Gastric Bypass and Bright Line Eating

On a recent coaching call, I was asked a question by someone who had gastric bypass surgery and felt like they might not belong in BLE. In this week’s vlog, I explain how this couldn’t be further from the truth.


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  1. Kimberly Allen Chatfield

    I just started BLE 4/18/21 and I’m glad I found this vlog! I had gastric bypass in 2002 and dropped from 339 to 225 in one year. Since then I have hovered up and down as low as 195 and as high as 255, currently at 225, on various plans. The surgery has effectively kept me from eating large quantities, but not the wrong things. I’ve been having difficulty eating all the vegetables outlined in the BLE eating plan, especially at dinner and so I was relieved to hear in this vlog that it is okay to reduce that quantity by 4 oz., eat more of them cooked, and break it up into as many as 5 meals. I really think that BLE will be my solution for life to take the rest of my weight off and keep it off for good! I’m doing Grit right now, but would love to get into a Facebook “subgroup” of bypass members to seek out other ideas and support.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi, Kimberly! We are so happy to hear this Vlog was helpful to you after your surgery. We hope you are enjoying Bright Line Grit and learning new tools and strategies. 🧡

      Reply ·
  2. Peggy Vilcesk

    At the age of 67 needed a new hip ..I was told lose 150 and come see me hip was so bad I was in a wheel chair in 6 months .. so I had the gastric sleeve .. lost 100 lbs .. got a new hip .. lost another 50 lbs .. my issue gained about 20 lbs but the addictive out of control eating signs are there .. scares me .. so very thankful I found Susan

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  3. Derek

    It’s a minor aggravation when playing a game and another participant
    disconnects, nevertheless when it occurs repeatedly it truly gets frustrating.

    Reply ·
  4. Melissa Hunter

    Thank you so much for this post. I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy 11 months ago. My highest weight was 295 and I am now 187. Since surgery i have had so much anxiety. I know bright line eating is the answer to heal my brain and help me loose the rest of the excess weight. I was struggling with following bright lines because of the meals and quantities guidelines and how that worked with the surgery. Is it better to eat the exact quantity outlined on the weight loss plan and eat 4 to 5 meals or to eat 3 meals but less quantity that recommended?

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  5. MS

    I had gastric bypass 18 months ago. I went from 220 to 140 by my 6 month checkup where my dr said “your done – you don’t need to lose any more”. However I was still overweight so I was perplexed by this statement. So I continued to lose weight and when the loss slowed to a trickle, God brought BLE into my life. At my 1 year bypass check up I was 113 and my dr. was over the moon by my progress – especially since my labs came back great and I am HEALTHY! I started BLE 8 months past surgery and I think it was the PERFECT companion to my bypass. I don’t regret any of it AT ALL! The bypass gave me the push to lose the weight and BLE sustains my weight. PLUS – I really need the boundaries and rules and freedom of never having to “figure out” what and how much I’m going to eat – I always have it planned out!

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  6. Traci Fraley

    Thank you for addressing the bariatric community. I am a psychologist who does the pre-surgical psychological evaluations that many bariatric programs require for surgery approval. In most of the on-line health-focused eating programs, functional medicine programs, etc. it seems that there is little mention of people who who choosing surgical intervention to manage weight. I am often frustrated within my own work circumstances in that I am supposed to rule out large issues like psychosis or severe depression that might impact a person’s ability to follow post-surgical recommendations but there is limited support from the bariatric programs (surgeons, dietitian’s, etc) for recognition of other emotional issues that can contribute to problems with weight management. Most of my clients are low-income so I also appreciate access to any free resources for them, such as your vlogs. Thanks!

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  7. Janet odell

    I have know a number of individuals who have had the gastric bypass, and I can honestly tell you they don’t change their eating. They eat chocolate bars ,cookies ,popcorn , potatoe chips , donuts etc.etc. And they make that their main stay. Then they put their weight back on. I even know of one who was bulimic . Eat what she wanted and then bring up, eat again. Not good.

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  8. Ruth Adedeji

    Thank you so much for this vlog! I had a gastric bypass in 2004. I have subsequently regained all of the weight that I had lost after the bypass. I have tried everything to get back down. I pray BLE is going to be my life line to reach and exceed my weight loss goal and heal myself of food addiction. I also had an issue with alcohol and have made that my fifth bright line. I look forward to completing my boot camp and joining the Bright Lifers.

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  9. Mary H

    I also would love to purchase a necklace or keychain to remind me of BLE. This is off topic, please indulge me.
    I have a history of “not eating” and I feel, think, the boot camp is not for me because I have no weight to loose.
    How do I join your “community” and “belong?”

    Reply ·
  10. Kate Brooks

    I’ve just had a gastric bypass 4 weeks ago. As part of the healing process in continuation from the preparation process we really couldn’t have any sugars and very minimal carbs anyway. So it’s been during this time that I’ve been reading my 20-year-old daughter is bright line eating book. She joined bright line about a year and a half two years ago and continues to live by it. I admittedly gave her a hard time but it was such an extreme program and felt like it was further Adding to her eating disorders. Now after getting through more than half of the book and listening to some of these blogs I realize how wrong I was and how right bright line eating is. I haven’t fully embraced the plan yet as I’m still in the healing stage from the surgery but I’m researching now so that I have a plan to stick with from here on. As a 10 on the susceptibility scale, and already having gone through six weeks without sugar’s and breads i’m feeling pretty good about being able to continue this for the rest of my life. It all makes such great sense.

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  11. Cilla

    I would love a necklace too please!!!

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Gaynor

      Me too! That necklace kept distracting me! I would love one.

      Reply ·
  12. Julie Clarke

    I had my gastric sleeve op to eliminate T2D, the weight loss being a side benefit for me. I had this op Dec 1 2017. I lost 8kg pre op using VLCD shakes in preparation for the op and 14 kg post op currently 65kg. I am unsure when this will level out but continue to exercise on average 5 days a week in some form and have a stack of small measured containers to limit my food intake. I never go hungry and always feel I’ve had sufficient. I hope this keeps me on track.

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  13. Shona

    I just started BLE, I’m on day 2 of the 14 day challenge. I had gastric sleeve surgery at the end of 2016, at my heaviest I was 277 lbs. In less than a year I’d lost 100 lbs. I started working out lightly about 6 months out of surgery then started strength training about 10 months out. I’ve stayed within the same 5-7 lbs. range for about 8 months now. I know I’ve not lost more weight because sugar has come back into my diet. I’ve been really good about no bread, chips, tortillas, but sugar now that’s been my downfall. I joined BLE to get the sugar under control and bought the book and food scale back in March but just couldn’t “press the button” on the 14 day challenge until this week when I had an appointment with my Bariatric Surgeon for a follow up and drove an hour only to be told someone had called me and left a message to reschedule the appointment. I was mad. But that anger got me to rely on myself and the research I’d put into BLE and I pushed the button. I adjusted the timing of the breakfast foods and spaced it out and then didn’t eat the salad last night for dinner. So I’ll find my happy place with the food plan during this challenge. Thank you so much Susan for this Vlog, it is very timely for me and my weight loss process. I sincerely appreciate this program!

    Reply ·
  14. Ann Holley

    Susan, back at you. You belong and I love you.

    Reply ·
  15. Sarah

    I know this is off the topic, but……I couldn’t help but notice your necklace! Will you ever offer those for sale? I would LOVE one!

    Reply ·
  16. Mindy

    Susan, I appreciate your guidance! I had a gastric bypass in 2010 losing 130 lbs and was hoping it would be the final journey for my weight issues….I was wrong….I have gained about 40 lbs back over the past 8 years and I am so ashamed to see the numbers creep up again. I recently completed the 14 Day Challenge and am finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel to get my food addiction back under control using this program. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Reply ·
  17. Di

    BEAUTIFUL VLOG! I am slender and you still spoke to my heart!

    Reply ·
  18. Stefi

    I love this vlog , I especially love your closing sentence 😊😘👌

    Reply ·
  19. Erin Davis

    It is good to hear about this topic. I had gastric bypass over a year ago and started the bootcamp maybe 6 months ago but felt like it wasn’t the right fit. When I asked about how much time I had to make a decision about a refund I was prematurely taken out of everything so I just stayed out, but have remain on the fringes. Maybe I’ll try it again.

    Reply ·
  20. Montaine Bronner

    I have had the lapband for 9 years now. It has impacted how I eat in BLE from the very start. I decided early on that I had to listen to what I’ve learned about living successfully with my lapband first and layer BLE on top of that. It’s all working nicely together. 😃

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  21. Bernice Foster

    Thank you Susan. I’m a Bright Lifer and I too appreciate this blog. One thing to know is that there have been multiple types of “bypass” and that can also affect how BLE might work for you. I had gastroplasty and I have experienced bouts of the ‘sugar dumping’ and boy is that no fun at all. Like others this was absolutely touted as a ‘lose all your weight’ scenario. My aftercare was a once-a month blood draw and a liver and gallbladder test at 6 months, then left to my own devices. I was only 18 when I had my surgery so not having counseling after-care was … well… quite a mind fu*k that took a long while to get over. Interestingly what happened for me was I stayed at an almost normal body weight for about … 5 minutes .. I reduced from 330 to 160 in less than a year. It was brutal on my body. I re-gained about 1/2 the weight I lost and stayed there for a very long time until I had a back injury in my 30’s. Then my weight slowly crept up until I got to .. wait for it … 330 again. Ugh. Bright Line Eating has worked so well for me because it has solved that ‘sugar dump’ problem. I will say that especially in the beginning I could NOT eat all the veg unless it was cooked, even now. Presently I can often do all the veg IF it is not 100% broccoli, or 100% cauliflower or something else very stemmy. But if I try that, I will feel just like I did when I overate after gastric surgery – painful, bloated, and just miserable. I will say that I do tend to 5 “meals” – and not exactly meals – I tend to peel off one bit of a Breakfast & Lunch and eat that about 2 hours later. So if I have yogurt and fruit and my grain for breakfast, I’ll have a hard boiled egg about 2 hours later — same with lunch. This isn’t because I want to graze, it is because otherwise my stomach is miserable and if I can choke it down, then I find I’m really extraordinarily hungry before the next meal. I don’t do this with dinner though. Also … I learned in the year after surgery what I can eat and digest well and what I cannot — heavy beef can be difficult, but fish, dark chicken, ground meats and veg protein are fine. I take probiotics and digestive enzymes to help me digest, and I supplement with B-12 and iron because the surgery results in deficiencies. I think anyone who has had bypass will learn what their own body and their own system can handle and likely there will be a wee bit of trial and error. Hopefully one’s BLE house and mastermind group pals, and coaching calls can help folks tune in. I’m down 70+ pounds in BLE and it’s the first time I’ve felt sane and in control in my life so this really is do-able after bariatric surgery. I’m happy to chat with any BLE’er who wants to chat about this.

    Reply ·
    1. Janet

      Thank you for giving your specific details, I am just starting this journey and have felt a bit lost about how to deal with my surgery and special needs, thanks

      Reply ·
      1. Bright Line Eating

        Welcome Janet! We are honored to support you in your journey and are sending love and healing vibes to you. 🧡🧡🧡

        Reply ·
  22. Tammy Jordan

    This was really helpful! Thank you

    Reply ·
  23. Theresa

    I love you every single Wednesday… Thank you!

    Reply ·
  24. Rhonda

    I am so glad to see this issue addressed! I had a sleeve gastrectomy five years ago at age 60 after losing and regaining weight multiple times and finally realizing that the only way I would ever get to, and maintain, a normal weight was to be starving all the time. Then I started having a lot of trouble with my knees and couldn’t get up off the ground when gardening. My mother died of painful crippling arthritis, so I could see my future if something didn’t change. This led me to the gastrectomy. The clinic where it was done DID tout it as a way to lose, forever, all one’s excess weight and was almost evangelical about it. I’ve had a few nutrition classes and in fact counseled people in nutrition as my work, so I know more than the average person about it. I found the nutritional counseling at this clinic not helpful at all. They recommended eating all kinds of substandard stuff, including Ensure, shakes, low-fat stuff, etc. I did lose 60 pounds the first year with not a lot of effort. Then I went with a group to Peru and had to eat what, and when, the group ate. For some reason this threw me off my routine, and when I got home, I was back to being starving all the time, as I was before the surgery. I couldn’t eat much at a time, but I was so hungry I was eating every hour and a half, and I gained back ten pounds. I realized that if I didn’t do something, I was going to be back as heavy as before surgery.

    So I did research and discovered the ketogenic diet, which was a godsend to me. I lost forty more pounds effortlessly. It turns out I am highly sensitive to refined carbs. They jack up my blood sugar quickly, then I have an insulin crash and am starving again, even if I have just eaten–sometimes while I am still eating. Eating high fats (very satiating!) and no refined carbs made my body very happy. I have now easily maintained the weight for a few years. I sometimes wonder if I would have been able to lose, and maintain, the weight loss on the ketogenic diet alone had I not had the gastrectomy. I’ll never know, but I do think I have a personality trait of not being able to stop whatever pleasurable thing I’m doing, no matter what it is, but including eating. So I think the smaller stomach helps put a limit on that.

    The psychologist at the bariatric clinic told me that 30% of their clients develop a gambling problem after losing weight. I live in an area with a lot of Native American casinos, so gambling is readily accessible. He thought this was because they couldn’t feed their food addiction so it needed another outlet. I was surprised by this! I turned out not to have this issue because I don’t think I’m addicted to food–I just really enjoy it, as I enjoy sleeping, bathing, watching movies, etc.

    So I’m really glad to see this issue addressed here because I think more and more people see gastrectomy or bypass as a solution to their weight problem when it really isn’t. I’ve known a lot of people who gained all the weight back. One woman who did so developed a horrendous shopping problem where she maxed out her credit cards on things she didn’t need and couldn’t afford. And she gained back all the weight sucking on Sugar Daddies all day. And the nutrition advice I received was not good and not helpful.

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  25. Marie May

    Hi Susan, You are an Angel! The kind and truthful words that you speak each week are lessons that help me get through my eating plan week. Often when I am in question in my mind about making the right choice, I hear your words and as they go over in my mind, reminding me to make the right choice of food. You are an inspiration. I find that if I do not meditate in the morning, even for just 5 minutes, I struggle over choices.
    Doesn’t happen often, but when it does, seems like I go off course. I’m Learning. You are truly a Gift. Thank you again,

    Reply ·
  26. Sharon Gibson

    In the future, is Bright Line going to sell the necklaces like Susan is
    wearing so we can all have a Bright Line necklace?

    Reply ·
    1. Dimitrina

      I hope so Susan Gibson! I was admiring Susan’s necklace too 🙂

      Reply ·
  27. Donna

    Had Lap Band surgery 16 yrs ago. Losing tons of weight til a death in the fam caused me to over do it and stretch the surgery back out. I’m in Boot Camp now and part of what I had trouble eating after lapband, fried foods and any bread product, are not on Susan’s plan! Yay! I’ve lost 38 lbs so far, 88 to go but I’ve no more neuropathy in my legs and feet and my blood sugar levels are slowly easing back to normal range. I’ve been on every diet I ever heard of, even hypnosis, but is the first plan I can truly say I will stay on for life.

    Reply ·
  28. Laura

    You mentioned gastric bypass and diabetes returning, but you did not say the BLE would help get rid of the diabetes again. Is it only for losing weight or does it help the diabetes go away again? Thanks

    Reply ·
    1. Evelyn

      I’m a bright lifer. For about ten months. My diabetes went away within three months of BLE. Of course BLE is not going to advertise that it will get rid of diabetes. But many of us tell this story. Eating such a healthy diet and reducing in weight is your best strategy for fighting diabetes. Much better than escalating drug therapies that just mask the problem.

      Reply ·
    2. JJ

      Sigh – When someone says you are going to ‘get rid of diabetes’ or ‘are going to be cured’. IT IS A MISNOMER. Type II diabetics are born with the genetic markers for diabetes. If you eat in a way that triggers the body’s diabetic response, then your blood work shows it. Eating the BLE plan simply helps the body stay in that narrow glucose-insulin balance if you haven’t completely exhausted the pancreas. Eating too much protein (60% of the protein you eat turns in to glucose) or eating too many carbs at one time or over a period of time WILL throw off the glucose-insulin balance for your body. There is NO cure, only control. I suppose, if you were will to let someone monkey with your DNA you could cure it.

      Reply ·
  29. Kathleen Homan

    Thank you for this vlog. I had gastric bypass 22 years ago. I weighed 327 #s and lost 172#s. When I had my surgery I was not offered any type of support & found myself using alcohol instead of food. I found out many years later that’s not uncommon-totally makes sense if the reason behind the addiction isn’t worked through. As time went on the weight came back on up to 237#s. BLE is my last stop of soooo many attempts post surgery to manage my weight. It took me a bit of time anf discernment to figure out what would work with veggies. I found that after time I was able to tolerate 10 ounces with lunch & 10 at supper. At first it was mostly cooked, now at day 164 it doesn’t matter if veggies are raw or cooked. Still so grateful to be here.

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  30. Stephanie Smith

    Considering you are suppose to eat small very healthy meals BLE makes good sense. If you just follow the plan ( I have no idea what it is)
    and divide it into 5 or 6 meals it should work great.

    Reply ·
  31. Roberta Walters

    Your the best!!#

    Reply ·
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