Apr 02

Lying to Yourself is Living Dangerously – After Weight-Loss Surgery

jeans isolated on background

Liar, liar, pants of fire. Are you feeling the burn? I have been.

Liar, liar, pants on fire . . .

. . . Mine are burning up.

When we fall off the wagon or sneak a little snack and fail to acknowledge our action, we’re basically lying to ourselves. And, we put ourselves right back into the danger zone that we lived pre surgery.

What’s making me write this post? I’ve been slipping and sneaking, and I’m afraid to stand on the scale, even though my size-four pants still fit.

Highway to the Danger Zone. Can you hear the chorus to the song?

I’m a food addict, and I need to admit it every day. I find myself, however, making the familiar excuses, self-medicating statements, and falling into old patterns.

I’m further prompted to travel down this discussionary patch because of questions I receive on our Gastric Bypass Support and Journals Facebook page.

Questions We Ask About Weight Gain After Weight-Loss Surgery

  • Why am I gaining weight?
  • Is it normal to gain some weight?
  • I’m hungry all the time, why?
  • I’m falling back into old patterns?
  • I’m six years out and gaining back lots of weight, what should I do?

These are complex questions, which require knowledge and attention.

Post Weight-Loss Surgery Weight Regain – By the Numbers

Numerous medical studies indicate some (re)weight gain after surgery is normal. It’s normal, however, only after you’ve hit your low-weight point (nadir).

The data and formulas cited regarding regain are simple to understand.

  • The average excess weight loss after surgery is approximately 70 percent
  • About 80 percent of patients experience some weight regain
  • The average amount of gain hovers at about eight percent of the patient’s original excess weight

For easy calculation purposes, let’s say:

  1. You were 100 pounds overweight pre surgery.  Calculate: 100 excess pounds x 70 percent loss = 70 pounds lost (at low point)
  2. You’re one of the 80 percent who gain weight back. Calculate: 100 original excess pounds x 8 percent gain = 8 pounds gained
  3. Your net loss would be 62 pounds. Calculate 70 pounds lost – 8 pounds regained = 62 pounds lost

On the positive side, between 65 and 80 percent of patients keep at least 50 percent of their excess weight off after 10 years.

My problem is, I’m terrified of gaining weight. And, because my behavior is slipping and I’m not adequately addressing the problem, I need to open my eyes and take action. Do you?

Three Critical Steps to Take to Combat Weight Regain

My three go-to tips are ones I have to implement today.

  1. Attack food urges or feelings of depression or a lack of well being. Talk with your medical team, immediately. Don’t put it off. Success if built on team work.
  2. Meet with your dietitian/nutritionist face to face. A good medical team includes a dietitian. Your doctor already may have connected you with one. If not, ask for one. Plan to never stop seeing the nutritionist. Because I moved from Pa. to Ga. I’ve been disconnected. I can’t do this alone. Neither can you.
  3. Actively Participate in a Support Group: Patients who are actively involved in a support group have better success than those who do not. In general, their BMI is lower.

Also Consider Additional Counseling

Because I’m a food addict, I also believe psychological counseling can be helpful. So, don’t be fearful to reach out. You made the big step by deciding on Get yourself whatever level of help you need to remain successful.


Study from the National Center on Biotechnology Information: Weight Gain After Short- and Long-Limb Gastric Bypass in Patients Followed for Longer Than 10 Years




About the author

Laurie Lee Dovey

LLD is a writer, photographer, marketing and media consultant, hunter, angler, RVer, sports nut, poker player, and wife.

1 comment

  1. Hooe

    Thank you for the information. I just had surgery 11/09 and I try to absorb all the information I can. Can you tell me how you got all your proteins in.

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