Formymum

5 weeks post op and stalled - help!

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone 

I am writing this on behalf of my mum. She had a gastric sleeve 5 1/2 weeks ago. She was doing really well on the liquid diet and had lost 13 kg. This weight loss also includes the pre-op diet. Two weeks ago (around week 3-4) she started introducing mushy/solid food and since then the weight loss has stalled. She hasn’t lost any weight for 2 1/2 weeks. Her diet is good- she is following the plan and she is getting in approximately 60 g of protein a day. She is feeling very down and upset that she has stopped losing weight and is worried that this is it and she will not lose any more. Did anyone else experience a stall at around four or five weeks? How do you get through it? It seems very early and for pro longed for a stall. Will she go back to losing weight and find it easier or is it likely to always be a struggle from here on?

If I say it’s getting her down that’s an understatement. It awful seeing her like this. 

 Thank you so much for taking the time to answer and help us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is usually a stall around this time.  It’s just the body’s way of catching up.  I recommend taking measurements. Often when you aren’t losing weight you will still lose inches.  

I only weighed every other Saturday.  I didn’t want to get discouraged and frustrated.  I never noticed a stall.  If you follow the diet given to her she will lose weight.  

She didn’t gain weight over night, it won’t fall off overnight.  Be patient and do what is expected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Formymum said:

Hi Everyone 

I am writing this on behalf of my mum. She had a gastric sleeve 5 1/2 weeks ago. She was doing really well on the liquid diet and had lost 13 kg. This weight loss also includes the pre-op diet. Two weeks ago (around week 3-4) she started introducing mushy/solid food and since then the weight loss has stalled. She hasn’t lost any weight for 2 1/2 weeks. ...

If I say it’s getting her down that’s an understatement. It awful seeing her like this. 

 Thank you so much for taking the time to answer and help us.

 

@Formymum

Oh, this is really common. I did not have a smooth weight loss after my gastric sleeve surgery. I ended up losing weight in steps, and sometimes went more than 3 weeks without a weight loss (although I lost inches around my neck and waist). If your Mum allows, measure neck bust middle-of-arm waist upper-thigh and calf circumferences. Just use a common measuring tape. Track them. As she gets healthier she will lose weight from all these places, and should her weight plateau in the future she may find that she is still losing inches or cms. from those places. That may keep her spirits up. 

@Cheesehead is really offering good advice. Because we do not lose weight smoothly, but rather in steps, if you Mum only weighs weekly, or monthly, she will be very happy. Many of us can't do this because of our anxiety about losing weight compels us to weigh daily, but, well, this can lead to Needless Anxiety. 

Your Mum will do FINE and continue to lose weight. You cannot fail to lose weight after this surgery unless you stuff yourself with sugared donuts, pizza and drink melted butter through the day. It's just that her body is clinging to the weight because it thinks... she is in the middle of a famine. All you have to do is keep to the dietary plan and you will, without fail, without doubt, lose weight. 

Although it may be interpersonally dangerous, very dangerous :ph34r:, for a family member to suggest anything - what many of us have found useful includes:

- Passage of time. If you eat fewer calories -> you'll lose weight. Your Mum will suddenly lose a bunch of weight, and when none of us can predict. I have sometimes suggested that Weight Loss Gremlins are messing with us or that Martians have invaded us, all tongue in cheek, to explain this COMMON and ALMOST UNIVERSAL occurrence. Most people are tormented by this. So cheer up, and your Mum should gain Fortitude from this. This plateauing happens to nearly everyone. 

- Decrease carbohydrates and up the protein / fat. When your Mum started mushy foods did she up her carbohydrates? You might gently, very modestly, even cautiously, introduce the idea of curbing the carbs and upping the protein. If Mum is eating 60 grams a day of protein - try 80 or 100. It may convince her body, by the way, that no famine is present and it is okay to lose weight. I think of 60 grams of protein as the very minimum. 

- Even tiny amounts of exercise, walking a mile a day. You are clearly a Good Child (you are earning excellent karma points, kid, keep it up) and if you offer to walk with Mum every morning or evening for 15-20 minutes... you will end up in Heaven, or whatever the equivalent is in your belief system. Oops, sorry back to the topic at hand - the data from multiple studies is that people who even modestly exercise end up with lower weights than people who do not. On average it is 2 BMI points (so you end up at 25 instead of 27, or 23 instead of 25, or 28 instead of 30, etc.). For many of us just this minor degree of exercise, a mile a day of walking, is enough to get things back on track, or to trick our bodies into losing weight again. 

Exercise is critical to long-term health. It adds to weight loss in a relatively minor way but it increases lifespan in a major way. We are often so focused on weight loss that we lose sight of the fact that it is critical to lifespan and health. Maybe you can trick your Mum into an habit of modest exercise, even just the mile a day walk.... and definitely ascent to Heaven for your efforts. It OFTEN is the thing that tips us back into weight loss.

Let  us know how she does. Having the support of your family is so important. Thank you for helping her. There is nothing like having the support of family, friends to help us during these periods. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be more abnormal if your mum didn't stall at this time. It doesn't make it any easier to handle, but it is what it is. Measurement are the way to go. Your mum won't stop the general downward trend of the scale as long as she sticks to her diet plan. Unfortunately though most of us also experience slight rises in weight along the way as well. If your mum can't handle those....and it sounds like she might not be able to....you may need to hijack her scales and refuse to bring them out other than once a month or once a fortnight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for you’re replies and encouragement. I’ve passes it all on to my Mum and it’s helped her. 

She is trying to be strong but I totally get how depressing it is not to see those scales moves. The first week she was shocked and upset- then when it hadn’t moved during week 2 she was totally slapped in the face. 2 weeks is a long time when you’re living it and wonder when the next 1lb will finally come off. 

Shes not really eating any carbs - it’s mainly protein - fish, chicken, cottage cheese and shakes/smoothies/protein waters. She’s finding it hard to get more protein in! 

I should also add my mum is 71.( Im unfortunately middle aged and not a kid!) I don’t know if her age is going to delay weight loss and is the problem. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE AND PLEASE HELP 

My mum is now another week on- she has done really well and not weighed herself all week. Stepped on the scales today and nothing lost again. She’s devastated. My dad is upset as he paid a fortune for surgery and it’s doibg nothing. She’s more depressed now than she was before the surgery. I feel terrible as it was my initial idea. 

Im concerned she’s eating too much. It’s way less than she used to it but it still seems a lot givens she’s had a gastric sleeve

diet today was . 

Breakfast- 30g bowl special k and milk

Mid morning- protein water 

lunch - 3tbps cottage cheese, 3tbsp baked beans, 2 this avocado and tiny bit of flat bread 

dinner- small chicken thigh and salad 

She has bad arthritis and struggles to walk far so exercise isn’t easy for her. She’s 73. Now in week 6 post op and 3 weeks of zero loss  

Any advice? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She will lose the weight if she sticks to the program.  I know it is difficult to be putting in the work, but the scale doesn't reflect it when I/you think it should.  Tell your mom to keep a journal and start taking measurements , maybe she is losing inches instead of lbs at the moment.  Her body may lose differently.  I would go 3 weeks or more and drop 5 lbs over a week.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Formymum

Let's get a (friendly) grip here. Take a deep breath! You are letting a number on the scale rule (and maybe ruin ;) ) your thinking. Your Mum lost 13 kgs (nearly 29 lbs) before and after surgery. So, factually, you know that on a diet she can and will lose weight. No doubt her body (1) is remodelling and (2) is convinced she is in a famine, and is trying to hold onto every single tiny molecule of weight. Weight loss after surgery is essentially inevitable unless you are eating more calories than your basal metabolic rate.... but it is not smooth. I had stalls of over a month, others even longer. And would then drop 5, 6, 7 pounds in no time at all. Our bodies are hard-wired to retain weight if at all possible since it thinks we are still hunter-gatherers and at risk of dying in a famine. 

Do the calories. Calculate them. How many grams of protein a day is your mother taking in? Calculate them. Does you mother have a scale that she can use? Have her weight everything. What you describe seems like it is marginal for protein while the calories are under any lower limit of a reasonable basal metabolic rate. 

1.1 ounce Special K = 110 calories so 1 ounce should be about 100 calories. With 1 cup nonfat milk ~ 160 calories.  3 tbsps cottage cheese @ 17 = 51 calories. 3 tbsp baked beans are ~ 45. 2 tbsp avacado is 90-100 calories. So lunch before the tiny bread is about 200.  Dinner might be 150-250 calories depending upon preparation. So a ballpark is, without knowing the protein water, about 600 calories. You cannot ingest 600 calories a day and not lose weight. You can surely be stalled at some weight while your body resists the loss... but the dam will break. Please do the math for the protein - she should be > 60 grams, and if possible higher. 

Sorry to hear she has arthritis. Is there a pool she can swim in for half an hour a day? Swimming is very easy on the joints since it is not a weight-bearing exercise. Even tiny amounts of exercise can sometimes do the trick. Others have found that boosting protein, upping the fluids, and tiny bits of exercise (if possible) move things along. 

Just for perspective, there are people on the Forum who only weighed once a month. So far as I can tell that is the group that almost always recorded a loss, month over month, and was most free of worries. (I of course weighed every day and suffered the emotional consequences). 

And, if it helps, also remember that this form of eating after surgery has been PROVEN to work over and over again. But these studies measure weight loss at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, a year, two years ... not on a daily or weekly basis. Very tongue in cheek, when I was posting here ~ 18 months ago, I used to refer to the Weight Loss Demons that would act to stall our loss and torment us. Perhaps the tormenting Demons have settled into your Mum's house. But it is temporary. 

Be of stout heart. I think @tracyringo is giving good advice to measure arms, thighs, waists, hips, bosoms, neck... many of us during remodelling had the same weight measure but noticed changes in our girth. Good luck, and don't let your spirits go down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stress is well know for stopping weightloss. Cortisol is a biatch of a hormone. Take the scales out of the house and tell your dad to pull his head in. You mum needs time to adjust to surgery without having to be as under the spotlight as she's got herself right now. If she's eating the way you say, she will lose weight, but we lose according to our own bodies agenda and not anybody else's. If you're In Australia and paid for the surgery rather than used the public system, then there should be support medical people in the surgeon's practice...sounds like your mum would be well served to use them.

Edited by Aussie Bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now