Gaining Weight Post RNY - Why??

on 7/4/12 1:47 am, edited 7/4/12 1:48 am
RNY on 06/21/12
 For those who are comfortable sharing their journey in this way, if you have gained back weight post RNY, what do you think contributed to it?  Lack of exercise?  Not waiting an hour to drink fluids after eating?  Too high calories?  Portions too much?  I'm a recent post-op and I want to be sure I do everything I can to avoid pitfalls.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks guys!    To clarify, I am not gaining weight, but rather want to get input from some vets. 
on 7/4/12 1:55 am - OH
I gained some weight about a year ago, when I was prescribed a medication that is known to cause weight gain.  It's an antidepressant and my depression was severe enough it seemed worth trying it, but it didn't really help the depression and I gained 23 pounds, so I stopped taking it (under my doctor's supervision).  When I quit taking the med, I lost about eight of those pounds.  I'm still higher than my lowest weight, but I'm also a little below the goal my surgeon recommended for me, so I'm OK with that.

Drinking with meals seems to be a big factor in regain.  Nearly every post op I've spoken to that has gained a significant amount back has been drinking with meals.

It does get easy to take in too many calories a few years down the road, though, too.  Most people can tolerate most foods by then and while they can eat much less than they could before surgery, they can still eat a decent portion of many foods.

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Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.


on 7/4/12 2:03 am
RNY on 06/21/12
 I knew you'd have good advice on this!  Thanks! 
Lady Lithia
on 7/4/12 2:29 am
I'm fighting to get back to my "optimum" weight.

Optimum for me is the weight where I fit my target size (10) and don't look like a skeleton wearing a deflated fat suit. I have very large thighs (genetics) and a LOT of loose skin since I dropped from a BMI of 60 down to my current BMI of 28 or 29. So i have about 12 pounds to get to optimum weight. But if I don't lose the weight but my 10s fit perfect then I don't care what the scale says. My current goal is to have the 10s fit well.

How did I get here? Needing to lose weight because of a small regain?

Well, to me I have to rewind to March 1st 2011. At that time I was about 146 (and looked pretty bad, about 19 pounds below optimum). I knew in my heart that 165 was the best weight for me. I could wear size 8 at the tiem and my tens were a little loose.

I had surgery in March 2011, just before my 3rd year out from surgery. Prior to that I was too thin, but my muscles were toned and they LIKED to move my body around. In fact, they seemed disappointed in not having much mass to push around. But I liked the size even if it wasn't the best for me On the way down the scale at 165 I was wearing a size 14.

Then I had to remain more or less immobile for two months that March. I gained 9 pounds during that period of near immobility. This is not too surprising since my energy usage went down dramatically, and I'd prepared a lot of easy to consume meals to meet the maintenance needs of an active body. So after the surgery I was at 155. A pound over goal, ten pounds below optimum.

The weight inched up because about the time I started being more ABLE to be mobile, I was not BEING more mobile (I'm a high school teacher, it was summer vacation by this time, and I am sedentary in the summer). So two months of restricted movement, followed by two months of slug-fest lack of movement based on my own choices and I was back up to "optimum" at 165, and still wearing my 10s with NO problem.

I liked where I was at the beginning of the last school year. The right size, the right weight, it was good. But alas, two things went to work against me, or perhaps three.

I was diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycemia which requires that you eat more sensibly and more often, more fats and proteins than carbss. So I was trying to alter up my food consumption to control the RH, that made just dieting to lose weight near impossible. But remember, I began the school year HAPPY with size and weight.

The second obstacle is muscle mass. The four months of combined elective sluggishness and required sluggishness combined to diminish my muscle mass, which lowered my metabolism and lowered my maintenance caloric requirements. I didn't need to eat what I was eating to maintain. More calories in than burned = weight gain, and the weight started to creep up ounce by ounce.

Finally, our classes were SO STUFFED with students that I had little ability to walk around freely in the classroom with an arm swinging stride. Normally my ONLY exercise plan was to "be vigorous" at work. And I didn't do too bad with that plan, going from 350 to 146 isn't a bad result of my "exercise" plan at work. But a full school year with classes in the 40's and 50s and I suddenly was stuck in one spot all day every day, nad the lack of "vigorous teaching" failed to work towards upping my muscle tone, and thus my metabolism. As time went on, and I adjusted and readjusted my diet for the Reactive Hypoglycemia, my 1500 calorie diet was NOT a maintenance diet, it was more than I was burning, and the weight was going on.

Now at this point in time I have two choices. I can continue life as usual, and eventually my 1500 calories will become a maintenance diet at some weight. But as the weight crept up and up that was starting to look like it wouldn't balance out at a weight that fit in a size 10. I'd gotten rid of my 12s, so I had a choice, I could donate my 10s, accept that a 12 or a 14 would be my new normal, or I could fight back.

I've decided to fight back. I'm going to spend the month of July and exercise close to daily instead of my normal slug-fest, so as to improve my muscle mass and raise my metabolism and change the equation so that I use more calories than I consume. I also appear to have fewer students this coming school year, so I'm going to throw out four desks from my classroom and give myself space to teach more dynamically again. When I return to work in August, therefore, I anticipate that my muscle mass will better than it has ever been based on a month of exercise, and I'll be dynamic in teaching again, so I'll alter the equation. Ultimately I want to lose a litle bit of fat weight so I'll fit the warddrobe I own. If I don't change by the scale, but the pants fit, I'll be happy enough.

It's not nearly as simple as I used to tthink it would be. Weight has a variety of factors. I always follow the no liquid with food rule, and I eat sensibly, so I didn't think that weight would be an issue for me. I was wrong. I hope my current plan will shrink me down to a size 10 again. If I can get there adn stay there, I'll be happy. I don't want to get smaller and have to buy a warddrobe o 8s, and I don't want to stay where half my 10s are too tight. I'll go buy a small variety of skirts before I give in and buy new slacks in a larger size. I refuse to buy larger clothing. Ultimately I want to be 165, size 10, and able to continue to eat a diet that controls my reactive hypoglycemia with ease.

~Lady Lithia~ 200 lbs lost! 
March 9, 2011 - Coccygectomy!
I chased my dreams, and my dreams, they caught me!
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Pupcake !.
on 7/4/12 4:31 am - Stranded in, IA
 I had a lot of personal problems and take medications known to gain weight but the ultimate reason I had regain is I started eating poorly.  Carbs carbs carbs.  If you don't follow the rules you will gain weight.  If you take in more calories than you expend you will gain weight.   If you graze you can out- eat the surgery.   I still don't drink after eating (I guess that habit is ingrained)

I'm still on the meds but the personal problems are better and I was able to lose 40# of the regain by going back to basics.  I'm sure I could lose the rest if I kept it up :-)

My suggestion to all newbies is to remember the surgery just a tool you will have to keep working it forever.

Good luck in your journey


No surgery has been harmed/defamed by the writer of this post.  
RNY 10/28/03 305# 8/11/04 147#  9 years out and >75% EWL!

Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 7/4/12 5:18 am - OH
I will be 5 years out next month.  I have a self-imposed 5-lb gain limit before I take action to get it back down, so the regain is very limited, but what contributes to that 5 pound creep for me is too many carbs and/or if I start having non-planned, non-protein snacks.


10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

on 7/4/12 6:47 am - Around Knoxville, TN
Just shy of four years out-- ditto on everything else here. For me, quality of food plays a factor in my weight. The more fresh produce I eat the better I feel, look and love the scale.

Be happy. 


on 7/4/12 10:05 am - Midlothian, TX
 I'm just over two years out and for me, the 10-15 pound regain I'm currently bouncing is because I'm choosing more simple processed carbs over whole foods.  It's not quantity, it's quality.
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on 7/5/12 1:44 pm
RNY on 06/21/12
 Thank you guys so much for your vulnerability and sharing your struggles.  This has really helped me!