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Life After Weight Loss Surgery: Tips to Maintain a Healthy Weight


By By Dr. Dieter Pohl

Although many patients think weight loss surgery is a one stop shop to keep weight off, it is actually not considered to be a final step in the journey to keep the weight off. Some patients up end gaining weight back after their weight loss surgery due to poor habits and lack of support. So what factors put you more at risk to gain back weight? Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy weight after weight loss surgery.

Limit or Avoid Simple Carbs

Limiting simple carbs is an important part of keeping weight off after weight loss surgery. Simple carbs are foods that don’t have much fiber and get absorbed easily in your body. Some simple carbs include: candy, syrups in coffee, cookies, sweetened cereal- anything with added sugar. There are also other foods, like pasta, bread, rice, potatoes and chips that also get absorbed quickly in your body. Some people experience dumping syndrome- nausea and diarrhea after eating these foods.  Simple carbohydrates can , make you feel more hunger after eating them. Try to avoid all “fast food”, because these foods are all highly processed foods and include a lot of calories. 

Avoid Drinks with Added Sugar

Having drinks with added sugar can make you gain weight rapidly, regardless of your current weight situation. Failure to avoid sugary drinks after weight loss surgery can increase your risk of developing “dumping syndrome”, a syndrome where your body empties into the small intestine too quickly resulting in nausea, diarrhea, and the feeling of light headedness.

Skip Alcohol

If you want to maintain a healthy weight after weight loss surgery, then limit or avoid all alcohol. Alcohol has calories but no nutrition, so it’s not advised after weight loss surgery. Drinking alcohol also increases your risk of developing stomach ulcers after receiving weight loss surgery. Most patients are sensitive to alcohol after having weight loss surgery and may become drunk sooner on less alcohol than before surgery.

Focus on Protein and Healthy Foods

The best tip after weight loss surgery is to make changes to what you eat, so you are getting healthier foods at your meals. Eating foods like proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is what you need to maintain a healthy weight after surgery. Protein should be your primary focus when eating meals, as this can help you to feel fuller for longer after meals.

Stay Hydrated

Remember to always drink enough water or other 0 calorie beverages. Drinking water and other 0 calorie beverages can keep you feeling better and helps with feeling full in between meals.


Exercising is an important part of one’s routine after weight loss surgery. Research shows that those who have a history of weight regain may need to exercise more to improve their metabolism. Strive to increase your exercise as you move through your weight loss journey. Go at your own pace since everyone is different. Exercise after weight loss surgery helps to maintain a healthy weight. 

Keep an Eating Plan

Keeping an eating plan will help you to eat mindfully. Don’t snack and be sure to eat your breakfast every day. Avoid snacking throughout the day. Remember to stick to your eating plan no matter what setting you are in. Be prepared to portion control when you eat out. Be sure to listen to your body and know when it is time to start/stop eating.

Find a Support Group

If you struggle to maintain a healthy weight after weight loss surgery, joining a support group can be beneficial. Support groups help you to maintain your with healthy eating habits and share with others going through the same experiences. You might learn some new tips or meet some new friends.

Get help from your Bariatric Team

Life after weight loss surgery will be different as you learn healthy habits to maintain the results of your surgery. Your bariatric team is here to help you with any concerns or questions after your surgery. If you experience any weight gain after weight loss surgery, be sure to tell your bariatric team as soon as you start to notice. Your bariatric team will be here every step of the way in your weight loss journey. Be sure to not skip any appointments and don’t be afraid to reach out with your concerns.

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