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Maintenance 18 mos. out – kicking sugar cravings and reducing hunger



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I’m 18.5 months post-op and maintaining pretty easily at 135 pounds.

But about two weeks ago I posted on another thread that over the last 8 months my affection for dark chocolate had gradually changed from a treat to a daily need.

About a year ago after reaching goal I started having a square of dark chocolate occasionally, usually on weekends. That progressed over the months to eating two squares daily. In the recent two months I’d graduated to four squares daily. When four squares no longer seemed enough, it didn’t take a genius to figure out I had to cut that habit in the bud.

During my Year of Chocolate, my hunger for carbs in general had gradually risen. I have always tracked all my food in My Fitness Pal and knew what I was eating and how much. Happily, I was maintaining my weight pretty painlessly, but it was taking a greater effort for me to hold strong to my daily maintenance calorie levels.

My two-step program to deal with this was:

1. I got all the chocolate out of the house. I put all of it in a sack and stored it in the garage, where it’s cool enough that the chocolate won’t melt. And I didn’t eat any chocolate at all for almost two weeks.

2. Remembering that “stomach acid mimics hunger,” I decided to switch back to my old post-op PPI antacid (Protonix) temporarily to see if by lowering my stomach acid I could temper my growing appetite.

Well, my program has worked! I haven’t eaten any chocolate, and don’t crave it at all. And using the PPI for a week has also worked – my general appetite is now lower. In fact, I’m now having a little trouble eating all my daily maintenance calories. But that’s a problem I can deal with. ;)

Maintenance is interesting. Stay mindful. Stay optimistic. Stay creative. Stay in charge of your food and your meds. :)

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Good! It sometimes seems like the surgeons office is focused primarily on the Weight Loss phase with very little guidance when you reach the Maintenance phase. So experimentation and learning from that experimentation is key.

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@@VSGAnn2014

Do you have dessert or something sweet like after dinner? Even if it's not something too carby? Or were your dark chocolate squares it?

I ask because something I've started doing that I wasn't doing before is having something sweet after dinner...basically dessert. It could be berries with a little whipping cream or a like you, a couple squares of chocolate, sugar free pudding or a couple peices of hard candy. Although it's something I'm still tracking in my daily calories, I'm concerned about it becoming too much of a habit. Thoughts about dessert?

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@@VSGAnn2014Do you have dessert or something sweet like after dinner? Even if it's not something too carby? Or were your dark chocolate squares it? I ask because something I've started doing that I wasn't doing before is having something sweet after dinner...basically dessert. It could be berries with a little whipping cream or a like you, a couple squares of chocolate, sugar free pudding or a couple peices of hard candy. Although it's something I'm still tracking in my daily calories, I'm concerned about it becoming too much of a habit. Thoughts about dessert?

I make my Greek yogurt my dessert. I take plain Greek yogurt and flavor it with Torani or Dasani Syrup and/or Protein powder. Raspberry, pumpkin pie and tiramisu are my favorite syrup choices and vanilla or cake batter are my favorite powders. Tonight I did yogurt, cake batter powder, PB2 and a bit of almond milk to thin it. Tasted like Peanut Butter cookie dough! This dessert is also the "carrier" for my daily Fiber and I always add a couple scoops of ground flax seed to the concoction so it's actually quite filling.

I've gotta have the Protein and Fiber anyways, so its not adding anything unnecessary and fortunately it hasn't gotten out of control like my love for nuts and Peanut Butter did.

My protein hot chocolate is always my goto for my chocolate fix.

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Babbs,

I think dessert is a lovely ritual. It happens at a time of day when hubby and I Celebrate having gotten through our day, whether it was easy or hard. And I don't intend to end our dessert ritual here.

I often had dessert after dinner when I was losing weight. It was as inconsequential as a 20-calorie chewable Caltrate chocolate truffle supplement (hey, we WLS'ers can make lemonade out of lemons, eh?) or as protein-centric as Greek yogurt (vanilla is my fave). At times I've added berries or a sliced peach to yogurt, but now in wintertime the fruits are pretty bad, so I don't waste grocery money on those now.

Going forward, my challenge is to come up with a much more varied dessert menu from which to choose. I no longer want to eat the same thing every night -- especially not something that's nearly pure sugar. That's what got me into the burgeoning chocolate habit. Yogurt, fruit, low-calorie bakery items, even the occasional piece of chocolate all seem lovely. In a few weeks I'll reconsider my new dessert plan.

But for now, I'm sticking with a single chewable Caltrate chocolate truffle supplement. I want to cement my newly regained self control. :)

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I completely understand your post and what I would add is that it seems like it is an ongoing balancing act, adjustment. I relied so heavily on intense exercise for awhile, and then when I couldn't do that anymore - had to readjust. My capacity for food is much higher than it used to be - so need to adjust for that too. anyway, we all have our own stories, own experineces but maybe the unexpected is that our own story changes quite a bit over time too!

This is why there is no one size fits all answer - especially to maintenance challenges.

I have known for quite awhile that excessive carbs make me hungry. Not everyone has that experience and we all need to listen to our bodies, listen to others ideas and then figure out what applies to ourselves... right now... not yesterday or tomorrow, but what is needed now.

I have a friend who eats sandwiches all the time, she is about 40# overweight and on an annual bases loses that weight via starvation diet, then regains it. she blames it on no willpower, junk food etc - well... maybe... but eating bread 3 meals a day (when not on starvation diet) might be part of the hunger trigger!

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For dessert, I enjoy a big cup of low-calorie hot chocolate – with a shot of Miralax. :rolleyes:

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