Most weight-loss surgery patients will lose the majority of their excess weight within the first several months of undergoing surgery as a result of switching to very small portion sizes and exercising on a regular basis.
At some point in the first year or two following surgery, many patients will find that they’ve suddenly stopped losing weight — an experience also commonly known as a “weight-loss plateau.”
Weight-loss plateaus can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’ve been adhering to a healthy, nutritious diet, sticking to small portion sizes, and are exercising on a daily basis. In most cases, you can get past a weight-loss plateau by switching up your diet and fitness routine, and by taking a close second look at your lifestyle habits.
Here are tips you can follow to overcome any weight-loss plateaus and get back on track for weight loss:
Drink more water
Hydration and fluids are key to flushing excess fat and waste out of your system, resulting in weight loss. Make a conscious effort to drink more water throughout the day, especially when you’re being active. Water can also help curb food cravings.
Eat regular meals / stop skipping meals
Those who count calories may be tempted to skip out on eating regular meals — especially important meals such as breakfast when they’re in a hurry to leave the house. However, skipping meals slows down your metabolism and can result in overeating later on. Be sure to eat at least three regular meals per day, and eat healthy snacks throughout the day when you feel hungry to boost your metabolism and speed up the weight-loss process.
Keep track of your calories for a few weeks
Although you may be eating healthy foods, it’s possible you could still be consuming more calories than you’re actually burning. If that’s the case, then cut back on portion sizes or change the types of foods you’re eating. For example, swap out wheat crackers for fruits and vegetables, which will naturally boost your metabolism and give your body the vitamins it needs to feel energetic.
Exercise more frequently, and / or switch up your fitness routine
In many cases, your weight-loss plateau is a direct result of not challenging your body enough during workouts. If you’ve been maintaining the exact same workout routine for months now, then you’ll need to switch things up so your body becomes “confused,” and starts responding in a manner that leads to accelerated weight loss. For example, if you’ve been jogging on the treadmill at the same pace and intensity level, then increase your pace and intensity level or start engaging in a different cardio activity.
Take body measurements instead of stepping on the scale
If you’ve noticed that you haven’t been losing pounds, then start keeping track of your body measurements to see if you’re losing inches. If you’re losing inches but not losing weight, then you are replacing fat with muscle and NOT suffering a weight-loss plateau. Muscle mass is more dense than fat, so it’s possible your weight might increase slightly or be at a standstill if you’re replacing fat with muscle.