How To Push Past A Weight Loss Plateau

How to Push Past a Weight Loss Plateau

Initially after weight loss surgery, it can be fairly easy to lose a significant amount of weight. This is mostly due to the reduced portion sizes and favorable changes in hormones that control hunger and satiety following surgery. However, weight loss can slow down or even stabilize at the 12-18 month post-op mark, as your body adjusts to its new normal.

It’s important to keep in mind that weight, or the number you see on the scale, is influenced by several factors, including fat mass, muscle mass, contents of the GI tract, and water retention. In addition, intake and physical activity also influence weight, so it’s common to see fluctuations in weight and overall weight loss for these reasons.

Although a majority of patients will experience this to some degree after surgery, a weight loss plateau can certainly be worrying or discouraging after you have already come so far. It is fairly common to wonder why weight loss has slowed or stalled and question if something has gone wrong. Keep reading for tips from Trinity Bariatric Institute’s Physician and Registered Dietitian on pushing past a weight loss plateau.

Focus on protein foods first and non-starchy vegetables second. Dietitian Jessica recommends following the bariatric plate method after surgery to ensure that you are meeting your protein needs and getting a variety of vitamins and minerals through different food sources. Once you are consistent with putting adequate protein and non-starchy vegetables on your plate, then you may consider small portions of whole grains or starch. Usually within the first six months after surgery, it is recommended to leave whole grains or starch off of your plate to maximize weight loss and prevent occurrences of food intolerance. After six months, however, most patients can eat 2 tablespoons (only two or three small bites!) of whole grains or starch at one time, but only after you meet your protein and non-starchy vegetable goals first.

Drink enough water. Generally, the recommended amount of daily water intake for most people is 64 ounces or more, especially in hotter environments or with frequent exercise. It is important to wait at least 30 minutes before and after eating to resume drinking. If you struggle with getting enough water in every day, Dietitian Jessica recommends setting reminders to sip water or other zero-calorie, non-caffeinated, non-carbonated fluids throughout the day. If you generally don’t like the taste of water, try adding in fresh fruit or a few drops of a sugar-free liquid sweetener for more flavor, too.

Get adequate sleep and manage stress. Sleep and stress both play a huge role in weight management. Inadequate sleep and high stress levels have been linked to poor nutrition choices and weight regain after bariatric surgery. Dietitian Jessica recommends getting into a regular bedtime routine and finding activities to manage stress, whether it includes meditating, journaling, exercising, seeking additional support from loved ones or a therapist, or even a combination of activities.

Find exercise that you enjoy and be consistent. The goal for consistent exercise is at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, as recommended by several health organizations. Dr. Dyslin and Dietitian Jessica recommend opting for a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training, to get your heart rate up and build muscle mass.

Track your food intake. There are several applications, whether on your computer or phone, to log your daily food intake. Dr. Dyslin recommends using Baritastic, My Fitness Pal, or Fit Bit to track calories and protein. Everyone will have different calorie and protein needs after surgery, which is why an individual approach is important. Dietitian Jessica knows that one size does not fit all, especially when it comes to nutrition. She notes that many of her patients who are most successful both before and after surgery do track their food and beverage intake. It can be really easy to forget about the sips, bites, and snacks throughout the day, but those calories really do add up and could potentially stall further weight loss.

Seek guidance from your Bariatric Surgeon and Registered Dietitian. Discussing your current diet, physical activity level, and weight loss goals with both Dr. Dyslin and Dietitian Jessica is always a great idea. They can offer support and additional ideas for success as you continue to navigate a huge lifestyle change following weight loss surgery.

Call 817-832-7227 to set up your appointments and discuss your health goals in detail.

Article provided by Jessica Wiklund, MS, RD, LD • Registered Dietitian at Trinity Bariatric Institute, PLLC

Resources: https://asmbs.org/patients/life-after-bariatric-surgery

Avoid The Holiday Weight Gain

Holiday weight gain is a common concern during this time of year.  Everyone is figuring out recipes, baking and spending time sharing meals with family.  Holidays often encourage overeating, sedentary behavior and lots of high calorie and sugary foods. Here are some great tips on how to be active and eat healthier during the holidays:

-Be active with family and friends. Take a family walk together, plan a 5k with your family or play a physical game of football or baseball in your yard with kids and cousins.  A great way to make new memories and stay active.

-Don’t set out a buffet of unhealthy snacks.  Ask family or friends to bring veggie and protein heavy snacks and skip the sweets and chips.

-Portion size is very important when trying to lose weight before or after bariatric surgery.  If you want to enjoy those amazing mashed potatoes or homemade yams, portion size is key.  Put a bite size portion on your plate to taste and enjoy instead of overindulging.  Fill up on the good protein like turkey and healthy veggies and only add small portions of the high calorie/carbs that you crave.  You can still enjoy the holiday food without the extra weight gain.

-Controlling stress levels is so important during the holidays.  There are so many demands on you, but you cant take control.  Try meditating, doing yoga or simply taking a walk or jog.  This will help clear your mind, lower stress levels and help you control your junk food cravings caused by high stress.

-If you are cooking this holiday season, be mindful of taste testing during the process.  Don’t cook while you are hungry.  Make sure you have eaten a meal or some protein before cooking the holiday classics so that you aren’t tempted to over taste them.  You can take a small taste to ensure flavor but don’t overindulge.

-Get plenty of sleep during the holidays.  This may be hard to do but when you don’t get enough sleep, your body tends to be hungrier and you want to consume more.  Less sleep also has been linked to a lower metabolism.

-Limit your sugar and dessert intake.  There are many sweets during the holidays.  If you must have a dessert during the holidays, it is best to focus on only your favorite, don’t be tempted by all of them.  Make sure that you choose a very small portion and eat it slowly which will leave you more satisfied.

-Avoid processed foods when making your holiday dishes.  Items such as boxed mashed potatoes and stuffing often contain sugar and unhealthy fats that take a toll on your weight.  Plan to cook your meals from scratch so you can monitor what you are putting in your body.

Lastly, keep your hunger in check during the holidays.  Make sure you don’t skip meals and you plan ahead.  Stay active, get proper sleep and eat healthy! We are here to support you, call us anytime 817-832-7227.

 

Protein Packed Foods

Protein is a macromolecule that has several key functions in the body, one of which includes maintaining lean mass during a period of weight loss. Therefore, adequate protein intake is essential before and after having bariatric surgery. Your physician and/or dietitian can help you determine what your daily protein intake should be.

Consume protein from lean, whole food sources. Food choices that are high in protein are also rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as several B Vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and zinc.

Recommended foods that are higher in protein include:

  • Poultry without skin
  • Fish and seafood
  • Deli meat slices
  • Lean cuts of beef and pork
  • Tuna packed in water
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Low fat and skim milk
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Low fat, low sugar yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Soy milk
  • Tofu
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts

Choose at least one source of protein to eat with all meals and snacks throughout the day. Serving sizes and total protein content range depending on the type of protein, but three ounces of meat, poultry, or fish can generally provide around 21 grams of protein total. Consistent protein intake throughout the day can help you feel full longer and enhance the body’s absorption of protein.

If you are unable to consume adequate protein from whole food sources alone, a protein supplement may be recommended once or twice daily to meet your minimum daily protein needs. When choosing a protein supplement, be sure to look for 20-30 grams of protein and <5 grams of added sugar per serving.

Recommended protein supplements include:

  • Bariatric Advantage® High Protein Meal Replacement
  • Ensure® Max Protein
  • UNJURY™ Protein
  • Premier Protein®

Call 817-832-7227 to schedule your appointment and discuss your nutrition in detail.

Article provided by: Jessica Wiklund, MS, RD, LDRegistered/Licensed Dietitian for Trinity Bariatric Institute, PLLC