Sometimes we dieticians get the question if you can lose too much weight after bariatric surgery and how to influence where the weight loss stops.
What weight loss is realistic after bariatric surgery?
On average, 80% of excess weight is overcome with a gastric bypass and 50-70% after a gastric sleeve. This means that if your weight is 100 kg and you are 160 cm tall (BMI 39), you will reach an average weight of 71.2 kg (BMI 27.8) after a gastric bypass and 82 kg (BMI 32) after a gastric sleeve (based on 50% of excess weight). In other words, patients do not always achieve a normal weight (BMI <25). An average is always just that, so the variations are great. Just like before, the result depends on how you eat and exercise and how much help the operation gives you.
Losing too much weight?
Becoming underweight (according to BMI) after bariatric surgery is rare. If that occurs, there are often psychological factors such as an eating disorder or a serious complication in the background. However, some patients may experience that they lose too much weight because their new weight can be very far from the starting one. A BMI of 23 can be felt to be too skinny, partly because it is far from the starting weight but also because you lose a lot of muscle mass, which makes you feel thin.
What can you do if you feel too thin?
Training and rebuilding muscle mass is important. But you can also review how to eat. Can you increase your energy intake by eating more often? The BariBuddy app for gastric bypass and gastric sleeve operated can remind about eating! Can you eat more fat from good sources like nuts, seeds or maybe have olive or rapeseed oil on the salad? Drinking calories in the form of a protein drink or a glass of milk? Contact your dietician if you are unsure how to change your food intake.
Can you know where the weight loss stops after bariatric surgery?
No, you can not. Weight loss decreases when intake and expenses meet, when the body is in energy balance. The result just like before the operation depends on how you eat and move. However, the body cooperates much more than it did before. It is important never to compare yourself with others and to remember that all those who are being operated do not get the exact same help from their surgery procedure. Focus not only on the number of lost kilos, also look at other health benefits: Lower blood pressure, a diabetes in remission, increased fertility, less pain, better sleep and increased quality of life may be the most important?
Read more about weight gain after bariatric surgery.