why am I gaining weight again?

Two years ago, I had roux en y gastric bypass surgert and lost 8
100 pounds. Not as much as I had hoped but I felt and looked really good. I just weighed myself and found that I’ve gained back nearly 40 of that! I don’t understand how.
I am not eating particularly well, but I am eating less than half of the portions that I used to. I always choose low fat options where possible when I never did before. I used to drink regular soda,and now if I drink anything flavored, it’s sugar free. I used to sit around the house all day. Now I have a full time job. It’s a desk job, but it still gets me up and moving more than I used to. I also now teach a dance class once a week and am looking for more places to teach more often.
so if I’m eating significantly less and with less fat and sugar and moving more, why am I getting fatter?

Congratulations on the weight loss AND on trying to stop the re-gain.

If you weigh 100 pounds less than you used to, your calorie needs will drop. Do you do any tracking, such as a phone app or a website like sparkpeople? I found that my estimates of what I think I’ve eaten, calorie-wise, can be vastly different from what I really have—and that’s in either direction (thought I barely nibbled and really took in a lot of calories; thought I ate well and am clocking under 800 for the day). Tracking your food helps a lot.

It sounds as though you could be exercising more, too. You mention a dance class, but what about walking daily or something else?

Did you get any counseling prior to your surgery? What about after? The people I know who have had weight loss surgery had been successful at maintaining their losses when they attended a follow-up support group. Once they stopped going, they regained the weight because they started doing more of the mindless eating, using food as a coping skill, etc. I’ve not had WLS but when I was in Weight Watchers, I got a lot out of the meetings, more so than I would an online tool.

Your metabolism may have slowed down.

If you wish to lose weight, you will need to consume fewer calories than what you are consuming now.

I hate to fall back on the old reliable non-answer…but you should consult your doctor. Because you’ve had a gastric bypass, the standard weight-loss/maintenance answers may not apply to you or at least not in the same way. Yes, you’ll need to balance your intake with your metabolic rate. But there may be factors affecting your metabolism that your doctor should assess.

If I were you, I’d think about adding in some extra exercise (maybe concentrating on interval and weight-training), but I’d want to check with a doctor I trusted first.

What’s your height and weight?

You can find out your daily calorie needs using various websites. This one for example: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

You then multiply it by your activity level. http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/

After 25 lbs of weight loss, I now require about 200 calories less per day than I used to.

The low fat part may not work well for you, it doesn’t for many people though for many it does. Diet is not a one size fits all, it’s finding out what works for you.

It is definitely “one size fits all” when it comes to calories. (All else being equal, consuming fewer calories will cause a reduction in weight for anyone). Of course, there are many ways to consume fewer calories. Perhaps that’s what you were referring to.

I didn’t have a gastric bypass, but when I lost weight I found that I had to do a lot more exercise just to maintain the loss than I ever did before weight loss.

So I believe you need to track both your calories in and your calories out.

If you have the money and patience, you can buy a device called, I think, a body bug; it sits on your upper arm all day long and does a very good job of tracking how many calories you are burning, including your at-rest calories. Cheaper alternatives are a heart-rate monitor and/or a pedometer.

Tracking calories in can be done easily with a smart phone app, or even just a little memo pad. Just note everything you eat, and at the end of the day you can use a calorie book or online resource to add up the total. After a while of doing this you will have a good sense of how many calories things have. All this is a lot of work, but all the research shows that that’s what it takes to maintain large weight loss.

One conclusion that I have finally come to is to avoid as many carbs as possible, including bread and crackers, as they don’t bring anything to the party except cravings for more of the same.

Good on you for keeping on top of this; lots of people don’t and then gain all the weight back.

This is it in a nutshell. Your body has adjusted metabolically to the lower intake. You need to increase you activity level substantially (3 times week true cardio exercise) and adjust your diet to make healthier choices. I’d also wager money you’re eating substantially more calories than you think you are even if you are consuming them in smaller portions.

Of course it is true that you are eating more calories than you are burning, that is how weight gain results. So why and how?

The difficult part is that calories you burn is hard to figure out and is a moving target. Your body still thinks that you should weigh the higher the amount and it is trying to get you back there. It changes the machine to try to get it back to that point.

The calories you burn now are less than before and not just to the degree that your weight is less multiplied by your activity level. It’s a greater reduction than that.

The body is also driving you to feel hungrier more. You may be one of the few who is able to estimate your calories in with accuracy, but most people cannot. If you are like most then you may be eating more than you think as a result, even if it is a small bite here and a small bite there.

So what can you do?

Yes, more exercise first off, and some of some intensity as well. That works not only because it burns calories during and after the exercise but because it impacts those brain reward centers, blunting that message to eat more. At least half an hour a day. Teaching dance is great but you also need more than that. If the only way to do it is to take the stairs rather than the elevator and to intentionally park farther and walk more, then fine, but do so as fast as you can manage and make sure you get it to add up to at least that 30 minutes of minimally moderate intensity. Maybe 10 minutes of jumping jacks or something else in the morning and 20 minutes of other exercise built into your daily routines?

The source of calories does matter. Higher protein foods and relatively unprocessed foods (include legumes, nuts, fish, chicken, lean meats, real veggies and fruits, and avoid food-like products, especially highly refined grain products - all things consider low glycemic index) often results in burning more calories both at rest and in total and may satisfy you longer, thus less in as well.

And of course keep your doc in the loop!

You don’t weigh yourself often enough.
There’s no way that anyone should be surprised that they’ve put on 40 lbs.

Start weighing yourself every day, at the same time, and keeping a record. If you do this, you can catch a trend long before it becomes 40 lbs. How you keep the weight off is pretty simple (in theory) - eat less and exercise more. I try to keep my total fat intake very,very low. This has the side effect of removing all kinds of “junk” food from the menu. It also means I can keep foods that tend to have a lot of bulk, so I’m never hungry.

Could be that the dance (and any other exercise) is ramping up your appetite vs. when you were more sedentary, but that the additional exercise isn’t enough to offset the higher appetite.

After the surgery were you given any nutritional education? I’d be wary of cutting back food by only focusing on the total calories. Since your GI system was rearranged by the surgery, it might have had an impact on your ability to digest certain foods or absorb certain macronutrients, vitamins and minerals. So if you just decrease food intake to try to lose weight, you might not be getting enough nutrition.

If I were you I’d try to consult with a nutritionist who knows about gastric bypass surgery.

No that is not what I was referring to, you obviously have no idea of what you are talking about. People are different and fuel if different. May I suggest you trying diesel in your gasoline car (or gasoline in your diesel car). Use equal energy values to what you normally use. Again you have no idea of what you are talking about.

I too have hit a wall-I’ve gone from 243 to 187, but have been at the latter figure for more than a month now even tho (being rigorously honest with myself, for those wondering) I have been eating the same things that I have during the entire weight-loss period and exercising the same 20-30 min per day (hard pedaling on a stationary bike). I’ll cut another 200 calories of snacks here and there (excessive snacking is what got me that high in the first place) and do 40 min on the bike if I need to, it’s just a bit disconcerting. 185 would represent the high end of the normal part of the BMI scale too…

Why do want to lose more weight?

Healthwise you are golden. You have lost significantly more than the 5-10% of body weight associated with the lion’s share of benefits. You are apparently at a BMI of about 26 or a bit less which is in the sweet spot for lowest mortality risk. (Definitely lower risk than someone with a BMI of 20.) You are eating healthy foods I assume as well as in moderation and are exercising with some intensity enough. Assume you are a non-smoker and drink in moderation and it doesn’t get much better statistically.

For vanity? Heck focus then on adding some weights and decrease the fat percentage with more muscle mass instead.

I dunno, my original target was 185 and I’m just sooo durned close.

I could probably hit the weights tho.

You’ve given us pounds, but what about measurements? How are your clothes fitting? How are you feeling? Can you climb 2 flights of stairs without pausing to catch your breath? Can you dance a 20 minute set without wanting to die? How do your knees feel? What’s your blood pressure and resting heart rate? I’m far more interested in those things about myself than I am the scale.

It’s possible that your increased dance has put some more muscle on you. Probably not 40 pounds of muscle, to be honest, but some. If that’s the case, you’ll be smaller in size than last time you were this weight, because muscle is more dense than fat.

Low fat options are not always a good choice. They often dump a shit-ton of sugar in there to make up for the loss of fat goodness. You can easily end up with a higher calorie low fat version, and that’s compounded by the mental trap of thinking you can eat more of it because it’s low fat. Don’t go there.

Other than that…yeah, welcome to the club. Some of us just have EXCELLENT metabolisms that can adjust to a shockingly low number of calories. I’ve been doing a VLC (very low calorie) diet since the beginning of May. 600-800 counted, measured calories a day. That’s not a lot of food, by anyone’s measure! Dropped 16 pounds like a dream in 8.5 weeks, and then plateaued for 3 freaking weeks. My body figured out a way to maintain 221 pounds on 600 calories a day for 3 weeks. I’m a friggin’ exception to the laws of thermodynamics! :smack:

Finally broke the plateau by doing…nothing different. The scale just finally started moving downward again yesterday. Thank gods.

Weight loss is NOT simple. Calculators are only a starting point. Don’t get caught up in dogma, try different things and find what works for you.

Yeah, I don’t care what I weigh, but my clothes are getting tighter. Not hugely tighter, just like I’ve gone up one size, which is why I was shocked to see it was 40 pounds. I thought maybe 20 at most. The rest of the stuff is fine- no problems with knees or stairs, and if the music is right, 20 minutes is nothing. The only thing physically I notice is that my feet are swelling in the heat if I drink too much caffeine. So I cut that way back. As for low-fat stuff, I’m not talking about artificially low fat choices. I’m talking about picking a grilled chicken breast over a cheeseburger. Just generally being conscious about what I eat, which I never was before.

Your body is in a state of shock and you need to retrain it. You’re suffering from the caveman famine syndrome or, as my sister calls it, the Irish potato famine gene. Your body has subsisted on a certain amount of food for so long that it thinks any decrease is because food is no longer available as it once was. Therefore it is conserving everything you eat by turning it into fat and burning less calories because it doesn’t know when food will be available again. So now you need to convince your body to burn the calories when you consume them.

Start off by:

  • Eating at the same time every day and the same quantity. In your case, this may mean 5-6 small meals a day but whatever it is be consistent and if you miss a meal don’t double up on the next one. Eventually your body will reset its homeostatic mechanism and relearn what amount of food is required to sustain life.

  • Try to eat after you’ve done at least some light exercise to get your heart rate and adrenaline up so that your body burns that food faster.

  • No snacking. Not even a bite. In time you’ll get over it as you’re not really hungry. And stay away from the diet pop, you’re not helping yourself here. Drink water or I drink ice tea with approximately 1 teaspoon of sugar in it (16 calories).

  • Start moving around, always. You say you dance once a week. Make it a few times a week. Also, if you’re sitting around - move around, lift some small weights, develop a tic, anything to burn calories. Take frequent breaks and stretch. If you’re talking on the phone, walk around, don’t sit. Standing around and talking to someone - move around. Any simple activity can have movement added to it and the more you move the more you burn and the more you win.

  • Don’t deprive yourself. I know this sounds antithetical to dieting but deprivation is the root cause of diet failure. If you need to eat something sweet every day, do it. Make it one of your meals, make it the same time, but portion control, savor every bite and never, ever, eat out of the bag.
    Good luck and you can beat this if you try.