Patients who undergo bariatric surgery, such as gastric sleeve surgery, typically lose a significant amount of weight very quickly. It is not uncommon for patients to regain some rapidly lost weight; however, if the regain is significant or continues, it can undermine all previous efforts. Today, we’ll discuss what causes weight regain after bariatric surgery, how to avoid it, and how to restart weight loss following a gastric sleeve or other bariatric procedure.
Table of Contents
- How Gastric Sleeve Surgery Works
- How Does Your Stomach Work When You Eat?
- Keep Your Stomach Safe After Gastric Bypass Surgery
- After Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Protect Your Sleeve
- What’s The Purpose Of The Pouch Reset?
- Results Of The 5-Day Pouch Reset Diet
How Gastric Sleeve Surgery Works
Before having gastric sleeve surgery, patients are put on a very restrictive diet to help shrink their liver. Then they are switched to an all-liquid diet for a few days before the procedure. A portion of the patient’s stomach is removed during gastric sleeve surgery, reducing its capacity to about 25% of its original size. The patient can’t eat as much as before, and what he or she does eat takes longer to digest.
Removing a large portion of the stomach has the added benefit of significantly reducing the amount of Ghrelin produced. Ghrelin is a naturally occurring hormone that constantly sends signals to our brains, informing us that we are hungry. Ghrelin’s nagging helps many patients avoid between meal snacking and consuming too many calories per day.
Following surgery, a special gastric bypass reset diet must be followed to allow the stomach to heal. Then a healthy diet must be followed indefinitely to maintain their weight. The combination of the time required for the stomach to heal, the smaller stomach size, and the “all liquid” diet required immediately following bariatric surgery results in rapid weight loss.
How Does Your Stomach Work When You Eat?
The stomach is a muscle organ. When you’re hungry, your stomach expands to the size of a fist. It can be developed to hold four liters of food, or more than 75 times its empty volume, before contracting back to its original size when no longer needed.
Most people believe that the size of a person’s stomach is proportional to how much food they consume, but this is not true. The size of a person’s gut has nothing to do with their body weight. Instead, when you eat a large amount of food, such as Christmas dinner, you stretch your stomach more than when you eat less.
Keep Your Stomach Safe After Gastric Bypass Surgery
For gastric bypass patients, the stoma is the new “stomach pouch.” It is a tiny golf ball-sized pouch that can hold between 4-6 ounces of food. Your stoma may stretch, causing patients to gain weight. Patients must maintain their post-op diet and take vitamins and supplements following surgery to appropriately safeguard their stoma.
After Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Protect Your Sleeve
You’re unlikely to stretch your sleeve stomach after vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). However, a slight change in sleeve size may occur, potentially leading to weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery. You have a few options for keeping your sleeve from stretching if you find yourself in this situation.
If this diet doesn’t work for you, try the 10-day pouch reset diet for a longer-term solution that you can follow at your own pace.
What’s The Purpose Of The Pouch Reset?
The pouch reset appears to be a very restricted diet that lasts 5 to 10 days, depending on where you get your information. The diet recommended is very similar to what most bariatric patients experience immediately after surgery to ease the stomach back into doing its job after it has been reduced in size.
Here’s a quick and easy way to understand what a pouch reset is:
R – Reestablish healthy eating habits and a balanced lifestyle.
E – Enjoy the benefits of living a disease-free, obesity-free life.
S – Speed up your weight loss by combining diet and exercise.
E – Enhance your self-esteem and confidence to achieve your goals.
T – Take back control of your diet, health, emotions, and life.
The recommended diet looks like this:
Day 1 – Clear liquids, such as water, broth, green tea, etc.
Day 2-3 – Full liquids, such as protein shakes, soup, thinned apple sauce, etc.
Day 4-7 – Pureed foods include cottage cheese, hummus, and scrambled eggs.
Day 8-9 – Soft foods such as vegetables, cereals, mashed fruit, and foods that can be mashed with a fork.
Day 10 and Beyond – Eat various healthy foods, including proteins, vegetables, carbs, and fruits.
Results Of The 5-Day Pouch Reset Diet
Some of the recommendations included with these diets are factual. They are the same tips and guidelines the bariatric surgeon gives patients after surgery to help them lose weight and keep it off. Among these suggestions are the following:
Eat Slowly And With Intent
Eating slowly and chewing food at the recommended times will aid your weight loss efforts by preventing overeating while remaining satisfied. This will give the brain time to recognize food intake and register satisfaction.
Always Keep Fluids Apart From Meals
After weight loss surgery, waiting 30 minutes before and after meals is critical to drink your beverage or daily water intake. Patients must eat enough of the right foods to stay nutritionally healthy while not flushing the food through the system too quickly.
Eat Foods In The Right Order, Protein First
Protein-rich foods are essential for keeping the body running smoothly. Because stomach capacity is decreasing, it is critical to ensure that protein is always included in the meal. Eating protein first will ensure that it is.
Reduce Your Use Of Slider Foods
Protein shakes are nutritious and provide a good source of protein, but they may not help you feel full because they pass through your stomach faster than other types of protein.
Weight loss surgery is simply a tool for losing weight quickly and safely. Long-term motivation, discipline, and significant lifestyle changes are always required. The weight loss process will always have ups and downs. Weight gain after some time is also average and should not concern you. However, if you are still losing weight, following the diet, and staying active, it may indicate that your organism requires a quick step to get back in the game. Most people who have tried and failed to lose weight on their own find that a gastric pouch reset is a solution that finally works. Of course, we recommend you consult your bariatric surgeon before beginning this diet to ensure that it will have the desired effect.