Gastric bypass surgery belongs to a group of bariatric surgeries performed to help people lose weight. Gastric bypass surgery helps you lose weight by changing the way your stomach and small intestine handle the food you eat. After surgery, the stomach of the patient gets smaller and feeling of fullness or satisfaction can be achieved with even a small amount of food.
The food you eat will bypass some parts of your stomach and small intestine (this is why it is called bypass surgery) and thus results in lower food absorption rates and calories.
Gastric bypass surgery has helped a large number of patients as it reduces death rates related to obesity by almost 40%. However, some people keep gaining more weight even after gastric bypass surgery.
Why Do Post-Op Patients Regain Weight?
The single most important cause of this unwanted weight gain after gastric bypass surgery is eating between meals and intake of high-caloric foods. As mentioned above, the gastric bypass surgery will help you lose weight by reducing the absorption of food and resultant calories. For example, if you were obtaining 1600 calories from your food before your surgery, it should be reduced let’s say to 900 calories after gastric bypass surgery. Now, if you start eating high caloric foods or eating between the meals and your overall caloric intake goes to 2300 calories, it will put you back on the track to get more weight despite your bypassed stomach.
The bariatric center has stated that:
“Snacking, nibbling or grazing on foods, usually high-calorie and high-fat foods, can add hundreds of calories a day to your intake, defeating the restrictive effect of your operation. Snacking will slow down your weight loss and can lead to regain of weight."
Therefore to achieve maximum benefits out of your gastric bypass surgery, you will need to strictly follow your diet plan consistently and regularly. Start taking 2 to 3 small meals daily, and avoid grazing between the meals particularly snacks. Say no to the potato chips, sweet crackers, cookies, cakes, pastries, full-sugar and full-fat desserts, butter, mayonnaise, and any other high caloric foods.
There is no other surgical operation available yet that can handle this habit of eating between the meals or taking high caloric foods. Your gastric bypass surgery is the first step towards better weight control. You have already gone through your surgery, surgical pain, medications, and hospital stay just to get back to your normal shape. Now it’s all in your hands to get what you always wanted to have—normal weight.
You can have family support, join weight loss or gastric bypass support groups, counseling, or online forums that offer great services to keep you on track by mutual help. Talk to your healthcare provider or the surgeon for a professional advice. Add regular exercise into your daily life, choose healthy low-caloric foods, stop eating between the meals, keep your moral and hopes high and then by little more attention and focus, you will get through it.