How Do I Get Out Of A Weight Loss Plateau Even Gastric Bypass Patients Hit Weight Loss Plateaus

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Even Gastric Bypass Patients Hit Weight Loss Plateaus

Sometimes, during the rapid weight loss phase after gastric bypass surgery, many patients may find that their weight loss stalls. Talk about disappointing. The daily ritual of weighing in and celebrating another pound gone has turned into miserable torture because the scales won’t budge- the dreaded plateau has arrived.

One of the reasons for the plateau is physiological. The body reacting to the restricted caloric intake sends a signal to start burning less stored fuel. In other words, the metabolic rate (the rate at which the body burns fuel) decreases as the body tries to conserve fuel in response to starvation conditions. Your body depends for dear life on its beloved fat.

Face the Dreaded Plateau:

There are things we can do to face the dreaded plateau. The first is to avoid beating ourselves up or regretting the decision for WLS. Just accept that plateaus are part of the natural journey of weight loss and this too shall pass. A plateau can last two to four weeks. Try to be patient and consider your body just resting from the hard work of losing weight.

Avoid snacking while at high altitude. Old eating habits that lead to obesity may resurface when we assuage our frustrations with extra snacks or make unhealthy food choices. Try to avoid this type of self-sabotage. Keep in mind, plateaus are emotionally difficult times. I remember feeling, “I really don’t deserve to lose this weight, so I can eat this or that.” Avoid the trap of self-pity.

Reexamine your commitment to healthy eating and exercise. Sometimes a plateau can be broken simply by restoring the basic principles of life after gastric bypass. A nurse-dietitian suggests returning to pure protein for 48 hours. This means eating only eggs, low-fat cheese, chicken, tuna, turkey, etc. – nothing processed. The science behind it is that consuming pure amino acids (protein) will increase metabolism and force the body to burn stored fat.

Another way to feel proactive in eliminating plateaus is to start an exercise program. Add an extra half mile to your walk or an extra set of repetitions to a strength training program. Any small change will throw the body off guard and it may respond by dropping a pound or two.

And of course continue to drink clear liquids, especially water, to cleanse the body of toxins and fat.

False Plateau:

Now, What about a plateau that lasts longer than four weeks and you still have a lot of weight to lose? This is referred to as a “False Plateau” in the health community. Most false plateaus are the result of miscalculations or forgetfulness on the part of the dieter. For example, maybe we forget to avoid starchy carbohydrates or processed snacks. Maybe we are having a small dinner and an hour later another small dinner? Maybe we have lost the habit of exercising. A little mistake or oversight can be quite costly if we let it go too long without correcting the behavior. Look carefully and find ways to improve habits and increase weight loss.

Water/Fluid Retention Plateau:

Too much salt in the diet will cause water retention plateau – avoid prepared soups or other foods that have excess salt. A fluid retention plateau is the result of insufficient water consumption so the body retains fluid to compensate. Remember, drink that water.

Plateaus are Temporary:

Remember, plateaus are temporary. Although it may seem frustrating at the time it will pass and it is a natural part of the weight loss journey.

Copyright © 2005 Kaye Bailey – All Rights Reserved.

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