the sky is the limit. Of course, it’s also essential to understand your “normal” body weight. Remember the body mass index does not count for body frame, musculature, or gender, therefore, when you are trying to figure out your appropriate weight, take your BMI reading with a grain of salt. Ten or even 20 pounds above your “ideal” BMI may be right for you.

It’s also important to understand it’s not just your weight that counts. You may find you look and feel fantastic before you reach 100% excess weight loss. This would be a great time to transition into your weight maintenance phase.

With all of this said, the above reasons also show you why the answer is probably no. You likely won’t lose all your excess body weight, but you can get close.

Ultimately, we want you to understand bariatric surgery is just a tool and is not the only formula or reason you lose weight. Your motivation and focus during your postoperative life are as important as the surgery that sparked the weight loss in the first place. Further, your dedication to an exercise program, excellent diet, and lifestyle change are all part of the formula to lose weight. Lastly, let’s not get obsessed with your excess body weight loss because, again, what we should weigh can vary quite dramatically from what the BMI says. Further, the goal here is to get healthy, so if your blood work looks good, you’re fitting into the clothes you like, and you look in the mirror, and like what you see, you’ve achieved your goals no matter what your actual weight may be.

We want to stress the important concepts needed to help you maximize your weight loss after bariatric surgery.

  1. Choose the correct procedure. This is where a highly knowledgeable and very experienced bariatric surgeon comes in handy. Knowing the proper procedure for your circumstance is the fastest way to lose the weight you want.
  2. Change your lifestyle. Start taking every opportunity you can to get outside and walk. Quit smoking. Reduce your alcohol intake to a minimum. All of these will lead to losing weight.
  3. Get on a sleep schedule. Sleep is an essential weight loss aid, and it’s absolutely free and readily available. Make sure you get your requisite 7 to 9 hours a night, depending on what your body needs, and do it on weekends, too. It’ll make you feel better, allow you to exercise harder, and ultimately let you lose weight. If you have sleep apnea and have been prescribed CPAP, use it every night.
  4. Get on the diet and exercise plan. The most successful bariatric patients are the ones who drop the word “diet” from their lexicon and replace it with “long-term dietary change.” The same goes for exercise. Slowly but steadily, proper diet and regular exercise will lead to exceptional weight loss and long-term weight maintenance.
  5. Take advantage of postoperative resources. There are millions of bariatric patients out there, and they have experienced everything you have. If you’re experiencing it, you can probably find an answer or advice online or offline from a trusted source. We also strongly encourage our patients to attend support groups regularly, even when they hit their goals. You may even wish to lead a support group, which only helps reinforce the excellent habits you’ve developed.
  6. Manage your stress. Stress is at epidemic proportions in the United States as we feel pressured by financial concerns and often have unrealistic expectations for ourselves in our work and family lives. Simply put, stress-reduction techniques can help you lose weight.

Of course, our practice is always here to help, and while we never suggest you set your goals at 100% excess weight loss, we will support you throughout the process, helping you achieve the small victories that ultimately lead to the larger, long-term ones. Regardless of your goals, remember you’re not alone and should not try to go at it without the assistance and support of the professionals with whom you started this process. We look forward to seeing you hit your goals and can’t wait to be there with you as you do.

Related Topics:

Changing How You Look at Dieting & Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery
Measuring Your Success the Right Way After Bariatric Surgery



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Springhill Medical Center

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