Weight regain after bariatric surgery – how to get back on track

Question Below Submitted By:  

Marlee (a patient from North Dakota, USA)

I had bariatric surgery 4 yrs ago..5 in Oct. I was doing so good and on a set schedule with food, exercise, and support. Then we moved and I was on my own, no support groups near me..new job..felt lost and alone…and my eating changed when I couldn’t find my proteins and vitamins I was used to.

I was in a job that wasn’t set up to deal with foods. You found crackers & dry munchies were best. Pre-packaged foods stayed cleaner. Now I am 20 lbs heavier..still living in the new area..but have changed jobs to try to change my course of actions.

I need help… I don’t want to slip back into my old cravings and habits. Will a mini-surgery help to get stomach back on track??

Bariatric Surgery Source

Expert Responses to the Question Above

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA , Arcadia , California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi Marlee,

First, you are not alone in terms of slipping off track and gaining some weight back....especially when patients are about 2-4 years out, it is not uncommon for them to regain 10-20 pounds.....

However, you do need to take a look at what your nutrition looks like at this point.

And, you have noted the new intake of snacks and/or carbohydrate foods... this is the most common reason patients regain their weight - they graze on the wrong types of food!

If you start getting 80 grams protein/day and stay off the carbs and fats and you lose that 20 pounds, then you have done well. If you get back on track and you feel you are eating the correct foods and not feeling as full anymore, you need to seek out a bariatric surgeon to see if you might have a dilated gastroenterostomy (i.e. connection between your pouch and roux limb).

If this were to be the case, sometimes revisional surgery can be done to tighten this connection. So, give these things a try, and definitely try to find a practice in your area that might be willing to see you as a post op gastric bypass patient.

Good luck,
Dr. LaMar

los angeles bariatric surgeon

(click here for Dr. LaMar's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.


Patient Responses to the Question Above

gained back 23 lbs

by: Renee Young

I still eat small amounts,just slitly larger then three years ago. And Even then I dont always eat all my food. I write down what I eat but its hard to keep track when I can't find oatmeal smoothies or Qunioa, flaxseeds, chia seeds on the foodlists.

I eorkout4 times a week right nowbut durning the spring summerand fall months I workout 6days a week. Right now I do acrossfit program 3x a week and the workouts change every two weeks. And I do zumba once a week. I dont understand why I'm gaining. I only lost 81 lbs. Never got under 200 only down to 213.

getting back on track

by: Gayla

Have you tried ordering your vitamins and proteins?

I was doing that until I realized GNC carried my protein. I have been backtracking some, I have started my Pre-op liquid diet again. I was told by a doctor and other WLS patients to try this. Try and get out and walk. That is a really good mood booster. Set goals for each week. That's what I'm trying. I use the low-carb Isopure protein powders and the Bariatric Advantage vitamins.

The protein you can order from Amazon or GNC and order the vitamins direct from Bariatric Advantage. Be accountable to yourself. Log your food.

That is helping me the most. You've come this far don't turn back.....Good Luck, praying for you

Me too!

by: Kim

OMG! I am in the same boat. I started eating poorly and not working out during grad school. I hurt my back at work and couldn't work out then I started eating out of stress. Not good! Then I moved to another State. I have been eating so much CRAP! I admit it 100% .... I need to get back on track. I feel horrible.

How to get back on track

by: LIsa

Same. Really struggling and need to get a handle on in immediately.

I need to get back on track!!

by: Julio

Hello Dr. LaMar and everyone here, I had surgery about a year and a half ago. I notice I get hungry really soon. I already regain 30 lbs of the 80 lbs lost. It makes me feel bad falling off track. I need your advice and help.

Thank you,

I don't know how to get back on track.

by: Ceci

I've fallen off the band wagon as well. I really fell when I moved in with my now husband because at the time he was on a Keto diet and intermittent fasting. So his diet consisted of high fat, fiber and protein; and I would often be the one cooking all of our meals so I would eat what I was cooking him, even though I knew it wasn't the best thing for me.

Now though he's no longer on the diet and we're trying to find a good middle ground for us both but I don't know where to start.

Any suggestions?


by: Patrick Furlong

High in protein
Low in carbs
Only healthy fats
Mostly avoid processed foods
Eat lots and lots of veggies

From there, take it as you will. But you'll keep the diet healthy if you stick with those guidelines. If he's health conscience, he'll probably want to work around a diet like this anyway.


Need help

by: Shawna

I've been off work due to health issues and I've gained 30 lbs how can i get them off.

Preop diet


I was going to start the preop diet to get back on track, but cant remember what the diet consists of.

Had back surgery

by: Mel

So I had/have a bad back and the last 3 months I have been in tons of pain. I had surgery for it about 3 weeks ago. Being down and not being able to do anything I started eating anything not at all good for me.

I've gained about 30 lbs back so far of the 100 I lost since my sleeve about 2 yrs ago I need help getting back on track. I'm at a loss and my clothes aren't fitting anymore!

I've gained 20 lbs of the 60 I lost

by: Jeanie

I had the bybass 13 months ago. I had so much energy that I was constantly doing something. When I had my surgery I weighed 260 lbs. I never thought I would be under 200. I was able to get to 190 then started regaining.

I really need to get back on track with the eating & exercising. I'm taking my vitamins but I don't have as much energy as I did not motivation. Any advice out there? Thanks.

Weight gain after 12 years.

by: Pam

I had gastric bypass surgery in Jan 2002. I had lost about 200lbs by 2006. Over the last few years I have gained back about 100lbs. Regardless of diet and exercise I seem to be stuck and can’t get rid of the weight. What recommendations do you have to get back on the weight loss track?

Need to get back on track

by: Sherra

I had surgery in 2002 lost 150 pounds. I have gained from 20-25 pounds. I go up and down 5 pounds I have issues eating again and staying motivated. Suggestions are needed!!!

How do I get back on track?

by: Karin

Had bypass 6 years ago. Only lost 50 lbs. Down to 172. In the past 1 1/2 years I have gained 30 lbs. Up to 200. I never had dumping, and never really felt full. After my surgery and when I was able to eat I could eat 2 slices of pizza no problem.

My bmi is 35.6 and I don't think insurance will authorize a revision. How do I get back on track. The more I gain the more depressed I get. I feel awful. I tell myself tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes, help!

Same boat

by: Trudi

I’ve gained back 15lbs since my lowest weight and am about 219. I know it’s because I quit eating the way we were told. I have added back candy, soda and junk carbs.

I’ve been battling depression the last year. In my family we say I love you with food - often because we don’t know how any other way. I realized yesterday, I’ve been treating myself with food to make myself feel better.

Much the same way as I would take a friend out for a meal to cheer her up, I’ve been doing the same for myself. I do feel hungry more often since my surgery. I’m continuing to work with my Bariatric team on the mental and physical aspects. I don’t want to be 300 lbs again.

That was no life for me.

regain 30 of 91lost

by: catherine groce

I was told to add some carbs and food to my diet. Carbs are not my friend, and as time went on it got hard not to eat these.

Not happy, I need to get back to beginning. I will it work to go liquid and see how hard it is.


by: amymaria

I had my bariatric surgery October 28, 2015 I started to lose weight wuickly, I had about 120 pounds to lose total In my opinion. Less than two months after my surgery I was struck by a drunk driver as a pedestrian and now have permanent neck and back injuries.

I feel like I never had an opportunity to work out or do things right. It sucks! I really wanted to reach my goal and I haven’t. I lost 95 pounds total which is very exciting and I huge difference but now I’ve gained back 10 pounds.

I feel not being able to workout and then after a while you’re able to eat a little bit more and then you start eating a little bit worse. I wanna get back on track so bad, reading this was my encouragement. I hope that I can lose the 10 pounds I gained an than lose the remainder weight that I need to lose from the beginning. Wish me luck! LOL

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[ Last editorial review/modification of this page : 05/24/2021 ]

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