Why Am I Not Losing Weight Quickly?

You may have just undergone a sleeve gastrectomy or are a few weeks into the Obalon gastric balloon program. You may be several months or years post surgery – but you’ve seem to hit a plateau. What’s going on? Here are seven reasons you may not be reaching your weight loss goals – and how to help you get back on track.

Not weighing yourself enough

You can’t achieve what you don’t measure. According to a 12 month study, adults who weighed themselves daily were more likely to achieve their weight loss goals. The best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning. If your weight does fluctuate by a pound or two, it may be due to water retention or your menstrual cycle.

Not maintaining regular exercise

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, you should do 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week. While that may look like a large number, break it down. That’s only 30 minutes per day, five days a week! (Yes, you can break it down to ten minutes three times a day).

Overestimating the amount of calories you burn in a workout

Studies show that cardio machines miscalculate the number of calories you are actually burning by 15-20%. There are several factors for this. For example, as you age, you burn fewer calories per minute than you do when you are younger. Fitness level is another determinant of calorie burn. Someone whose body composition has more fat than muscle will burn fewer calories as well. The good news is that as you continue to exercise and build more muscle, your body will burn more calories! This will be best achieved by adding strength training to your workouts.

Overeating after a workout

That bag of trail mix you just ate “full of antioxidants and vitamins” that was about 600 calories? After burning 350 calories on your elliptical session? Whoops.

Not throwing out junk food

Keeping high calorie foods around yourself if you are considering having weight loss surgery such as a sleeve gastrectomy or are recently post-op by is sheer torture. Why do that to yourself? When you are first learning new eating habits, emotional triggers will make it very easy for you to access those bags of chips, cookies, or ice-cream. However, if you eliminate all those foods from the house, you will be able to develop new, healthy eating habits.

Not keeping a food journal

Researchers have shown that tracking your food intake can result in better weight-loss outcomes. Apps like MyFitnessPal can make documenting your calorie consumption easier than ever before. Furthermore, you can look for trends in your intake that may be undermining your efforts, such as eating at night.

Consuming “fat free” foods which are full of added sugars

Fat free does not equal calorie free. For example, the dried fruits in that trail mix? They are fat free, but full of sugar even in small portion sizes. The fat free ice-cream from the grocery store? In order to taste like anything, manufacturers add extra sugar to the recipe. The fat free miso-ginger dressing that tastes absolutely delicious? Full of sugar. Opt for using a teaspoon of olive oil mixed with vinegar to dress your salads.

Losing weight before or after a sleeve gastrectomy, revision surgery, or the Obalon procedure can be a challenging journey. However, Dr. Nguyen and his team are here for patients as a resource to help them achieve long-term weight loss success. Call our office for a consultation: 408-358-1855