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Realistic Weight Loss Goals After Bariatric Surgery


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Question – What do you mean by having a realistic goal with weight loss after bariatric surgery?

Our US-Registered Bariatric Nutritionist answers:

According to the 2009 (ASMBS) American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery position statement on the sleeve gastrectomy, average excess weight loss is 55%. Depending on the study and individual this number can obviously change. This means that if you are a woman who is 5’7 tall and your ideal weight is 122-149 lbs. and you weigh 300 lbs., you can expect to lose somewhere between 83-98 lbs. Meaning your weight after surgery would be 202-217 lbs. This is a realistic weight goal. Once again, it really depends on the individual. Some people will lose more than that 55% and some will lose less, but you want to be well aware of what that average is.

“It is important to have other measures of success which go beyond the scale. A lot of individuals before bariatric surgery believe that once they get down to a certain weight, they will be happy with their life and that’s really not the case. Losing weight can improve your quality of life, your self confidence, and how others may view you, but it doesn’t cure everything or make every struggle disappear. When I recommend patients to have a realistic weight goal, I also recommend having goals that go beyond the scale. Examples of this are . . . “I want to decrease my medications that I am taking” or “I want to be able to take at least a 1/2 mile walk with my spouse without feeling out of breath” or “I want to be able to get down on the floor and play with my grandchildren.” It can also be useful to take body measurements during the weight loss process as plateau’s are very normal, but frequently people continue to lose inches around their waist, arms, thighs, etc. during those plateau’s.

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