Ten Common Mistakes Among Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Ten Common Mistakes Among Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Alex Brecher

If you’ve gotten bariatric surgery, you’ve done the hard part and you’re totally committed, so make sure you don’t make these common mistakes that can derail your progress or put your health at risk.

  • Getting dehydrated
  • Right after bariatric surgery, it’s hard to even sip water. Dehydration can be an emergency situation. Later on, water increases fullness and can help with weight loss. Chronically poor hydration can lead to less weight loss and low energy.

  • Drinking with your meals.
  • When you drink fluids with your meals, food passes through more quickly. You may not feel as full, and then may eat more at a given meal or snack. Eventually, that can cause a plateau or weight regain.

  • Not taking bariatric vitamins.
  • Nearly 100% of bariatric surgery patients have at least one vitamin or mineral deficiency, and most have more than one. Ask your surgeon or dietitian what to take. You may need a Multivitamin and one or more additional supplements, such as Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, or Vitamin B12. BariatricPal Vitamins and Minerals are designed for bariatric surgery patients. 

  • Grazing without control.
  • “Grazing” in a controlled way, with small meals and maybe snacks, if your surgeon suggests it. Some patients take this too far and never stop eating throughout the day. It can lead to eating more than you meant.

  • Eating slider foods.
  • “Slider” foods don’t fill you up, and they add calories. Examples include Ice cream, sugary foods, and liquid calories. They can replace more nutritious foods, such as lean proteins and vegetables.

  • Not weighing yourself.
  • When you stop weighing yourself regularly, you might not know how much you really weigh. Weighing yourself keeps you aware of your weight and can be motivating to make good choices.

  • Thinking weight loss surgery “cures” obesity.
  • Weight loss surgery is a tool, not a cure. It can help you feel more full so you eat less, but you’re still responsible for watching what you eat and keeping portions under control. It’s important to stay aware of your diet.

  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Alcoholic beverages have calories, and have more calories if you choose mixed drinks. Plus, they lower inhibition so you’re more likely to eat high-calorie foods, and large portions, while you’re drinking. It’s not just the calories that are a problem. Alcohol can become a replacement addiction for food once you stop eating so much after weight loss surgery.

  • Not eating enough protein. 
  • Most surgeons recommend getting at least 65 grams of protein each day to help increase fullness, maintain muscle mass, and support a strong immune system. It’s hard to reach that amount if you’re not eating much and if you develop an intolerance to foods such as dairy products or meat. Protein Shakes, Protein Bars, Protein Snacks, and Protein Entrees can all help you get more protein. 

  • Drinking carbonated beverages.
  • The bubbles in carbonated beverages, such as soft drinks, can make you feel very full. They can alter your sense of fullness and make it harder to lose weight, even if you choose diet drinks. If you are craving something that’s cold and sweet, but you can’t reach for a soft drink, consider low-calorie flavored water or a Protein Shake or Smoothie instead. It’ll help you stay hydrated or reach your nutritional goals, and won’t stretch your pouch.

    Common mistakes among weight loss patients