When Dieting Alone No Longer Works
The early phase of the post bariatric surgery recovery plan involves significant dietary restrictions. For the first several weeks after surgery, you will cycle through various restrictive dietary phases including clear liquids, liquids, soft foods and ultimately a modified regular diet. Some modifications will continue for the rest of your life, but after six to eight weeks, the overall diet will become somewhat less restrictive.
There will be a point however where dietary restriction alone no longer works. This is why we stress that diet and exercise must go hand-in-hand. You will lose weight faster by limiting the number of calories you consume, but there is a finite number of calories you can cut before it becomes unhealthy.
Exercise represents the most effective longer-term weight loss and weight maintenance option. Building muscle improves the body’s fat burning capability and reduces blood sugar fluctuations. Exercise also provides physical and mental health benefits that are more important than ever in today’s stress-filled world. Of course, dieting still remains incredibly important. Think about the fact that one bottle of cola can have up to 250 calories which would take approximately 30 minutes of running to burn off. What’s easier? Avoiding the soda or running 30 minutes every time, you drink one?
So, if you find that your diet is not working, don’t simply assume that you have to cut more calories. You may already be consuming the minimum number of calories needed to stay healthy. Rather, speak to our nutritionist or change up your diet and exercise program to see if you can restart your internal furnace, burn more calories and lose more weight.
Consuming Too Few Calories
It is also worth noting of that if you over-diet – consuming too few calories for too long – your body will enter starvation mode. Starvation mode reduces the speed of your metabolism and maximizes the calories that you consume by turning them into fat. Starvation mode is not an ideal way to lose weight. First, you will likely be eating too few calories to stay healthy. Second, as soon as you begin to normalize your diet you will rapidly gain weight as your body has become accustomed to storing as many calories as possible. Ultimately, this kind of dieting is unsustainable and is why many fad diets fail over and over again.
As with any diet and exercise program that you pursue after weight loss surgery, we suggest that you contact us if you have any questions or concerns about how to do it. Further, there are a number of resources online and through your peers at support group that can offer guidance on how to best diet and exercise after the procedure. Use all of the resources at your disposal to figure out what the best plan is for your particular situation.
Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us for guidance.