Published on October 21, 2016

Getting Past a Postsurgery Weight-Loss Plateau

The first months after bariatric surgery can be thrilling.

It's exciting to watch the numbers falling on the scale.

After a while, however, you might notice your progress seems to have stalled. You’ve hit a weight-loss plateau. And it can feel like a major letdown.

Don’t be discouraged. Weight-loss plateaus are normal after bariatric surgery. Even successful weight losers go through them. There are things you can do to help get those numbers on the scale moving downward again.

Why Plateaus Occur

Man on bikeFirst, it helps to understand what’s going on. Your body naturally tries to keep your weight hovering around a certain point, called the set point. When you’re obese, the set point is elevated, much like a thermostat that’s set too high.

As you lose weight, your body tries to stabilize around a new set point. When that happens, you may hit a plateau. It’s a common and expected part of the weight-loss journey.

To push past a plateau, it’s crucial to stay committed to healthy lifestyle changes. If you fall back into unhealthy habits, you could end up regaining some of the weight you lost.

What You Can Do

A weight-loss plateau can be frustrating, but these tips can help you manage it:

  • Women in kitchenKeep following your eating plan. If you have any questions or concerns, talk with your bariatric team. Changing your eating habits for life is essential for getting the best results from your weight-loss surgery.
  • Double down on physical activity. Regular exercise is another key to long-term success. Try a variety of activities, and look for ones you enjoy.
  • Have a plan for managing stress. Out-of-control stress can send your healthy habits into a tailspin. To reduce stress, stay in touch with supportive family and friends. You might also consider joining a support group for weight-loss surgery patients. Practice calming techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
  • Be open with your bariatric team. If you’re struggling to deal with a weight-loss plateau, let them know. They understand that weight loss sometimes stalls, and they may be able to suggest coping strategies.

Finally, don’t give up! Remind yourself that a plateau is just a layover, not the final destination, on your journey toward a healthier future.