Top 10 Bariatric Mistakes

Post Ops Need Help!
We recently asked an innocent question about hunger on Facebook and were not prepared when the floodgates opened with an outpouring of post ops not making changes needed to make it through the first years, forget a lifetime. Some said surgery had failed them but didn’t take vitamins, drink water or avoid carbs. While some were eating right and drinking protein others didn’t get why they were hungry. Many do not appear to be trying. At two years post op and already this far off path, what happens in twenty years? We can already hear their bones collapsing. What is missing? Responsibility! How this turns out is largely up to us.

No matter how fast or successful you were in initially losing weight, these are the top ten things that can and will sink you!

1.Drinking with Meals
Taking a big glug of iced tea with a mouth full of food is normal for many. But after weight loss surgery, drinking while you are eating washes the food out of your pouch. This allows you to refill your pouch and eat around your surgery. There are some who do this on purpose so they can eat more, adding a twist of psychological sabotage.

We know that there is one ‘professional’ who wrote that its okay to drink with meals. So latch on and listen to this one voice rather than the many thousands of surgeons & certified professionals who have told us otherwise. Brilliant.

People come up with the excuse that they have to drink because they are thirsty. Drink a glass of water before you eat. Problem solved. You can drink right up until you take that first bite, but once the food starts, no more drinking unless you are choking. This is critical to long term success. No drinking with meals. Forever. Period. Done.

After bariatric surgery no drinking with meals

2. Drinking Soda
Having a pop doesn’t do anything as dramatic as explode your pouch or even stretch it, BUT it does take many back to a time when they would drink a twelve pack OR MORE of Dr. Pepper a day. There are many people who drank a LOT of soda before their bariatric surgery. It is better to not go back there. Post ops are also more likely to drink their soda with meals and that is a combination that will eventually get you back to pre op weight.

3. Not Making Good Food Choices
We obviously made more bad than good choices or we wouldn’t have needed weight loss surgery. We envy Slim People as genetically blessed and don’t realize they watch their food choices and exercise as their normal. When I would lunch with my naturally slim and fit friend Veronica, I would think ‘She is so thin, why is she eating grilled salmon on a house salad? She can afford to eat the bacon blue cheese burger and fries!’

It never dawned on me that she was slim because she didn’t choose burgers and fries plus she exercised in her living room every single morning. I had it backwards and it took me a long time to own that I ate differently than others. Weight gain and loss is math. Calories Eaten versus Calories Burned. We were 300 pounds because we took in more than we burned. A lot more. If we are not losing after surgery, we are STILL taking in more calories than we are burning. We have a volume restriction, which means we are choosing the Wrong Foods.

Cook fresh food, stop with the processed ‘dead’ food, fast food, convenience foods and surround yourself with better choices. For the rest of your life, ‘Protein First, followed by lower carb Vegetables’ is the plan. Keep repeating it. Stick to it. You chose surgery knowing this was the deal. Why have your stomach removed if you never truly intended to change toxic food choices?

No alcohol for one year after bariatric surgery

4. Not Understanding Alcohol
Not a drop of alcohol for the first year after surgery. The liver and other organs are already pushed beyond normal limits by massive weight loss detox. Non negotiable.

Your prior experiences with alcohol are no longer valid as things change with your bariatric surgery. Without a handbag sized stomach for digestion, the cocktail dribbles directly into the small intestine and is sucked into the bloodstream at almost full proof. You can get deliriously sloppy and dangerously drunk in seconds. With RNY surgery you can additionally become ill from sugar as specialty cocktails can easily contain 50 grams of sugar.

Never drink alcohol unless you are with someone with whom you can trust with your life. Period. Your Match.com date does not qualify. Things can go very wrong with alcohol and if you are alone or with someone who does not understand your surgery, it may place you in grave danger. Never do a shot or feel pressured to keep drinking as alcohol poisoning can kill you.

There are studies that show a slightly increased rate of alcoholism in the bariatric set that may be due to a transfer of compulsive behavior. Be aware of this. If you find you are drinking more than occasionally or cannot stop, get help. Call your surgeons office, they won’t judge and will know what to do.

There is a strong pull to go out, dance and party after being released from the bonds of obesity and social drinking can be a part of that life. We are not a website that tells you to not drink, just have a plan before that first sip. There was a woman in BE Support Group who asked in open forum which cocktail she should drink for her wedding as she was one year post op and had not tried alcohol. Not a good idea to have your first post op drink at your own wedding, the office holiday party, or a business dinner with your boss.

5. Not Taking Vitamins or Supplements
Let’s cut to the chase. It’s ridiculous to think that you could have most of your stomach removed or cut in half with intestines bypassed, or a silicon band choking down the organ to the point where forced malnutrition causes a 100 pound weight drop in a few months and NOT need to take vitamins. Professionals TELL US we must take bariatric supplements yet most don’t. It is shocking how many don’t bother and wonder why they are sick! They insist they chew ice because they LIKE it, when unbeknownst to them they have a ferritin stored iron level of *3*. Serious iron deficiencies can damage your heart.

How long can someone last when food intake is restricted and they cannot absorb nutrients? Take vitamins. Take vitamins. Take vitamins. If you have bariatric surgery at age 35, what happens to you after 25 years of deficiencies? It does not end well. The numbers of post ops who break a wrist or ankle in minor trip and fall accidents would shock you. A crisp porous bone will CRUSH like a wafer and little can be done about it late in the game. Longterm post ops are horrified that their teeth have loosened because of osteoporotic jawbones. Many need involved dental procedures including bone grafts when the underlying structures won’t support a root canal or implant.

There are serious conditions that can damage you when you are deficient in vitamins, protein and or minerals. There are neurological conditions caused by not taking essential supplements that are irreversible and can lead to death. Yes, death.

The image below is from the surgery report when I fractured my ankle in a motorcycle accident 8 years post op. “The bone was extremely osteoporotic”. That straightens you right up. These stories are common. Wake up and pop a couple of capsules!

Fractured ankle with Osteoporosis, gastric bypass

6. Not Drinking Enough Water
Dehydration is the number one reason for hospital readmission and is a largely preventable complication. Your surgical team is not kidding when they tell you to keep sipping. Many come out of surgery feeling good and then after the first ten days slide into dizziness, nausea, headache, not being able to keep focus and falling asleep mid sentence. It gets progressively worse and unfortunately lands them in a hospital bed where they are fortunately hydrated with a fluid IV. Stay in front of the problem and drink water on schedule to prevent this.

Adequate water intake will also help flush fat metabolites from your system as you lose weight. Drinking water releases water weight so you will lose more pounds.

Our Hy Water app will help you and its free at GetHyApp.com where you can download it at The App Store. Tap the screen and every set number of minutes there is a fun reminder to DRINK UP.

GetHyApp

7. Grazing
Plan and eat actual meals. Three meals plus Two small Protein Snacks; this is also called Five Small Meals. Grazing is eating a bite here and a bite there, never really filing up. Your small pouch is the strongest tool and not filling it is giving up a powerful way to control fullness.

Sit down with your plate then slowly and deliberately eat your meal; fullness or satiety will tell you when to stop. Grazing is a behavior that allows you to consume a larger amount of food over a longer period of time as pouch fullness does not happen. If you realize you are grazing, stop it by eating enough solid protein to feel full, a hard cooked or deviled egg, rolled up deli turkey, half a protein bar. Or DRINK AN INSPIRE PROTEIN DRINK… bam, tastes good and you won’t want to eat.

Much of what we call grazing is due to ‘head hunger’ where we think we are hungry or actually just looking for something to do. Take up beading, play online games, read, anything to take attention from food!

8. Not Exercising
Obese people think that people who go to the gym like to exercise. The truth is that people who exercise WANT to look and feel good. Few really like the act of working out, they like the result.

EAT LESS BURN MORE is a mathematical formula to lose weight! The boost provided by even 10 minutes a day of jacking up your heart rate will help you lose weight faster, give you a chance at keeping it off longer, help you LIVE longer and make you look & FEEL better. I cannot believe the energy I now have and I am happy. I wasted so much time feeling so tired and sad.

If you are right now formulating silent excuses that ‘you would’ but have bad knees, medical maladies, no money for gym membership and no time, we have BE exercise plans that are done at home, using no equipment, place zero impact on joints and take up just 10 minutes of your day. Poof. Nice try. Excuses gone. If you choose to be a slug, OWN IT! Sorry, but walking around Walmart doesn’t count for squat. Get real.

This short video features BJ Gaddour of Men’s Health and StreamFit and shows how LITTLE exercise you can do – I promise that it will make a difference! This low impact full body movement is called a Ground Zero Jump. Your feet do not leave the floor. Anyone can do it and it can be done anywhere. Stand up and give it a try right now. It will make you feel good to do it.

9. Eating Too Many Carbs
Let’s lay it out there. A big post op problem is HUNGER and many do not get that carbs are the reason.

Eating protein first crowds out the carbs which controls hunger and forces weight loss. Any carbs eaten should be the vegetable/fruit kind. While a Little Debbie cake may have the same carbs as a dish of blueberries, it has zero nutrients. The little cake is a processed or dead food with no nutritional value. Choose the berries for great taste, fewer calories, tons of nutrients and use the energy to burn stored fat! All around a much better deal.

Carbs like pretzels and biscuits burn quickly and leave you hungry for more. Ever notice that eating Goldfish crackers just makes you want to eat more Goldfish crackers?

When people are gaining weight and keep a food journal for a few days, it’s obvious that carbs have wiggled their way back into the kitchen. Clean them out, stop buying them and get some fresh lower carb foods that bring nutrients to the party.

10. Assuming Surgery Has Cured Your Morbid Obesity
Calling it a Honeymoon Period is an accurate description. When weight is falling off and suddenly the world is brighter and all is good it is hard to imagine you will ever face the problems of morbid obesity ever again.

Here’s your wake up call. THE WEIGHT LOSS PARTY ENDS. During those first seven months of massive weight loss you are not driving the bus. You will lose the same amount of weight no matter what you do. There are some who don’t catch on to this and happily think that they have somehow cheated the system and are still losing weight while eating french fries. This does not end well in the long run.

It is common for post ops to not lose all the way to goal weight or over the years regain a substantial portion or even all of their weight back if they have not embraced making completely different foods choices. Even those paying attention can get hit with a gain, just like people who have not had weight loss surgery can gain weight. As with most successes, you create a long term plan and follow it. Weight loss surgery is not effortless nor does it last forever without serious commitment to the new way of life you create.

Change is hard, even with weight loss surgery. While we all thought this would be less difficult and more permanent, it turns out that just like in non-surgical life, once out from under the burden of 150 plus pounds it still comes down to diet, exercise and our willingness to change. 

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86 thoughts on “Top 10 Bariatric Post Op Mistakes

  1. Jo Cloud says:

    This was an excellent reminder of the commitment I made 5 years ago. I want to lose 10 lbs. To be back down to where I was! A wake up call to get on it!!

  2. Wendy R. Jacobs says:

    This is just what I need to read (hear)……I got side-=tracked a little with an auto accident and surgery… But I’m getting my exercise routine back on track..I also have my protein shakes and re-learning to leave the junk carbs alone….My goal for 2015….lose the 25 lbs I re gained.

  3. Vicki says:

    I’m 2 years post op and have gained 7 lbs that I’m trying to lose again.  It’s really tough to lose these extra lbs.  and even though I do exercise I’ve found that I can eat any foods and more of it.  I’m really worried this trend will continue.  

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Vicki, just because you CAN eat anything doesnt mean you SHOULD. We didnt eat like ‘naturally slim’ people then, which is why we were MO… so we have to do the work and learn HOW they eat and find new good foods to love. – Susan

  4. Judi Cook says:

    i am six months out from sleeve 99 lbs down 63 yrs old need lots of support. Thanks for the info it all helps.

  5. Coleen Dady says:

    I am 3 years out and totally screwed up the whole thing. I have gained back the 90 pounds I lost, and it happened so fast that I can’t even put my finger on when it got out of control. I am 58 and though I understood and was ready. I would have done anything to have the sleeve. I quit smoking, I followed everything that I was told to do pre-op. To say that it is humiliating to face family and friends now is such an understatement. Do what you are told to do every minute of every day, you will be delighted every day with results. I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis shortly after my sleeve surgery, I think I just gave up. I hurt every where, it hurt to try to excercise. I never see comments on the failures and hope it is because there are so few.

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      You still have a small pouch IF you put the right foods in it you will be able to control volume. You can get back on track. Right now you are sort of sitting in the middle of the road and that is never a good thing – much better off that you MOVE. Clean out the carbs… stop buying the crappy processed foods you went back to eating. Get a big black trash bag right now and get them out of the fridge and the pantry. No soda, no candy, no cake… no bread, tortillas, rice, potatoes, spaghetti, chips, crackers. I think that covers most of them, yes? Then get yourself some protein powder because you CAN reset your pouch and do FIVE SHAKES A DAY plus a healthy supper of pan seared or broiled chicken and salad. We developed Inspire protein so it TASTES GOOD and people actually LIKE drinking it. It will cut the hunger and cravings and you can look forward to your yummy supper every night. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! I just lost 45 pounds this way. We have a lot written on this site about this plan. – Susan

      • Nancy H says:

        Coleen, there are lots of people on this site who have regained weight, and there is lots of encouragement here to help you to get back into control and lots of products to buy that are great and good. I LOVE the Inspire Protein Powder; many yummy flavors available! I am fighting a 20 pound weight gain, and I never got down to a goal weight; I just quit losing at 194 pounds. So I am struggling too, but trying every day to eat the right things. There is support here for you and me. I’m getting my act together, so come along with me and all the others who are fighting also!!!!

    • Brenda says:

      Coleen maybe you n I need to buddy up and coach and support each other. I never even got near my goal weight before I screwed up. I honestly thought I must have stretched my pouch to the point that only another surgery could fix it. Maybe there is still hope for us. I cant take the time off work for another surgery and pray I dont need one and can still have a smaller pouch.

      • Deb says:

        Please…can I join you girls in attempting to get back on track.
        I never lost my original goal and I am almost back to my original weight.
        I feel so ashamed that even with the assistance of the sleeve three years ago, I have not met my original goal.

        I cannot believe that I stumbled on to your conversation. I truly thought that I was the only one to have screwed up so badly.

        If you will have me…I would be so grateful for the friendship and the support in getting back on track.

        • Cindy says:

          Deb, I’m in the same boat. I was sleeved on 2/26/2018 and have only lost 55lbs. I’m on a Facebook support group and see almost everyone is way past me. I haven’t lost a pound in months. I’ve been slipping up more and more everyday and everyday I tell myself I’m going to get on track. I feel just like I did before my surgery, always waiting on tomorrow. Please tell me there is hope for us all that are struggling. I’d love to buddy up for support and to offer some

      • Lisa says:

        Brenda
        I need a buddy, I’m n a bad spot I have gained some of my weight back and I’m not very happy with myself. I did make it to my goal at one time and want to get back to it again.

  6. Angie says:

    I had RNY gastric bypass done 2007, and went from 262 lbs to approximately 145 lbs and have maintained that the whole time.  Which has been wonderful and I am proud of this!  I made the mistake though of not worrying about the supplements and vitamins after the first year or so because I never ‘felt’ physically bad or weak.  I ended up in the hospital in October 2014 needing 2 blood transfusions due to low iron.  I had done a routine blood test for a long overdue general physical at my family doctor and got called the next day to head immediately to the ER because of shockingly low hemoglobin count.  I had no idea.  I have had extensive dental surgeries in the past year due to the vitamin malabsorption as well.  My teeth and jaw bones just became brittle and useless over the years.  My mom had bad teeth and problems at my age so At the time I just thought it was bad genetics.  I swear I am not a stupid person.  I had been feeling tired for a long time, but had attributed to life as a busy mom and wife and also to ongoing life-long major depression disorder.  I moved to another country with my husband and kids about 6 months post-op, and my follow-up care fell through the cracks- I always felt ‘fine’, had no weird surgical side-effects, lost weight and maintained it well, had no reason to question my health, so I didn’t seek out specialty bariatric care from that point on.  We moved again a few years later and again my seemingly normal health was not a thought or priority at the time.  Over the years the deficiencies took a toll, slowly but surely, and it happened so gradually that I never put all the pieces together.  Until the routine blood test I had no idea my body was kaput!  Since then I have been diligently taking my vitamins and supplements and been under the care of a doctor who is monitoring everything.  I feel better than I have felt in years and my mental health has improved considerably as well.  I take full responsibility for not taking control of my post-op care- and now I want to warn other people so they don’t make the same mistakes I did.  I don’t for one minute regret the surgery, and the benefits, even after finding out all this stuff in the past several months about my health, still outweigh the negatives, for sure.  I just should have relied more on doctors and science to monitor my health over the past 8 years rather than my not-so-reliable self-monitoring.

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Angie, your story is eye opening. You saved yourself before it was too late where others are unable to. People give me a hard time and call me ‘an alarmist’ but I tell them I can stick my tongue in the hole where I used to have a tooth and I have screws and a plate in my left ankle that are coming loose. My mission is to get folks to understand that they are NOT cruising through bariatric life unscathed and that they NEED vitamins. Thank you for sharing this! – Susan

    • Beverly says:

      Hey
      I’m 5 yrs post op and haven’t taking any supplements thinking I could just eat better. I’ve have to get 2 iron infusion this year due to low iron, so can u tell me the list of vitamins u take daily?
      Please and thanks

      • Susan Maria Leach says:

        The list that we take is on the back of the Journey 3+3 bottle! If you do not have deficiencies, these are awesome. If you have an iron deficiency or any deficiency you can add the supplement you need to take care of it.

    • Prasad says:

      Angie, its been 4 weeks after by Sleeve Surgery, due to viral fever stopped all Vitamin intake, now I realized after reading your message how important are the Vitamins and Protein, I will start them from today again, thanks for sharing your experience, have a wonderful life, my best regards, Prasad, India

    • Nancy says:

      Don’t forget there are places you can go, where you can get a Meyer Cocktail or other vitamin and mineral IV infusion. Sure, it’s about $300, but even once a month if your vitamin levels are low would help get them back up, it did wonders for me in the months after surgery and about 6 months later when I started losing my hair.

  7. Angie says:

    BTW, I had to giggle Ina gallows humor kind of way when I read this article because my ferretin level at the time of my hospitalization in October was exactly *3* as well.  The hospital I was at said it was a record for them, for a walking-talking conscious human to have that low of a level.  My hemoglobin was at 5.5 (normal is 12 to 15 or something like that).  Everybody was really freaked out.  Talk about a wake-up call!

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Oh my… I get it though. You are blessed to have been able to come back from such a low level and I hope you don’t have lasting effects from it. Its terrible that we don’t realize how bad we feel until we feel good again. Someone I was ‘talking to’ on Facebook has found herself on a kidney donor list due to iron deficiency complications. I know others who have neurological damage from B deficiencies and a few who have died with them. This is incredibly serious and some ‘just don’t get it!’. – Susan

  8. Carol Cotten says:

    Love the article. I had my surgery on December 2, 2014 I am down 51 pounds but I needed to read what you had to say.  I am one that takes a bite are two of carbs and even sweets some days. And I really don’t want to mess this up. I’m 61 years old and did this for my health. Thanks The article really convicted me.   

  9. Sherry says:

    I’m 7 1/2 years out and I’ve gained some back. More than I want but I’m not back to my original weight or any where near it. I allowed stress to be my excuse to eat carbs and sweets and sure the sweets make me sick but it is what it is. I needed to read this article to I guess kick me in the butt. I do about six of these things. I think I’m gonna print them and use them as my weight loss 10 Commandments. I was 432lbs. I lost 234lbs. I wanna get back to my 199lbs. That was my lowest weight and I felt healthy and great. I need to get my tool back to its original use.  

  10. Rosario Cuevas says:

    Thank you for this article! I am 3 month post op and so far feeling great. Eye opener regarding the vitamins and honeymoon stage. Definitely will keep track of where I am.  

  11. alice benson says:

    i had gastric bypass i. 1982 and a revision about 10 years ago…need belp…had knee replaced anx gained weighg

  12. Linda williams says:

    i enjoy reading the articles and comments. I also have gained back weight not so much from eating the wrong things as not exercising and drinking sugary drinks. This helps me stay in line and do what I should. Thank you

  13. Lisa brown says:

    I had a rny in July of 2004.. And lost160 pounds..which I kept off until 2 yrs ago.  I have now gained 45 back..but the gain coincided with quitting booze, becoming hypoglycemic and hypothyroidaI. I slowly became alcoholic  during the last few yrs. I have quit now, but am fatter!

  14. Sally hart says:

    had RNY in 2002. Weighed 320 lbs. now weigh 198.  Love my new life.  Have gaine 30 lbs back since surgery.  Never was able to have the excess skin removed and this is depressing.  I need to get back on track with exercise. And watchimg what I eat thanks so much for the support and encouragement

  15. hope maraday says:

    What happens when you are unable to absorb nutrients from food, IV’s or supplements. Cause that’s happening and no one can make me well. 

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Hope, it all depends on what is going on with your body and what kind of bariatric surgery you have. I do know people who have had to have their surgery reworked for the reasons you mention. Make sure you are going to a major bariatric center where they have dealt with this issue before. Don’t play with your health. – Susan

  16. Carlett says:

    I am about three months out from being sleeved. Doing well but need to drink more water. I just down loaded the Hy app, think that will be most helpful for me. Planning on printing out this article and hanging it in my kitchen so it’s in my face daily : ) Thank you!

  17. Elsa Johnson says:

    I had RNY November 17, 2004. I have gained 15 lbs recently. This has helped me know I can get back on track. Thanks.

  18. Sherry says:

    Great points, but disagree with the soda part…it DOES stretch the stomach. CO2 is used in surgeries to expand an area so the instruments can fit into a small space. CO2 in sodas reacts very much the same way…it expands the stomach. The best thing to do is just give it up completely. Same with alcohol. Both are just empty calories.

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Thank you for your opinions. We would be boring if we all thought the same way! I wanted to remove the debate over the WHY part of ‘no soda’ but we both agree on the bottom line to NOT drink it. It doesn’t matter why, we are told NOT to. I am shocked by the number of people who go right ahead and drink diet and then regular pop and all support each other by comparing that ‘nothing happens’. What happens is that they end up drinking soda with meals. As for the alcohol, I think its useless to tell people to NOT drink. People have social lives and having a drink is a part of life for many. For some it is not – and you and I may differ in that regard and I respect that. I stand on the premise that it is better to help people make smarter alcohol choices than to just tell them to not do it. It is the same as a food choice for me. A glass of wine is 100 calories, one ounce of flavored vodka with a splash of citrus and a little water is 100 calories and both have between zero and three grams of sugar. – Susan

  19. Laura Sederberg says:

    I had Bariatric Surgery in Nov. 2014, and am learning how to balance my new lifestyle with eating, exercise, and doing away with things I don’t need. Just finding this website, is a bonus, and I appreciate your article above. I want to subscribe to this and keep reading more articles. Thanks.

    • Catherine says:

      Yes, it’s hard I can’t eat alot of soft foods, drinking water or mostly anything hurts or so much gas keep bleeching to get it out! Liquify food, I look at it it makes me sick. I take my vitiamins everyday! Water I sip all day. Drinking protein drinks ,Omg so many trying to get down! It’s awful… Had Gastric bypass Jan 16. 244lbs feb19.. 220. I had a full knee replacement. I have to find some type of excercise to do!

  20. Stacie says:

    Great article! And so true! Took me many years to realize the pouch won’t save me forever. GBS worked because it limited my intake, it didn’t teach me to change my habits. This blog should be mandatory reading for every post op!

  21. Jennifer Earl says:

    I just found this article on Facebook.  A real eye opener.  Brought me back to reality & what I already knew, but wasn’t doing, to get back on track!  Thanks.

  22. Lanaknott says:

    would love be added to this site– it was a real eye opener for some of the related issues following the surgery– I’m 17 months out doing greatttt but have done some of the Boo boos listed here– didn’t realize they were so bad– Glad I read it!!!!!

  23. Dona says:

    i had the gastric bypass in 2007 I lost 107 lbs and began to gain the weight back not only have I gained that plus some I get sick no matter what I eat and always feel like I’m choking  I’m now back on  diabetes drugs to me this surgery was a big joke and not worth the 43000 dollars I paid

  24. peggy says:

    I am 8 years out from surgery. I lost total of 110#.  I have maintained my weight all this until this past summer. I started craving chocolate so very badly!!! I decided to get back on vitamins the first of year after 10# weight gain. So far, I have gone down 6#. I drink either water, coffee, tea. Very rarely do I drink pop. It is too sweet!!! I am so glad this has been posted to read. Nice to know I am not alone and that getting back on vitamins was right decision for me.

  25. Tamara Butterworth says:

    I have a few questions.  I’m 10 yrs outand back up 45lbs. Well these tips help me too?  I have also had horrible problems with my teeth and think I will end up losing them all.  Is this one of the adverse things that happen? 

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      It appears that after years of not taking in enough nutrients and not taking supplements our bones get brittle and porous. Losing bone density in the jaw loosens our teeth. I also think our deficiencies give periodontal disease a foot hold which loosens teeth as well. Yes, these tips are especially for long term post ops. I hope they do help you. – Susan

  26. Nicole Buckley says:

    amen!
    The road to recovery and maintenance is a daily journey. The surgery one tool.  Six years post op and I can’t recognize my life.  People who didn’t know me obese can’t imagine the “other” person.
    So grateful. So, so grateful.

  27. Diane says:

    After reading the comments and noticing that some have gained all or at least partial of their weight back I was wondering if there is anything that can help?  Is there any type of follow up surgery or redo that can help again.  I have a friend in the same boat and he’s said that he’s learned from his mistakes and if he could do over……….you know that saying.  Just wondered if there is such a thing or not.  Thanks for your comments and sharing. 

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      There are many people who gain back some or all of the weight lost and while a very small percentage have a physical failure, most just slowly slide back into some of their bad habits PLUS AS WE AGE OUR METABOLISM SLOWS. Women go through menopause which is bad enough when there is no bariatric surgery.

      We just have to add some kind of workout to enroll our bodies in HELPING us to burn more than we eat. We also need to pay close attention to rules we were careful of early on, but sometimes fifteen years can cloud our vision.

      Good news is that most of us still have an intact restriction in that our pouches work. We just have to go on a strict diet. We have a VERY successful BACK ON TRACK plan to lose regain. We can still lose it… just have to use the pouch, diet and exercise! – Susan

  28. Dawn Bilyeu says:

    @ Nicole i just realized this week that the people i meet this year,  will never know that i was MO for 15 years. It is a good thought,  because after I had decided to have an RNY I’d realized that people in the town I’d moved to had never known me when I was thin. I’m taking supplements,  I signed up for auto delivery on my bariatric vitamins so that they are always there.  I had my surgery 07/14 and have lost 118. I have about 20 more to lose. I need to exercise! I drink 2-3 soy protein drinks a day,  plus a protein lunch and dinner with small snacks of nuts or a protein bar.  Why so much?  I lost my hair!  Months of only getting 50-60 grams of protein (i didn’t realize that was the sleeve goal)! I try not to think about what else suffered the downtown and now just concentrate on a minimum of 80 grams a day. 

  29. Kathy Dockery says:

    I had my surgery in 2007. I went from 432 to 211 and felt great. I was maintaining my weightloss until 2 years ago when I changed professions and became a truck driver teaming with my husband. Now I have gained 60 lbs  in the past 2 years. I quit taking my vitamins after the first year and now after routine blood work find out my b12 level is very low so I now have to take shots once a month to boost it back up. Im so glad your site popped up on my newsfeed.. Do I have to join to continue receiving it? Thank you for the articles and encouragement to do better..

  30. Linda white says:

    i , too had the sleeve surgery bout 5 years ago .. I’m back where I was .. Learned I could eat .. Wait a little while and eat a little again .. Depressed with myself .. Reading these ten things reminds me that I need to re learn why I did this .. Anything I can do to jump start “me ” again??? 

  31. Terez J, says:

    Thank you for this post.
    We translated it to hungarian to let the others reed who don’t speek English at all! I hope you doesn’t mind :]
    It is a really good sumary! This mistakes made by so many bariatric patients… it is unbeliveable!
    Keep it up :]

  32. Margie says:

    Thank you for this website. I want to get back on track. My  surgery was in 2004 and I lost 150lbs,gained back 50 lbs.then lost 25.  Still working on getting back to healthy.  One tool I wish I still had was Not having the ability  to eat sugar.  I used to get really sick if I ate sweets. It sneaks back on you really easily.  Bread is also my enemy, I like it chucked with butter and I stuff it to appease my stress, loneliness, and sadness.  Somethings I HAVE been able to give up  are Splenda. (I use stevia) and   skim milk (I drink almond milk), thanks to a certain TV doctor who had a rapid weight loss plan I follow.     I have always taken my vitamins,  chewable kind get absorbed the best,   calcium, B12 under the tongue ,   and daily protein shakes as recommended.     I think now that I have read all these great posts I will start drinking more protein shakes throughout  my day.  Now that I know that I have a place that gives me so much SUPPORT

  33. Martha Barker says:

    I just had bypass surgery in September 2014, I have not been doing good about drinking my protein shakes like iam suppose to. Thank you for the info you have posted. While I was in the hospital having my surgery, they found out that I have leukemia. So I am already weak anyway. I need to start taking better care of myself. You made me realize things I am doing wrong. I will be forever grateful.

  34. Lisa Wickham says:

    I am having the sleeve done on April 7. I want to be successful long term so I really appreciate everyones post. 

  35. Karen Keilman says:

    I have been in the Bariatric Progam at University of Michigan since December, 2014. I am about half way through the requirements and received my letter that I have been approved to have the sleeve surgery. One of the classes that this program recommends is called
    The Hunger
    Within. It is a twelve week program that deals specifically with the root of emotional eating. The book can be purchased even if your are not able to attend the class. It is available on
    Amazon. It is by Marilyn Ann Migliore. I am 58 years old and in all my adult life of being 100 lbs over weight, I have never attended such a powerful and life-changing class. After reading all of these posts, it seems like many have had the surgery, but have never had the opportunity to learn about why they overeat to begin with. This class has helped me more than anything else I have ever done.

    The program is available nationwide and if you can’t find the class, at least invest the $10.00 to get the book. Some people have the attitude that they better eat everything now that they won’t be able to eat after surgery, but that is such wrong thinking. I have already given up drinking pop and stopped the graze eating (even though it wasn’t until recently I found out at the Endocrinologist that this is a bad habit). Since I eliminated snacking and graze eating my blood sugars have gone way done where they had been out of control. I am forever grateful to this class and for having this knowledge about myself before I have the surgery so that I can understand what need to be done and make those changes now. As for the supplements, as I said to my doctor when she told me I would have to take supplements for the rest of my life, I said, as opposed to the 9 prescriptions drugs I am taking now, no problem. This was a fabulous article and I too will print it and keep it as a great reminder. I am learning as much as I can now so I can be successful post surgery.

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Karen. I am in the program through U of M now. How are you doing now 3 years later? I just had my psych eval this past week. I am really looking forward to getting this journey underway. Thanks-Sherri

  36. Michelle Milton says:

    I was sleeved Feb 18th 2015- I’m down 25 pounds, I had a really hard time in the beginning but the more I read about people losing their hair, ending up back in the hospital and everything I went through, I made a daily journal of my protein & fluids- I’m just not able to eat more solid foods, the first 4 weeks of liquids was horrible- I cried some nights and asked why would I do this to myself. But now it get up drink my protein shake, my co workers even come ask me what I can have for lunch on days our company orders out lunch to help support me and it’s great! I make sure I get my protein first and I realize more & more by sticking to the no more then 10-15 carbs per meal and the same for grams of sugar… And live by eat more things made from plants then are made in plants! It’s not easy and I won’t say that it is, experts say you have to do something 40 times before it becomes a habit and that’s what I’m doing making it a habit- I take my multi vitamin, my biotin, and my B complex twice a day as my surgeon said to. Adkins protein shakes are very easy when I’m on the go and I have a mini frig in my office- I buy snack size zip lock bags and take 5 to 10 bags a day to work, with lean sliced lunch meat, cheese slices, frozen grapes for a treat, apple slices,  baby bel ucheese, tuna packets all to get the protein I need- I divid how many hours my day is and how often I need to nourish, 4oz an hour of fluids to keep me on track! This is a battle I want to win & we have been through to much not to… Best wishes everyone and stay strong

  37. Louise H (South Africa) says:

    Thanks for this article. I am scheduled for RNY procedure 5th May 2015. I am in week 7 of the 12-Week pre-op eating program with Prof Hein van der Walt in Pretoria, South Africa. I have lost 22lbs on the bariatric diet so far, before the operation. My start weight was 226lbs and my goal will be around 150lbs. Next week I start my soft puree diet for 2 weeks and then full liquids for 2 weeks prior to the operation. This is all to prepare the body and mind for what lies ahead. Psychological preparation as well as physical preparation.

    Reading all these posts brings the reality home of how important it is to know that this is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. The pouch is a tool to assist. And taking in enough protein and supplements is key to success. I will make sure I check in often so that I can keep reminding myself of this. Thank you and good luck to you all.

  38. Kate says:

    So glad I’m reading this prior to my Gastric Sleeving operation. It was most helpful to read the tips and more importantly the other comments by people.

  39. Jackie says:

    Wow. you are just brilliant. I am facing an 15 pound regain of my 100. I’m one of those people who was careful and it happened to me. I just love your articles. So real and truthful! thanks!

  40. DN says:

    This list is spot on and I practice these rules pretty well. I have kept the weight off for 15 years and was actually way below goal for a few years- some friends told me I looked too thin, which is not what an over-50 woman wants to hear, because you do look haggard and older. I finally had a tummy tuck two years ago, and some serious complications derailed my physical activity habit but not my food intake. So I slowly put on weight, and am now 10 pounds over where I want to be. The nutritional deficits are no joke, so pay attention! Good luck to all.

  41. Dawn says:

    Great article except your Hy app, that I was most excited about, is only for Apple. Since 1/2 the population isn’t ridiculously ‘trendy’ maybe you want to make an Android option too. Thanks!

  42. Anita Marth says:

    I was fortunate to have six months counseling with an excellent bariatric nutritionist who followed me and drilled into me the change in diet and eating habits needed for Post bariatric surgery. My story is unique and I credit the nutrition counseling to my success.

    I had RNY in August 2015. I weighed 331 pounds. Two months postop in October 2015 I was involved in a small airplane crash. It’s a miracle I survived this. I was ejected 30 feet down a ravine, with my head lodged in a drain pipe. My clothes were tattered shreds. I received fractures of all left ribs except two, one right rib fracture, left clavicle fracture, left scapular fracture, punctured left lung, degloving of my forehead and scalp, brain hemorrhage, and bruising and abrasions over all my body. I was on a ventilator. I made a miraculous recovery.

    Five months after the accident, in March 2016, I was diagnosed with right breast cancer metastatic to my lymph nodes. Treatment involved lumpectomy with axillary node dissection, six months chemotherapy, six weeks radiation, long term hormone blocker medication every day. I am now six months post radiation.

    Throughout all of this I kept and still keep a dietary log, and stay true to the post bariatric diet.

    I am two years postop RNY. I have lost 164 pounds, and now weigh 167 pounds. I weigh myself everyday. I walk 30 minutes a day, limited by chronic pain in neck, back, hip and knees. I use ice and/or heat and rest after walking to relieve pain.

    I share my story with you as encouragement. Weight loss after bariatric surgery is possible. It hasn’t been an easy road. This article is excellent in outlining the need for lifetime changes. Weight loss surgery is not a fix all.

    • Alison Garcia says:

      Hi Anita, thank you for sharing your story with us. You’ve been through so much. You seem to be a fighter, strong and determined to stay successful. So happy for you!! Keep up the amazing work. -Alison

  43. Carol says:

    Hi my name is Carol this is my first post I had my gastric bypass sep 2017 I’m 7 weeks out thanks so mich for the info I had a really hard time trying to take the calcium it so hard to get everything in I take 60 protein a day is that enough that’s not counting the meals so hard to know what to eat so I’m glad I found you guys

  44. Prasad Rao says:

    Hi Alison, Its been 4 weeks (22nd Sep’17 I had my Sleeve Gasterctomy) since then I lost 9 kgs, to be honest I did not follow Vitamin Intake and Whey protein intake as recommended by my surgeon, now I realized how important are these for keeping me reach my goal and protecting my vitals, currently I am taking ON whey protein Gold standard (just 1 scoop – 22gm per day), I am not liking the taste, so I am unable to take more, can you suggest alternative whey protein for me ( Vitamins – pills are recommended – 4 types from morning to evening by my surgeon )Thanks for the content and shall keep in touch. My age :50, Male from Bangalore, India Height:170CM, pre op weight: 112KG, post op weight after 4 weeks is 103KG

    • Alison Garcia says:

      Hi Prasad, I would check Amazon India to see what’s available in your neck of the woods. Be sure whatever you choose is high in protein, and relatively low in carbs and sugar. Whey protein isolate is your best bet, so be sure to read labels. As for vitamins, I would check with your healthcare team to ask what they recommend. Whatever you choose, it’s simply important that you get them in-both protein and vitamins. Keep up the good work. -Alison

  45. Theresa Malizia says:

    I had my gastric bypass and 1992 I lost 228 lb I weighed 465 when I be done I lost all within 9 months I have been anemic sense I’ve not had any doctors tummy the extremities being anemic it’s going on 32 years now that I’ve had my surgery I have become very anemic very ill I’m suggesting that a gastrointestinal bypass not be done on anybody no matter what there’s consequences to what the surgery will do to you I have a diarrhea problem that I have never been able to get rid of I am always dehydrated my ears are always ringing I’m just very sick I’m 53 years old this year 2018 I’m going to a new doctor that is treating me for my anemia problem I’m being told that I could be possibly in my first stages of Leukemia because of the lack of iron to my bone marrow what am I to do now I’ve enjoyed being small but the last 2 years I’ve put on 75 lb there’s no reason for it I still don’t overeat I still don’t indulge I’m drinking property I keep hydrated as well as I can but no matter what I have a headache I’m dehydrated I have diarrhea I have many body pains I mean coherent a lot of the times I have these blackout sessions where I don’t remember what happens we have no idea where they’re coming from I am learning now that it’s because of my anemic problem please do not have a gastrointestinal bypass I’m looking for help I believe that I should be compensated somehow it’s been a long struggle to keep myself healthy I do not like my life that I have now other than I lost my weight I become a very beautiful young lady if I could only take back what I did to myself in 1992 I’d rather be fat than go through what I’m going through now I’m not looking to die I have 23 grandchildren and I love every I want them to have as many years as they can have with me please is there someone that can help me

    • Suzanne Shaw says:

      Hi Theresa! I’m not sure if you are a member of our support groups but I am the lead Admin over there, I’d like to speak with you one on one about your experience and issues as I think there is a lot of help out there. I am so sorry to hear of your struggles but from what you’ve said these are things that are easily fixed with the right questions to Dr. Please reach out to me over email if you would like to chat a bit, Suzanne@bariatriceating.com

  46. Cheryl says:

    #1. Talk to your surgeon.
    #2. Usually an anti- gas chewable helps (not liquigel)
    #3. Good luck and keep at it. It does get better!

  47. KATHy MCGRATh says:

    Scheduled for bypass in 2 months, I read all this and now worry! Nutritional deficits following surgery are possibly too worrisome For me to proceed! Hopefully I can lose this on my own

  48. Bobby Bath says:

    Hi There I am newbie had my surgery on November 9, 2018 it will be 3 weeks tomorrow and I have lost about 23 lbs so far. I guess the weight loss is over time and nothing happens over night. I am 6’2″ Male and weighed about 354 pounds I have lost 23 lbs since surgery over 3 weeks and now my weight is stuck at this mark.

    I drink plain tea and have water, I drink V8 and eat very sensible. I guess it’s hard when everyone around you is eating anything and everything, but for those of us who had this surgery no matter what the reason, we should always focus on our health, what we were before surgery and what we have to look forward to after surgery. It’s all in the mind, you need to control yourself.

    I can’t wait till I loose I hope 100 lbs, I know I will feel and look better, I will be more involved with my kids, being able to do more activities with my family and not being a loner sitting on the side lines. I would like to go up a flight of stairs without loosing my breath, there are so many things to look forward too. I want to shop at regular stores and not Big N Tall.

    I read all your comments, and I feel over time everyone breaks down and you start thinking, a little cheat won’t hurt, but you have all been there when you were obese, then slim, and some are back to gaining weight, it’s all controlled by your mind, I know it’s easier said then done, but the will power comes from within.

    Can someone please tell me how long it takes before you actually see results, massive weight loss.

  49. Tina m. Klan says:

    Reading all of your comments and discussions have really made me think. I had lost 76lbs. But I have inflammatory arthritis which flared up causing me to go on steroids both oral and injections. I’m sad to say that I have gained a good portion of my weight back. I’m really motivated even more after reading this. Thank you all for posting. It really really helps!

  50. Vivienne says:

    Had my surgery 32 yrs ago have never had such good info has this site. Rec’d a little blk book that the Dr’s nurse got thru a clinic in U.S. A very little info . Lots of info I had no idea about Thanks

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