Set weight question

sophisli Posts: 41 Member

I just had my consult with the surgeon last week and I've been doing more research about the surgery.

I read an article in the New York Times about VSG that basically stated it's "unlikely" that patients will ever lose more than 60% of their excess weight.

Is this true?

Even with surgery, the estimated amount of loss for me will still put me in the obesity range because I have so much to lose. If with VSG my body will "settle" at that weight, I don't know if I should have the surgery at all.

Does anyone have experience getting to a normal BMI and a healthy weight after VSG? I was under the impression that the surgery "took care" of the first 60% but that you had to do the work for the last 40%. This article basically says that the body sets its weight at 60%, thus making it impossible to lose any more.

Here's the link in case you're interested in reading it.


  • garber6th
    garber6th Posts: 1,894 Member
    My loss is right around 80% of my excess weight. I have had a bit of regain which I am working on. Surgery doesn't "take care" of weight loss, it's a tool in the arsenal of life-long changes you have to make. What your weight loss ends up being depends a LOT on your dedication and commitment to the process. I am still technically obese, but no longer morbidly obese. That said, obese on the BMI charts doesn't mean as much to me as my overall health, which has improved GREATLY. I think the days of using BMI charts as a gauge for obesity and health are on their way out. My surgeon and my GP are extremely happy with the state of my health and weight. I would have the surgery all over again for the benefits I personally gained from it.
  • NicoleL874
    NicoleL874 Posts: 684 Member
    My surgeon expected me to settle right around 200. I'm currently 145. He's shocked, pleasantly. The nutritionist is shocked. The only ones not shocked are me and my personal trainer. I lost 99% of my excess weight in one year. I've maintained now for 3 months. I have a cushion of 10lbs (140-150) and usually hover at the 145 mark...not seen below 142. I have no idea where they get their statistics, but really, you get out what you put in. Good luck!
  • JamesAztec
    JamesAztec Posts: 524 Member
    A couple things here - BMI is BS in my opinion. It was developed by a mathematician to measure large populations, not individuals. Healthcare industry started using it in the 90's because it was easy and applied to both genders. And insurance companies liked it because it put a lot of people in the "obese" range and they could deny coverage. I weigh around 220lbs so technically I'm obese. But all my other measurable metrics of health are normal.

    The amount of weight loss varies depending on many factors. But like @NicoleL874 said, you get out of it, what you put into it. It's true that it's rare that people have the surgery and settle at a "normal" BMI. But you WILL LOSE a lot of weight. And you will look and feel much better. And most importantly, your health will improve DRAMATICALLY. So if you "only" lost 60% of your excess weight that would still be considered a success. Don't worry about being the perfect weight. Just work on your health one day at a time and things will improve, whether you have the surgery or not. :)<3o:)
  • StevenGarrigus
    StevenGarrigus Posts: 234 Member
    I have to concur with Aztec4Life: BMI is BS. You can't apply one set of rules to every person. For me, a male 5'10", my healthy weight range according to the BMI chart is 129-174lbs. At 174, I would pretty thin but normal. At 129, I would look like a malnourished POW in old Vietnam photos.

    I also will say that anything telling you that gastric sleeve surgery will make you lose 60% of your excess body fat and your body will just "set it's weight" there is pure horseshit. Every piece of literature I have read before concerning the gastric sleeve or ANY bariatric procedure says 60% is an AVERAGE weight loss. Sure, if you just kept eating the same crap that got you to the point you are at now and didn't put in any effort, I could see 60% being a good average. HOWEVER, if you use the surgery as a tool the way it is intended, coupled with healthy lifestyle changes (eating & exercising) you can lose the majority of your excess weight.

    I am five months post-op and just hit 70lbs gone forever. I am losing anywhere from 2-3lbs per week on average and that has not stopped. Some weeks are less, others are more. But the point is I continue to lose weight. I eat healthy, avoid all the bad foods that my surgeon TOLD ME TO AVOID to get the maximum benefit from my sleeve, walk and exercise lightly with a kettlebell. If I was hamstrung by the 60% and then my body would "set it's weight" I would stop losing at between 69lbs (which I have already passed in less than half of a year) and 96lbs. At 70lbs less, I feel fantastic and fit into clothes that I actually like. My health has improved drastically. If I "only" lose 96lbs, I'll be down to 193lbs and think I will look and feel even better. My goal is to reach that 174lbs, even if for just a day to say I did it. Then maintain a healthy weight around 180ish.

    For anecdotal evidence, my wife had the surgery September 2012. Within a year, she lost all of her excess body weight, around 140lbs. A good friend of mine at work lost nearly 100lbs in a year and looks fantastic. Two other co-workers have lost the majority of their excess weight in a year's time. What do they all have in common? They stuck to realistic goals and all actually tried to actively work on their weight loss. Another co-worker has only lost about 50% of her excess weight in two years. She gripes about it, but she's also the first one you see scarfing on chips, cakes and other junk the surgeon expressly tells you to avoid.

    So basically, you get out of the surgery what you are willing to put INTO the surgery.
  • sophisli
    sophisli Posts: 41 Member
    Thanks all!! This really helps!!
  • JamesAztec
    JamesAztec Posts: 524 Member
    I just read the whole article. It paints a very realistic picture of two individuals who go through bariatric surgery. There are definitely mixed feelings through out the process and rarely are people 100% "happy". But overall both of them were glad they did it. And I think 90%+ people are glad they did it. It improves lives, plain and simple.
  • loveshoe
    loveshoe Posts: 365 Member
    I had VGS surgery. HW-167, SW-233, GW-150, CW-130. When I got to 150 I realized I could lose another 5. At 145 I went into what I called maintenance and lost another 15. I did walk an average of 10k steps per day but no other exercise. I ate according to the nutritionist guidelines that were provided by my doctor's office. I won't say it was easy and maintenance isn't any easier. It's still one day at a time, one meal at a time. I've been at the 130 plus/minus 2 pounds since May, 2016.
  • Robin628
    Robin628 Posts: 103 Member
    I have had two WLS surgeries (I had the Lap Band from 2007-2011 and then VSG in 2015) and I can tell you from my personal experience that exactly what @NicoleL874 said is true - you get what you put in. There is misconception out there (wishful thinking perhaps) that WLS is all you need, surgery will do all the work for you. As @garber6th said surgery is simply a tool in the arsenal of life-long changes you have to make. With the Lap band I was stubborn (and lazy, that is part of what got me fat in the first place) and only made dietary changes for the first 2 years. I lost 50% of my excess weight and then I stalled. When I finally committed to adding exercise, the rest of the weight fell off. My band ended up eroding and I had to have it removed in 2011 and due to the damage it caused, I had to wait a year for my stomach to heal before my surgeon would consider another surgery. By then I had started to regain, got depressed, changed jobs, and my insurance no longer covered Bariatrics. Long story short, I regained all the weight and finally self-paid for my VSG in Dec 2015. Same thing has happened, I only made dietary changes and at one year out I have only lost 50% of my excess weight. But that is on me, not my sleeve! I always felt so out of control around food, consumed enormous portions of everything. VSG has allowed me to gain control of that impulse, I now eat small and "normal" portions. It is made it easier to feel satisfied after a healthy meal, but you still need to commit to eating healthy long-term and life style changes like exercise. As my old nutritionist used to say after WLS it may take you an entire day to eat a Whopper, but a Whopper is still a Whopper. :smile:
  • StevenGarrigus
    StevenGarrigus Posts: 234 Member
    I think one of the biggest aspects of the surgery is that I am no longer a slave to the food. I don't sit around, dreaming up what I want to eat or planning what I am going to eat. I eat a cup of food for a meal and I'm pretty much stuffed. I'm no longer ravenous and I eat because it is what I have to do to live. In other words, I have a healthy relationship with food now.

    Everyone's mileage is different, but when I cut out the sweets (still eat one here & there, but just a bit), the soda, the caffeine and the junk food and concentrated on healthy foods and plenty of water, I stopped worrying about "Missing out" and have found other avenues of enjoyment.