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Vegetarian vs. Atkins diet



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Hi, I'm preop. One surgeon I saw insisted that I follow a high Protein, low carb, low fat diet after the op. Nothing "squishy", which wouldn't fill me up (low fat yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, protein drinks), no Beans (the staple of a veg diet). These foods are one of the main ways for a veg (not vegan) to get protein!

It doesn't seem that an Atkins-like diet is realistic for a veg. I do eat a little fish but don't want to eat it three times a day.

What do you think? Didn't a nutritionist work with you to find the best diet for you, not mandate a particular eating plan? I think the surgeon is completely unrealistic.

Edited by imaginegirl

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I think you should just set up a weekly vegetarian low carb diet plan, Get away from the gimick diets and plans, You are in this for the long journey -

There are great threads on this site for vegetarian meal plans - I personally eat meat so can not help you but look at those threads

Good luck

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Atkins/Keto/high Protein diet for the rest of your life after bariatric surgery is old school nutrition nonsense. FYI most doctors only need to take 1 semester of nutrition classes and that was back when they were in in undergrad or med school. A lot has changed since then. As long as you eat a well-planned, plant-based diet (this applies to non-bariatric patients as well) you will thrive. I'd say success after bariatric surgery is more about using the time where you have restriction to learn better habits and ditch your addiction to empty calorie dense carbs like white breads, Pasta, white sugar, etc. than anything else. You will eventually be able to eat normal portions of food so breaking bad habits is key. If you continue to eat a SAD diet and the crap that made you fat in the first place, even if just less of it, you will eventually experience regain.

Immediately after surgery (first 1-4 weeks), you will be drinking/ eating very low cal in the ballpark of 500-800 calories. You will be weak some days because of lack of calories, not lack of protein. It takes years to become protein deficient! Then you'll probably be around 800-1000 until 8-12 weeks., 1000 - 1200 for a good while after that. I hovered around 1000 - 1200 for my first year post surgery.

Look up Dr. Garth Davis, he is a bariatric surgeon who advocated a whole foods plant-based diet. I also like Dr. Matthew Weiner - he has a number of videos on Youtube, both have Facebook pages and groups to help you.

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1 hour ago, AJ Tylo said:

I think you should just set up a weekly vegetarian low carb diet plan, Get away from the gimick diets and plans, You are in this for the long journey -

There are great threads on this site for vegetarian meal plans - I personally eat meat so can not help you but look at those threads

Good luck

The maintenance plan looks very doable. Whew!

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1 hour ago, ezbeinggreen said:

Atkins/Keto/high Protein diet for the rest of your life after bariatric surgery is old school nutrition nonsense. FYI most doctors only need to take 1 semester of nutrition classes and that was back when they were in in undergrad or med school. A lot has changed since then. As long as you eat a well-planned, plant-based diet (this applies to non-bariatric patients as well) you will thrive. I'd say success after bariatric surgery is more about using the time where you have restriction to learn better habits and ditch your addiction to empty calorie dense carbs like white breads, Pasta, white sugar, etc. than anything else. You will eventually be able to eat normal portions of food so breaking bad habits is key. If you continue to eat a SAD diet and the crap that made you fat in the first place, even if just less of it, you will eventually experience regain.

Immediately after surgery (first 1-4 weeks), you will be drinking/ eating very low cal in the ballpark of 500-800 calories. You will be weak some days because of lack of calories, not lack of Protein. It takes years to become protein deficient! Then you'll probably be around 800-1000 until 8-12 weeks., 1000 - 1200 for a good while after that. I hovered around 1000 - 1200 for my first year post surgery.

Look up Dr. Garth Davis, he is a bariatric surgeon who advocated a whole foods plant-based diet. I also like Dr. Matthew Weiner - he has a number of videos on Youtube, both have Facebook pages and groups to help you.

That's a relief. I plan to talk to the nutritionist before I make a decision just so we're on the same page.

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It may be worth seeing a registered dietician who specializes in vegetarian/vegan diets, independent of/outside your surgeon's practice. The nutritionist at your surgeon's office is going to be biased and only advise you based on the surgeon's program.

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FYI I was an on-and-off vegan prior to surgery but went back to eating meat and dairy because my surgeon was also on the high-protein bandwagon. But after research I realized I could be healthy vegetarian with VSG, and I ditched the high Protein myth shortly afterwards. You have to make a healthy plan for ANY way of eating, omnivore or otherwise. I find I meet/exceed all my nutritional requirements without even trying most days, more than I ever did as a meat eater. Apps that track Vitamins and minerals as well as fat/carbs/protein like Cronometer really help! I am now 5 years out and my portion sizes are about the same as a normal person (ie. non-WLS patient of a healthy weight/healthy mindset around food). This is normal - you WILL be able to eat more over time, that is why you need to take advantage of the first 6-12 months to break bad habits. I definitely attributed eating mostly plant-based to being able to maintain my weight. I never reached my goal, but that's because I let high fat foods and carbs like Pasta and bread and rice back in too soon, as well as cheats like pizza. Granted I still eat far less of these things... all things... (I can eat 2 slices of pizza max) but less pizza is still pizza!

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5 hours ago, ezbeinggreen said:

It may be worth seeing a registered dietician who specializes in vegetarian/vegan diets, independent of/outside your surgeon's practice. The nutritionist at your surgeon's office is going to be biased and only advise you based on the surgeon's program.

Good idea. And if I meet with the nutritionist at this surgeon's office and she/he insists on an Atkins-like diet, then I know they won't be doing my surgery.

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5 hours ago, ezbeinggreen said:

FYI I was an on-and-off vegan prior to surgery but went back to eating meat and dairy because my surgeon was also on the high-protein bandwagon. But after research I realized I could be healthy vegetarian with VSG, and I ditched the high Protein myth shortly afterwards. You have to make a healthy plan for ANY way of eating, omnivore or otherwise. I find I meet/exceed all my nutritional requirements without even trying most days, more than I ever did as a meat eater. Apps that track Vitamins and minerals as well as fat/carbs/protein like Cronometer really help! I am now 5 years out and my portion sizes are about the same as a normal person (ie. non-WLS patient of a healthy weight/healthy mindset around food). This is normal - you WILL be able to eat more over time, that is why you need to take advantage of the first 6-12 months to break bad habits. I definitely attributed eating mostly plant-based to being able to maintain my weight. I never reached my goal, but that's because I let high fat foods and carbs like Pasta and bread and rice back in too soon, as well as cheats like pizza. Granted I still eat far less of these things... all things... (I can eat 2 slices of pizza max) but less pizza is still pizza!

I feel more hopeful now!

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Forget the Nutrioshist in the Docs office, I have had one since one week before surgery. Now 8 month out i only see her once a month to review a blood test. That person is the key! However if you are not lazy like me, There are so many good videos and plans around the internet / with a few good Apps you can do it yourself if funds are not there.

I also agree with the above posts! I stopped the insane Protein and just balanced out a healthy normal food plan at about 7 months. BUT THAT IS JUST ME PEOPLE I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR NUTIONSIONIST.

One thing i read here months ago . There is no one thread here that is the bible for all of us, The journey has to be mapped out for the patient, use all the information and put a plan that works for you and is successful

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14 hours ago, ezbeinggreen said:

Apps that track Vitamins and minerals as well as fat/carbs/protein like Cronometer really help!

Cronometer really is the best out there when it comes to tracking both macros and micros. The free version already offers plenty and the subscriber version is a one time payment only.

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Agree 100% with @AJ Tylo . There is no one-size-fits-all formula, you just have to go with what works for you.

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