After surgery, you may ask a gastric bypass surgeon about the possibility of weight gain. It is the most common question that patients ask after gastric bypass surgery. There are many factors influencing weight gain. The weight gain may depend on how well you follow the post-operative diet and how active you are. If you have undergone gastric bypass surgery, it is important to regularly follow a proper diet and exercise to avoid any complications and ensure successful weight loss.
What happens in a Gastric Bypass Surgery?
During surgery, the stomach is divided into two parts. The upper part of the stomach is made smaller and separated from the rest of the stomach by creating a small pouch. This upper part of the stomach is then connected to the small intestine.
As a result of this surgery, the patient’s appetite reduces, and they feel full sooner. It leads to eating less and eventually results in weight loss. However, some patients may find that they cannot lose weight or even experience weight gain after surgery. There are several reasons why this may happen.
Dumping syndrome is one of the most common reasons for weight gain after gastric bypass surgery. Dumping syndrome occurs when food moves too quickly from the stomach into the small intestine. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, and sweating.
Dumping syndrome is more likely to occur if you eat sugary or high-fat foods. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid these types of food after surgery. If you experience dumping syndrome, your doctor may recommend changes to your diet or medications to help control the symptoms.
There are several other reasons why this could happen:
- You are not following the post-operative diet – Sticking to your surgeon’s and dietician’s recommended diet is essential to losing weight successfully. This diet usually consists of three main meals and two snacks in between meals.
- You are not active enough – It is crucial to exercise regularly after surgery to help you lose weight. Try to be active for at least 30 minutes every day.
- You are eating too much – Even though you have a smaller stomach, you can still eat more, leading to weight gain. Try to eat slowly and listen to your body when it tells you that you are full.
- You are not getting enough protein – Protein is essential for weight loss and helps build lean muscle mass. Make sure that you include protein with every meal and snack.
- You have a medical condition – Certain medical conditions can lead to weight gain after surgery. These include insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. If you think you may have one of these conditions, speak to your gastric bypass surgeon.
- You are taking certain medications – Certain medications can cause weight gain as a side effect. These include steroids, birth control pills, antipsychotic drugs, and anticonvulsants.
- You are drinking too many sugary drinks – Drinks such as soda, fruit juice, and sports drinks are high in sugar and calories, leading to weight gain. Avoid these drinks or limit them to only a few per week.
- You are eating high-calorie foods – Foods such as ice cream, cookies, and cake are high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Try to limit these foods or only have them on special occasions.
Ways to lose weight after a gastric bypass surgery
Cut down on simple carbs: Simple carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta, and cakes can cause weight gain after surgery. Therefore, you should avoid these foods or limit them to only a few per week.
Speak to your surgeon or dietician: If you are worried about weight gain after your gastric bypass surgery, speak to your surgeon or dietician. They will be able to help you make changes to your diet and lifestyle to lose weight successfully.
Get regular exercise: Exercise is important after gastric bypass surgery. It helps to boost your metabolism and burn calories.
Drink plenty of water: Drinking water can help you lose weight by keeping you full and preventing overeating. Try to drink 8 glasses of water per day.
Avoid processed foods: Processed foods such as chips, cookies, and cake are high in calories and can lead to weight gain after surgery. Try to limit these foods or only have them on special occasions.
After surgery, it is important to make healthy food choices and exercise regularly to maintain weight. Although it does help many people lose weight, some patients gain a small amount of weight back after the surgery. If you are concerned about gaining weight after, talk to your gastric bypass surgeon about ways to prevent this from happening.