Recently I’ve been annoyed at the number of myths floating around about weight loss surgery. Today I introduce for your information and amusement a new column: WLS Myth-Busting. I will address for you the things people say about WLS that are false and misleading and hopefully offer some intelligent feedback for these comments. Please drop me an email if there’s a WLS Myth bugging you.
MYTH: All WLS patients re-gain weight because they stretch their stomachs.
FALSE: WLS stomachs can never stretch to pre-surgical size. At best, a post gastric-bypass stomach will expand from a capacity of 2 Tablespoons to one-cup capacity. Eat more than 1-cup volume at one sitting and it’s vomit-city, sweetheart!
TRUTH: WLS patients will regain weight (here’s the secret) by snacking or grazing. Eating little quantities of the wrong foods all day long causes WLS patients to stop losing weight, or worse, this behavior results in weight gain.
Snacking is the downfall of the WLS patient who regains weight, not stretching the stomach. For an example, 5+ years out of surgery, I can eat one piece of pizza at dinner. If I eat a second piece at dinner I WILL get sick: guaranteed. However, If I nibble on the leftovers an hour later, I can add another piece, and an hour later, another piece, and so-on. See the pattern? Snacking is the problem, not stretching the stomach.
The fact is, patients who live by the four rules do not regain their weight. Just as a reminder, here are the four easy rules:
- Protein First
- No Snacking
- Drink LOTS of water
The best way to bust this myth and prove the nay-sayers wrong (and don't we all want to do that!) is to live the four rules and never re-gain your weight.