There are many potential bariatric surgery side effects, and one which we often explain to our patients is the potential for a loss of muscle mass. Use the bariatric surgery information below to learn more about why this occurs, and how it can be avoided.
After bariatric surgery, the body transforms into what we call a catabolic or “breakdown” state. This is perceived by your body as being in a starvation state and by trying to combat starvation, your body will hoard its precious fat until any other usable fuel has been burned.
In general, the body will prefer to use muscle as energy before consuming fat after bariatric surgery as a result. This is why, if muscle is not regularly used (as in regular exercise), more muscle will be consumed to meet energy needs, contributing to the loss of muscle mass is one of the more common bariatric surgery side effects.
Loss of muscle mass after bariatric surgery is preventable. It is important to exercise regularly during active weight loss after bariatric surgery. Many of our patients find that after a few weeks or months of regular daily exercise, that they actually begin to enjoy it, and start to work out even more. Fairly vigorous exercise for more than 30 minutes a day can greatly enhance fat loss, increase weight loss and prevent muscle loss.