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6 weeks out - how many calories are appropriate?



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So I’m 6 weeks out from my surgery and I have to admit that I had a pretty easy time immediately afterwards. After nausea the first day in the hospital, I have had no side effects - no gas pain, no more nausea, no aversion to temperature/taste/texture, etc.

However, I feel like I am hungry ALL THE TIME and have found that I can EASILY eat 1000+ calories in a day. I am making sure to get all of my Protein in (I average about 85g per day), as well as a minimum of 64oz of Water, and I have been doing so mostly without the aid of shakes/clear Protein Drinks the past couple of weeks. I know that meeting that protein solely with food is part of why my calories are so high but I have tried to use shakes for meals and I am just SO HUNGRY the rest of the day when I do so (which results in my eating “bad” snack-y/trigger foods that have more carbs, such as lots of cashews) that it hasn’t seemed worth it. My weight loss has started to slow, however, and it wasn’t fast to begin with so I’m worried that I’m ingesting too much. Any thoughts? Anyone else eating this many calories this far out? It’s really worrying (to me) to see so many who are 1 year out say they can barely get 800 calories when I have no issues and could honestly eat more :-/

If it matters: I’m 37, 5’11”, and my weight on DOS was 331.8. Current weight is 313.9.

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no. I didn't get up to 1000 until I was almost a year out. It seems a lot of us are in the 600-800 range when we were where you are currently...

sorry to hear that you didn't get a respite from hunger. Most us do the first few months, but not everyone. That "feature" helps immensely!!

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Just now, catwoman7 said:

no. I didn't get up to 1000 until I was almost a year out. It seems a lot of us are in the 600-800 range when we were where you are currently...

sorry to hear that you didn't get a respite from hunger. Most us do the first few months, but not everyone. That "feature" helps immensely!!

P.S. there are a lot of other protein-rich foods that aren't as caloric as cashews. Lean meats. Cottage cheese. Greek yogurt. Maybe mix some Protein Powder into something like sugar free pudding.

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I wasn't given calorie parameters, just amount parameters, which is probably why I ate more calories than a lot of people.

I look at this like a diet (or a new lifestyle, if you prefer). The surgery just makes it much easier for me to calorie count and stay below my personal upper limit.

If you avoid slider foods that slide right through your restriction and don't drink before, during, or after meals, you should feel more full.

There are some foods that I just can't have around or I would eat too much of them.

Good luck!

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At 6 weeks I only had a Protein goal for the day, a food stage, and the appropriate meal size/#meals per day to shoot for--the rest took care of itself.

Nuts IMHO, are VERY hard to control for most people and are very high fat for the protein return. Additionally cashews have a fair amount of carbs per ounce, so not only are you getting lots of cals, and fat, but maybe even spiking insulin if you're eating a lot of them. This will keep you hungry.

Concentrate on the lean Proteins appropriate for your stage and meal volume target given to you by the doc and RD. At this point, you would probably only be at 1/4-3/8c of food, maybe 1/2c on the outside limits?

Also, it's possible you aren't registering your new full cuz the nerves were disrupted with the surgery and aren't talking to your brain very well.

Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger and also mistake high acid (GERD or REFLUX) as hunger, too. And of course there is always that pesky head hunger! Ask what your protein goal is from the RD. 85g per day seems high for a woman, but you are tall, so that may be what your individual prescript is!

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at 315lbs even if you are eating 1000 calories a day the weight should be falling off you. Something seems off you should probably post a food log.

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I never lost my hunger after sleeve surgery either so I can relate to you. I did stick to my food plan and continued to lose weight for the first 9 months.

I agree that you still should be losing weight. Maybe you should give you nut or dr a call.

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No way.. I was eating maybe 500cal until 3 months out.. Carbs will also make you hungry; Protein will curb the hunger

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Thanks so much for the responses!

Per my surgeon, the only restrictions I’ve had since week 4 are to stay under 40g of carbs per day, hit 70-90g of Protein, and drink at least 64oz of Water - no calorie guidance at all. I do eat protein first and I have stuck with lean meats (chicken mostly). I’ve also added some vegan/vegetarian options, just to give myself some variety. I log everything, including my Fluid intake, on MyFitnessPal. I have only had cashews a few times because they are a trigger food for me but I’ve only reached for them at the end of the day when starving already. I definitely feel full after smaller portion sizes than before but I can easily eat 2 eggs at a time, for example, or a 1/2 cup of food.

I’m going to try to add some screenshots from MFP, not sure how it’ll work so bear with me!

The first is my average for the past 7 days.

The next 3 are a typical day (yesterday), and the last 3 are a bad day (Monday) in which I was so hungry at the end of the day that I ended up having some Saltines for the first time since surgery.

Besides the Saltines, does anything jump out at anyone? 😏

image-0.0020265579223632812.jpg

image-0.0029802322387695312.jpg

image-0.007033348083496094.jpg

image-0.0050067901611328125.jpg

image-0.0020265579223632812.jpg

image-0.00095367431640625.jpg

image-0.0029802322387695312.jpg

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Just wanted to add this last screenshot, to give more of an idea of my daily average macro-wise.

I also have been walking 1.5-2 miles, 3-4 times per week, for the past couple weeks.

image-0.007033348083496094.jpg

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Thanks for sharing and being so open. I think many feel as you do, but don't document like this! So that's awesome! I know there will be a lot of opinions coming soon which will help!

My take is that in the early days you cut out as much C.R.A.P. as humanly possible to rewire your brain/pleasure center. You are eating a LOT of highly satisfying foods and slidery stuff (protein chips, cashews, cranberries, sports drinks (sf but still spikes hunger and insulin), birthday cake Protein (is that a bar? or is it a powder? super calorie dense so suspect protein bar), and things with sugar (miracle whip, cranberries).

ALL of those things would keep my tastebuds activated and CRAVING and my head hunger would be off. the. charts. And it seems your's is too.

This is the time when you EMBRACE boring. EMBRACE tiny meals and lack of appetite. EMBRACE food apathy and repetition. Cut it will truly be the easiest time in your life to ever break-up with the bad food bonds and emotional triggers that won you a lifetime invitation to the Obesity Ball. Dr. Weiner says that once we are MO, we will forever be different and must relate differently to foods and eat a different kind of food. Why? Cuz our MO predisposes us to relapse and regain at an alarming degree.

So if it were me, and it surely was, I would: ditch the C.R.A.P. Move from sweetened beverages to pure Water, Decaf teas (unsweetened), and decaf coffee (unsweetened). I would focus on protein until you can eat 2-3ozof dry dense protein per whatever stage you are in. You may be in softs now, so 2-3oz in meatloaf muffins (bread free), or burger meat, or fill in the blank. Then you can have a bite or two of well cooked veg depending on satiety with a tiny bit of fat. That is the rec that was given to me. Not trying to give you advice...hope that helps.

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@FluffyChix “Move from sweetened beverages to pure Water, Decaf teas (unsweetened), and decaf coffee (unsweetened). I would focus on Protein until you can eat 2-3ozof dry dense protein per whatever stage you are in. You may be in softs now, so 2-3oz in meatloaf muffins (bread free), or burger meat, or fill in the blank.”

I’m actually not in a “soft” food phase - I’ve been on regular foods/textures since week 4. I was told to avoid caffeine, though, so haven’t been having any coffee or tea & the Powerades are to make sure I get my electrolytes in but I can try to just replace them with water, I guess. The meatloaf muffins are recipes I found on Pinterest, just slightly modified to be more my taste, so I weigh/measure every ingredient that goes in them. They do have whole wheat breadcrumbs but such a small amount that it doesn’t really add to my carbs. The birthday cake protein is a cake-like thing that I actually got from BP’s website. I’m not sure I understand why things like that (and the Quest chips) are sometimes looked down on but Protein Powder is okay - aren’t they basically the same thing? Especially when they’re low in carb and calories?

I will try to cut out those processed meal replacements/snacks, though, and see if that makes a difference... Thank you!

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23 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

no. I didn't get up to 1000 until I was almost a year out. It seems a lot of us are in the 600-800 range when we were where you are currently...

sorry to hear that you didn't get a respite from hunger. Most us do the first few months, but not everyone. That "feature" helps immensely!!

I had to work to get in 400, high Protein foods tend to be lower in calories, to get my 60 g. was an all day struggle. I'm 6 months out and get 500 - 600. My focus is not calories but do I have my protein, have I had all my fluids, eat until I'm no longer hungry, and get my almonds in so I can poop. Sorry for the last comment.

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We have similar stats and surgery around the same time. I don't have much hunger, but I had a really easy recovery (yay!) and don't seem to have any food aversions or challenges with eating and drinking which means I've been able to push myself to meet my Protein and fluid goals from early on. That means even though I'm limiting my meals to 3-4 oz lean protein (usually with light mayo or greek yogurt because I am still on soft foods, or I eat a lot of eggs) and then if I am still hungry some soft cooked veggies, I get almost 800 calories a day. Part of that is because I'm still using Protein Shakes to supplement

I am seeing my surgeon and NUT next week for my 6 week. My weight loss has been really slow the last 3 weeks and I'm hoping it's just a stall and they'll have some advice to pick it back up.

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You've done great. Remember you didn't gain it all overnight, it won't come off overnight. I do a Protein Drink for Breakfast, Ensure plus, 30 g. Protein and 150 calories. A 4 oz cottage cheese for lunch and 4 oz of protein for dinner. I have a couple Outshine no sugar added pop cycles for treats and 100 cal of almonds for roughage. I add cold-pressed virgin olive oil to my food with a shake of Italian seasonings to add taste and moisture. It also keeps the cholesterol down. About 600 cal. per day. I am constantly drinking caffeine-free ice tea with lemon. You will experience several stalls. The 4 month was the hardest as it was the longest and first. Since then I tend to lose 3 weeks, pause a week and I don't lose as much as I did the first 4 months. Your body just has to adjust so be patient. You are doing a great job.

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