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What to Do If You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau

May 05, 2015 | Uncategorized


Hitting a weight loss plateau is a common frustration among patients of Texas Laparoscopic Consultants. Our patients tend to lose a substantial amount of weight in the first few months to a year after bariatric surgery; after that, the weight loss tapers off.

Physically, what has happened is that the patient is no longer burning more calories than they are consuming. Psychologically, they may feel as though they have failed. This is not true.

If you have hit a weight loss plateau, don’t feel discouraged. The TLC team will help you work through the plateau and get back on track. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

Look at your food journal for clues.

The first step to getting back on track is looking at how many calories you’re consuming.

A few months ago, we blogged about the importance of food journaling. If you’ve been diligent with journaling, it may reveal dietary blind spots (foods that are surprisingly high in calories) or poor eating patterns. Are you being lax with portion sizes? Sneaking in an extra snack during the workday? Forgetting to count the “hidden” calories in dressings and sauces? Use your journal as a tool to look for areas where you can improve.

If you haven’t been diligent about food journaling, make a promise to record your meals consistently. Journaling holds you accountable for your choices!

Mix up your exercise routine.

The second step to getting back on track is looking at the calories you’re burning through exercise.

As you become more active through exercise, your body adapts and is able to perform the workout more efficiently. In addition, you have lost body mass and there is less of you to move around, so you don’t burn as many calories as when you started your workouts.

When this happens, we recommend switching up your exercise routine. The easiest way to do this is to add variety, by incorporating activities like weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, swimming or dancing. (Check out our blog post for celebrity-inspired fitness trends for more ideas!) You could also mix up the frequency and intensity to keep your body guessing and your mind engaged.

Do not give up.

Remind yourself of the reasons you are on this journey: to resolve weight-related health conditions, prolong your life expectancy and participate more fully in your life. By reflecting on your honorable goals, you may find the burst of inspiration you need to move forward.

A plateau is a setback, not a failure. Think about how far you’ve come on your weight loss journey, and remember that, for many, plateaus are inevitable. By being mindful and intentional with your diet and exercise habits, you can get back on track to reaching and maintaining your goal weight!

Have Questions? Call Us

If you have any questions about weight loss plateaus, or the surgical weight loss journey in general, please contact the Texas Laparoscopic Consultants team.

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