No weight loss, working out. 6 weeks post op.

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 Hello, I am six weeks post op. Between weeks one and four I lost about 25 pounds. I started working out heavier this week including weight and resistance training. During the weeks one through four I was losing abouts 2 pounds a day.  Now at the close of this week, after working out four days this week I have not seen any movement in my weight.  my diet consist of high protein low carbs, low sugar's- i'm not eating more than 1000 calories a day. 

 Am I doing something wrong? Is this normal?  I'm going continue working out four days a week with (cardio warming up)  weights and resistance and Do only 45 mins cardio 2 days other days... I just feel a little defeated since I'm really working hard. 


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Dear Elisa,

Post op weight loss is a long term proposition. Much of the early weight loss is loss of excess water weight. The first 20 or 30 pounds usually goes quickly, and then weight loss slows down. Almost nobody loses weight in a smooth way. The weight goes down a little, then there's a pause. Then there is more weight loss, then another pause. If your weight is stable for a couple of weeks or more you're at a plateau, but day to day fluctuations in weight loss don't mean much. So take the long view. 

Over the long run, working out is helpful for overall health both physical and mental. However, weight loss comes from calorie restriction. If your weight stabilizes over several weeks, it means that you are balancing your calorie expenditure with calorie intake. To lose more weight, you have to consume fewer  calories on a long term basis. Paradoxically bumping up the exercise does little to promote more weight loss directly. You burn calories when you work out, but use fewer calories during the rest of the day!

Exercise builds muscle, improves mental health including self-esteem, promotes a focus on good diet, helps one to sleep better, keeps one off of the couch, turns the focus away from food, can build friendships, reduces lipid levels, promotes bone health, makes your heart stronger, reduces blood pressure a little, probably makes you think clearer, and more! But to repeat, eating fewer calories long term gets the weight down and later keeps it down. Join the "just don't eat it" club, and resign for the "clean plate club".

Dr. Callery

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