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Hi all,

Been good and checked for answers for a while, but not found anything very decisive.

I’m worried about training my body to subsist on 600-750 calories per day. Worried it will never maintain without gain on anything resembling what the nutritionist suggested would be likely - 1600 odd (though maintenance on some calculators says 2,400 - ho ho)

I’m 218, down from 256 Jan 21st sleeve and 263 highest in December. Slowed to lose about 2lbs per week now, which is fine, but could be better.

Also 5’4”, mid 40s and post menopause with PCOS.

For my build (7” wrists that make my baby sized hands look freakish) aiming point is 152 for just out of top end normal. Reckoning I’ll be 60% there in July.

I don’t go usually go hungry and usually hit my Protein and liquid targets while keeping my carbs between 45 and 65 (fortified milk to bump Protein up keeps that over 50 as can’t do whey based protein), but rarely hit 700 calories.

Do I need to be concerned getting that little in? Will I reset metabolism to make me gain if I eat 1,000 calories?

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Posted (edited)

I just had this conversation with my nutritionist and my surgeon on my 3-month post-op appointment four days ago. The nutritionist said to stay around 800 calories but as long as the extra calories were coming from Protein and not from carbs or fat or something she wasn't worried about it. The surgeon said she doesn't talk calories at all or recommend a range but to just stick to a plate consisting of 1/2 protein, 1/4 veggies/fruit, 1/4 grains and eat the protein first, if full stop, if not, then proceed next to veggies and lastly and only if still hungry to grains. She said I could eat as much protein as I wanted. She said all calories aren't equal and protein calories were okay. I asked how on earth my body wasn't shutting down and putting a stall on everything at so few calories and she said just keep feeding it protein and you'll lose weight.

Edited by GradyCat

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I just had this conversation with my nutritionist and my surgeon on my 3-month post-op appointment four days ago. The nutritionist said to stay around 800 calories but as long as the extra calories were coming from Protein and not from carbs or fat or something she wasn't worried about it. The surgeon said she doesn't talk calories at all or recommend a range but to just stick to a plate consisting of 1/2 Protein, 1/4 veggies/fruit, 1/4 grains and eat the Protein first, if full stop, if not, then proceed next to veggies and lastly and only if still hungry to grains. She said I could eat as much protein as I wanted. She said all calories aren't equal and protein calories were okay. I asked how on earth my body wasn't shutting down and putting a stall on everything at so few calories and she said just keep feeding it protein and you'll lose weight.

Thanks for this Mrs. Glad it’s not just me and willing to bide time, but that “How on earth am I not losing more?” was the other part of this.

My poor tracking app is very concerned about me halving the calorie estimate it gave me for 1kg per week loss, and still not quite making 1kg per week.

I’m honestly not fretting about that rate from a reaching goal point of view as 2lbs per week will get me there. I’m also not suffering badly to keep it that way, I’m more baffled by the apparent absence of working laws of physics when I look back at food intake and activity at my worst. Also a little in awe of this body of mine.

When that zombie apocalypse hits, with my new found agility, it’ll be the “Never been able to put on weight no matter what I eat” and perpetual gym bunnies with their calorie hungry metabolisms that will go first [emoji16]

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I stayed at around 800 calories most of the first year. I don't think I went up over 1000 until I was about a year out. Once I hit maintenance, I gradually increased my calories until I got to the point where my weight remained stable, which for me is 1500-1700 calories a day. Some people require fewer to maintain, some more - you have to experiment with it. But at any rate, I don't think my metabolism was wrecked by my eating 800-ish kcal a day for a few months. Although I can't speak for everyone.

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I stayed at around 800 calories most of the first year. I don't think I went up over 1000 until I was about a year out. Once I hit maintenance, I gradually increased my calories until I got to the point where my weight remained stable, which for me is 1500-1700 calories a day. Some people require fewer to maintain, some more - you have to experiment with it. But at any rate, I don't think my metabolism was wrecked by my eating 800-ish kcal a day for a few months. Although I can't speak for everyone.

That’s really good to hear. Am very concerned about jumping out of metabolic frying pan and into a fire.

Knowing that nutrition is still so very far from an exact science and same for the collective mechanisms that influence appetite and weight gain, this kind of feedback is fab to have :-)




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I still at 14 months keep it between 650-850 for loss. My sweet spot is somewhere in the 650-750 calorie range keeping carbs low and mostly from low glycemic veg and leafy greens, a tiny bit of berries now and then, a tiny bit of nuts/seeds/nutbutters now and then. And average Protein of 60-80g.

I don't know what maintenance will look like. But. We are in ketosis. We have weeks of energy stores hanging on our tookuses (unless we're at our ideal weight, then we have to make other plans). And because we are in ketosis (if we're following our surgeon's and RD's plans, we can tap into those eternal fat stores to make up any caloric deficit we experience on a daily basis. Our body (AS LONG AS INSULIN IS LOW) has access to a 24/7 buffet of fat cells.

So we need protein to help with cell repair. We need the fat that's hanging on our bellies and butts to use as fuel. And we have no need of 1 single carbohydrate cuz our body has the ability to create whatever glucose is needed to run those few cells that only run on sugar (the brain, a few kidney cells, and some red blood cells).

Will we need fewer cals after we get to goal? Compared to what? Compared to what we were eating pre-surgery? Most assuredly. Will our metabolism have possibly slowed? Probably a little. But will we still need to eat 650-850/day. Most of us won't. But I do know some older women who maintain around 900-1100/day. They don't exercise though and are post meno. Some have other health issues.

But I see more here and on another board (filled with very successful long term vets), who lost on 650-850 in a low carb keto environment, who still eat a similar diet composition, and who now exercise and live happy, active lives and they maintain anywhere from 1200-1800 cals/day--or more! Your thermostat for weight equilibrium is what you make it. And it is wholly dependent on the quality of the food you eat. All calories are not equal. And CICO is a myth, but having a dietary caloric deficit is imperative for weight loss to occur. Otherwise you are just in maintenance or you are eating with a regain.

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1 hour ago, BrighterSide said:

Hi all,

Been good and checked for answers for a while, but not found anything very decisive.

I’m worried about training my body to subsist on 600-750 calories per day. Worried it will never maintain without gain on anything resembling what the nutritionist suggested would be likely - 1600 odd (though maintenance on some calculators says 2,400 - ho ho)

I’m 218, down from 256 Jan 21st sleeve and 263 highest in December. Slowed to lose about 2lbs per week now, which is fine, but could be better.

Also 5’4”, mid 40s and post menopause with PCOS.

For my build (7” wrists that make my baby sized hands look freakish) aiming point is 152 for just out of top end normal. Reckoning I’ll be 60% there in July.

I don’t go usually go hungry and usually hit my Protein and liquid targets while keeping my carbs between 45 and 65 (fortified milk to bump Protein up keeps that over 50 as can’t do whey based protein), but rarely hit 700 calories.

Do I need to be concerned getting that little in? Will I reset metabolism to make me gain if I eat 1,000 calories?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Fear of weight gain should not get in the way of your surgeons’ instructions. Follow them to stay healthy during this process.

All dieticians’ plans are different. Do I understand this correctly? Your plan says to eat 600-800 for your entire weight loss phase? Most plans are 1000 to 1200 in weight loss mode. Try upping your calories if that is what your dietician suggests.

I would not stress about maintenance phase until you reach your goal.

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I still at 14 months keep it between 650-850 for loss. My sweet spot is somewhere in the 650-750 calorie range keeping carbs low and mostly from low glycemic veg and leafy greens, a tiny bit of berries now and then, a tiny bit of nuts/seeds/nutbutters now and then. And average Protein of 60-80g.
I don't know what maintenance will look like. But. We are in ketosis. We have weeks of energy stores hanging on our tookuses (unless we're at our ideal weight, then we have to make other plans). And because we are in ketosis (if we're following our surgeon's and RD's plans, we can tap into those eternal fat stores to make up any caloric deficit we experience on a daily basis. Our body (AS LONG AS INSULIN IS LOW) has access to a 24/7 buffet of fat cells.
So we need protein to help with cell repair. We need the fat that's hanging on our bellies and butts to use as fuel. And we have no need of 1 single carbohydrate cuz our body has the ability to create whatever glucose is needed to run those few cells that only run on sugar (the brain, a few kidney cells, and some red blood cells).
Will we need fewer cals after we get to goal? Compared to what? Compared to what we were eating pre-surgery? Most assuredly. Will our metabolism have possibly slowed? Probably a little. But will we still need to eat 650-850/day. Most of us won't. But I do know some older women who maintain around 900-1100/day. They don't exercise though and are post meno. Some have other health issues.
But I see more here and on another board (filled with very successful long term vets), who lost on 650-850 in a low carb keto environment, who still eat a similar diet composition, and who now exercise and live happy, active lives and they maintain anywhere from 1200-1800 cals/day--or more! Your thermostat for weight equilibrium is what you make it. And it is wholly dependent on the quality of the food you eat. All calories are not equal. And CICO is a myth, but having a dietary caloric deficit is imperative for weight loss to occur. Otherwise you are just in maintenance or you are eating with a regain.

Thanks Fluffy. Honestly hadn’t forgotten I the whole aim of this game is to melt the fat belt :-). The info on the ‘older post meno’ ladies is good to have seeing as I now apparently am one. Recently got told ovaries gave up ghost age about 40...ahh well (not as sanguine about that as I sound, but getting there).

Do struggle somewhat with veggies and grains. Can’t eat Beans, nuts and pulses and not getting past protein to much more than a couple of bites of broccoli, but earlyish days. Get fibre with heavily seeded crackers, but costs carbs. Also have that reliance on fortified milk for a shot of protein which again costs carbs hence the 45-65 level. But less if nett of fibre. Never worked out what nett meant.

Having said all that I really value all these fab insights. Flying very solo here as 60 miles from nearest support group and have a house full of temptation thx to fella and two growing girls :-)




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1 minute ago, BrighterSide said:


Thanks Fluffy. Honestly hadn’t forgotten I the whole aim of this game is to melt the fat belt :-). The info on the ‘older post meno’ ladies is good to have seeing as I now apparently am one. Recently got told ovaries gave up ghost age about 40...ahh well (not as sanguine about that as I sound, but getting there).

Do struggle somewhat with veggies and grains. Can’t eat Beans, nuts and pulses and not getting past Protein to much more than a couple of bites of broccoli, but earlyish days. Get fibre with heavily seeded crackers, but costs carbs. Also have that reliance on fortified milk for a shot of protein which again costs carbs hence the 45-65 level. But less if nett of fibre. Never worked out what nett meant.

Having said all that I really value all these fab insights. Flying very solo here as 60 miles from nearest support group and have a house full of temptation thx to fella and two growing girls 🙂




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Yikes sorry bout the girls. But honestly, those b*****s cause a lot of trouble don't they? :(

Ditch the carbs. Replace them with 12g of psyllium husks dissolved in 2 glasses of liquid (I use Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice tea made into "cool tea without ice" and drink it down. Love it and look forward to it and I am able to better make my Fiber goals and poopy goals. :) )

I bet with some tweaking your wl speed will pick up. But definitely just follow your doc and rd's plan for diet progression and don't fear the future. Think only about taking the next best bite for today and staying true to your plan!

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Fear of weight gain should not get in the way of your surgeons’ instructions. Follow them to stay healthy during this process.
All dieticians’ plans are different. Do I understand this correctly? Your plan says to eat 600-800 for your entire weight loss phase? Most plans are 1000 to 1200 in weight loss mode. Try upping your calories if that is what your dietician suggests.
I would not stress about maintenance phase until you reach your goal.

Good advice thank you. I’ve had no steer on calories, just on the usual 60-70g Protein, 2+ litres Fluid, not excessive fat, sensible carb limit. That was my Nut. Surgeon just said day before discharge “Eat what you used to just less” Nut was there and eyes nearly rolled out of her head.

In absence of guide gravitated to pre-surgery levels which gelled with most of what I researched and read for initial post surgery period. Then as I limited carbs more diligently it crept down a little further. Will take this up with her again next month when I see her though.




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Yikes sorry bout the girls. But honestly, those b*****s cause a lot of trouble don't they? [emoji20]
Ditch the carbs. Replace them with 12g of psyllium husks dissolved in 2 glasses of liquid (I use Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice tea made into "cool tea without ice" and drink it down. Love it and look forward to it and I am able to better make my fiber goals and poopy goals. [emoji4] )
I bet with some tweaking your wl speed will pick up. But definitely just follow your doc and rd's plan for diet progression and don't fear the future. Think only about taking the next best bite for today and staying true to your plan!

[emoji1303][emoji846]


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4 hours ago, BrighterSide said:

I’m worried about training my body to subsist on 600-750 calories per day. Worried it will never maintain without gain on anything resembling what the nutritionist suggested would be likely - 1600 odd (though maintenance on some calculators says 2,400 - ho ho)

Also 5’4”, mid 40s and post menopause with PCOS.

Do I need to be concerned getting that little in? Will I reset metabolism to make me gain if I eat 1,000 calories?

I only have anecdotal evidence, but our stats are similar, minus the PCOS.

I was quite low cal for most of my weight loss phase. I was actually under 500 cals for many, many days early on. I too was worried about wrecking my metabolism.

I'm very grateful, that my metabolism doesn't appear to be damaged at all. I actually got below goal, and am currently working on how to maintain, and not continue to lose. I am currently averaging probably around 1500/day, and still losing, albeit slowly. (Eating healthily, and getting to 1500 cals is harder than I ever imagined it could be)

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I only have anecdotal evidence, but our stats are similar, minus the PCOS.
I was quite low cal for most of my weight loss phase. I was actually under 500 cals for many, many days early on. I too was worried about wrecking my metabolism.
I'm very grateful, that my metabolism doesn't appear to be damaged at all. I actually got below goal, and am currently working on how to maintain, and not continue to lose. I am currently averaging probably around 1500/day, and still losing, albeit slowly. (Eating healthily, and getting to 1500 cals is harder than I ever imagined it could be)


Thank you for this! That helps so much. Of course anecdotal evidence is no replacement for research, but with most of the ‘normal’ weight and calorie intake recommendations based on 20 year old made up people it’s great to hear about your experience.

500 would have felt insanely low as a level to get out of bed and function on let alone exercise on, but if I swapped my fortified milk for more lean meat Protein I’d be there right now. Seen some of your story elsewhere so I know you had lots of back and forth with nut, but essentially no obvious Ill effects. Crazy isn’t it.

Also blows my mind a bit the concept of eating up to maintenance. One of the blessings of this process is the very small meal size. I have food phobias that prevent me from swallowing food if I ever feel under pressure to do so. Resulted from dinner ladies at school repeatedly forcing forkfuls of food down my throat until I thew up when I was 5. Specific foods that was done with are out, plus that anxiety response that closes my throat and makes me nauseous. That bedded in over the years as my resulting picky eating lead to being made to sit through ll dinner services until I’d eaten cold food on my plate, or the smallest kids were done. Missed break times, so double whammy with lost exercise and more negative food association. Getting packed lunch as a result of my Mum forcing a school policy change was the best day of my life, but by then the damage was done and I carried on seeking out ‘easy’ and ‘comforting’ food and avoiding social situations that might involve pressure to eat and trigger that anxiety.

The hugely limited meal sizes have really started to dent that for the first time in my life. My diet had already become vastly broader or I wouldn’t have been able to attempt this, but knowing I only have to get 8-10 mouthfuls of something new down means I’m going food places I haven’t before. There have been some fails with a rush to the bathroom, but not many. That, in a hugely roundabout way, is why I fear upping calories for maintenance. It may be really tough to get quantities of naturally very low calorie healthy but ‘difficult’ food in.

Whoah - war and peace again, sorry!


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