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What to Do When Weight Loss Stalls

Q: About a year and a half ago, I underwent gastric bypass surgery (at the time I was 200 pounds overweight). Since then I've lost about 80 pounds, which is great, but I still have 120 to go, and I haven't lost a single pound in three weeks. I exercise regularly and follow a balanced diet, but the scale doesn't budge. What can I do to speed my weight loss?

Dr. Donnica:
First, give yourself credit for the tremendous strides you have made towards improving your health! An 80-pound weight loss in less than 18 months is terrific!

With any weight loss plan, it's normal and expected to experience plateaus from time to time. The good news is that your weight isn't increasing! To get back on the "losing" track, you may now need to adjust your caloric intake to your new weight. Speak with a dietician about how many calories you really need at this point. Keep a diet log in which you record all of your food and beverage intake as well as your daily exercise and bring this with you to review with the dietician.

Focus on portion size as well as food choices. Look for hidden calories. Drinking regular soda or fruit juices rather than water, for example, can really add up. You may also want to review your exercise regimen with your physician and see if you can crank it up a notch. Now that your physical health has improved significantly, you can probably exercise at a more vigorous level. This is important for you to burn more calories as well as to tone your muscles as you lose weight.

For more information about weight management, click here.

Created: 12/27/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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