The WLS Honeymoon Period

Steph Wagner

April 22, 2015

What is the weight loss surgery honeymoon?

The WLS Honeymoon Period | Bariatric Surgery Information | FoodCoach.Me


How long does it last and can you have it back?

After a weight loss surgery, the benefits of the metabolic changes and the physical changes of the body result in amazing weight loss. We often refer to this as the honeymoon period after weight loss surgery. Weight drops off quickly and at times, it seems without that much hard work. (Not that this is hard work…but in the honeymoon period it’s easier than before surgery).

⇒ But why is the honeymoon period just a period?

Why is it short term?

And can you still lose weight after the honeymoon is over??

Watch this video to learn more about the physical and metabolic changes after Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass surgery. 

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Video Transcript:

The Weight Loss Surgery Honeymoon Period – Metabolic Changes + Physical Changes (and why you can still lose some weight when it’s over).

Hi! I’m Steph Wagner, Bariatric Dietitian on FoodCoach.Me

If you are interested in weight loss surgery or you are a postop Sleeve or Bypass patients, you’ve probably heard your surgeon talk about the honeymoon after weight loss surgery.

We call it the honeymoon period because in the first year after a metabolic surgery or a weight loss surgery, patients lose weight rapidly and at times, almost effortlessly. Doctors and dietitians will stress the importance of using this year to it’s full advantage and changing your food habits and behaviors now to get the weight off and so that when the honeymoon period is over – your habits and lifestyle are in the right place to keep the weight off.

So why is the honeymoon period so successful with weight loss, and why is it a short term deal?

After weight loss surgery – specifically the sleeve and the bypass…there are two very powerful things at work here. These surgeries are 1) restrictive and 2) metabolic. Here’s what that means. It’s restrictive because the physical changes of your anatomy mean you cannot eat as much. But that’s not what makes the honeymoon so powerful. It’s the metabolic changes that are really at work in the first months and up to a year after surgery. You are given a big reset button when it comes to metabolism which is why, you can eat some poor quality foods and still weight loss. In fact, you have to keep an eye on that because it gives false security that you can eat pizza but it doesn’t matter because your losing weight.

The farther you get out of the surgery, your metabolism will be slowing down because as you lose weight, your body compensates and burns less calories. That’s why when you get to 9, 10, 11 months and so on after surgery, its not coming off as fast. They honeymoon period is winding down and your metabolism is coming back down.

The good news here is that the physical restriction is still there. The surgical pouch itself is still small and restrictive. Patients often assume their weight loss has stalled because they stretched their stomach out. Instead it’s that their metabolism is coming back down and they are probably eating softer, high carb foods that they can eat more of. So as it turns out,  you can’t eat pizza and lose weight after all.

If you haven’t had surgery yet or you are still in the honeymoon months of surgery – I cannot urge to you enough to use this time to its full advantage and make your postop diet a big priority in your life. If you are at the end of your honeymoon period or you feel your honeymoon is a thing of the distance past, get back to the basics of the postop diet and you can still use the restriction to your advantage. The weight loss will not be as fast, but it is possible. 3 meals per day, 1 snack if you need it with 70% of meals from a solid protein and 30% from a non-starchy vegetable. I will link a video below with more detail on a great postop diet for success.

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