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Am I eating too much?



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I am 3 weeks out from a gastric sleeve procedure. I'm not sure if I am eating too much. It seems to me that most folks who have the sleeve done are unable to eat as much as I do. I don't strive to eat a lot, but I just happens and I never feel full. I have not felt full - not once. Last night I had a pretty good sized veggie burger and about 10 stalks of asparagus. I would have hoped to be full after about half of that. How does this seem to you folks who have had gastric sleeve?

Many thanks

Grace

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Posted (edited)

I went through the same experience as you as I recovered from the sleeve - I was way ahead of the curve in terms of what, and how much, I could eat. Here's the thing - it takes a long time for your stomach to heal completely - not days, but weeks, even months (it is a major amputation if you think about it). So it may not be sending you the signals you need to stop eating. As someone who's sleeve failed, partly because after 6 months, and especially after a year, I could a proper dinner plate of food again (at least 2 cups), I would say follow your dietary guidelines. If it says half a cup, eat half a cup. How many calories (and other macros) are you allowed in a day? Are you staying within them? Just because you CAN eat more, doesn't mean you SHOULD. The guidelines are there to help us get into the habit of Portion Control, because the honeymoon period of easy weight loss/no hunger only happens for 6-18 months (depending on the person). After that, if you overeat, you may regain, even with healthy foods, as it may encourage you into the same bad habits you had before surgery. Also, how long is it taking you to eat? If it's more than 30 minutes, then you are definitely overeating. When are you drinking liquids? If it's too soon from eating it could make the food slide faster through your stomach making it easier to eat more. I'd also be worried about the asparagus - it seems too early to be eating such a fibrous and low Protein vegetable. They are really hard to digest and can form clumps in your stomach, especially early on.

In any event, I'm not trying to make you feel bad about this - as I said at the beginning, I went through exactly the same thing after my sleeve, and I had the belief that the surgeon made it too big which is why I could eat so much. However, on my recent revision surgery, my (new) surgeon said that the sleeve was perfect and small, so I know that my weight regain had less to do with my stomach, and more to do with me. Some of us can eat more, and don't feel pain (others are the complete opposite). In that case, you have to be vigilant about what, and how much, you are putting into your body.

Edited by biginjapan

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Great post above

YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY - YOU ARE FULL! Your mind is playing games with you. You do not have to eat till you are full, Eat healthy and portion it! Done

The hardest part of this journey is re learning how to eat healthy! and to put it clear It f@#ckin is a b***h to do! Not only do you have to condition your body your mind is going to fight you! Stop focusing on food. You eat for fuel not for any sort of satisfaction. Once you master this you are home free!

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3 weeks out and eating veggie burger with asparagus? That seems rather advanced at 3 weeks out. I was still eating very soft and mostly mushy food at that point.

I agree with AJ Tylo above. You're not hungry. Your mind is playing games with you. I think I also read somewhere that in some people the part of the stomach that senses fullness is damaged or cut in the surgery process. Maybe shocked or numb.

Please be cautious. Your stomach and the suture line are still healing. I recommend that you measure out your food and stop eating when you've eaten the portion prescribed by your doctor (usually 1/4-1/2 cup). If you need to, set a timer for mealtimes and don't snack in between.

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Are you eating very slowly? There are "sensors" in your stomach that signal your brain that you have eaten enough. Unfortunately, they trigger fairly slowly so if you are eating quickly your brain doesn't get the message until you have eaten more than you need. If you eat your meal in tiny bites with pauses in between each mouthful you can trigger that response before you eat a lot. I only eat around one half cup of food for each meal, and by eating this way feel full, and the fullness lasts several hours.

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I'm confused. Did you NOT receive any advice about portions and Stages to eat post surgery?

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Fluff, good point. Three weeks after my surgery I was finally allowed a half of a scrambled egg, cottage cheese, applesauce and watered down mashed potatoes.

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17 minutes ago, FluffyChix said:

I'm confused. Did you NOT receive any advice about portions and Stages to eat post surgery?

I am totally amazed at how many people - Including myself did not have a plan or guidance after this surgery! WTF is this industry going to get oraganized! We all know the surgery is just a tool, Without the workshop your screwed

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yes - you're eating too much. I'm not sure I could eat a full-size veggie burger plus 10 stalks of asparagus even NOW, at five years out (I could one or the other, but not both). Does your clinic have portion guidelines? I was eating very little food at that point (it's been a long time - but maybe 1/4 - 1/2 C or so? And mostly soft, mushy stuff).

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At 3 weeks, I was 1/8-1/4cup MAX volume per meal. And on soft foods: soft scrambled eggs, mushy wet tuna/chicken salad, poached white fish, canned green Beans, veggies cooked to the edge of hell and beyond, pureed-ish stoups...

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8 hours ago, biginjapan said:

I went through the same experience as you as I recovered from the sleeve - I was way ahead of the curve in terms of what, and how much, I could eat. Here's the thing - it takes a long time for your stomach to heal completely - not days, but weeks, even months (it is a major amputation if you think about it). So it may not be sending you the signals you need to stop eating. As someone who's sleeve failed, partly because after 6 months, and especially after a year, I could a proper dinner plate of food again (at least 2 cups), I would say follow your dietary guidelines. If it says half a cup, eat half a cup. How many calories (and other macros) are you allowed in a day? Are you staying within them? Just because you CAN eat more, doesn't mean you SHOULD. The guidelines are there to help us get into the habit of Portion Control, because the honeymoon period of easy weight loss/no hunger only happens for 6-18 months (depending on the person). After that, if you overeat, you may regain, even with healthy foods, as it may encourage you into the same bad habits you had before surgery. Also, how long is it taking you to eat? If it's more than 30 minutes, then you are definitely overeating. When are you drinking liquids? If it's too soon from eating it could make the food slide faster through your stomach making it easier to eat more. I'd also be worried about the asparagus - it seems too early to be eating such a fibrous and low Protein vegetable. They are really hard to digest and can form clumps in your stomach, especially early on.

In any event, I'm not trying to make you feel bad about this - as I said at the beginning, I went through exactly the same thing after my sleeve, and I had the belief that the surgeon made it too big which is why I could eat so much. However, on my recent revision surgery, my (new) surgeon said that the sleeve was perfect and small, so I know that my weight regain had less to do with my stomach, and more to do with me. Some of us can eat more, and don't feel pain (others are the complete opposite). In that case, you have to be vigilant about what, and how much, you are putting into your body.

Thank you ever so much for your informative and comprehensive response to my inquiry. I appreciate this more than you know. Just FYI I am not taking in more than 700-800 calories daily. It seems to me that even without surgery I should be losing weight on that caloric intake.

I will be MUCH MORE VIGILENT concerning the amount of food I consume at meals. I will give you an example of what I have to eat daily:

BREAKFAST: High Protein Shake = 160 calories

LUNCH: Amy's Tomato Bisque Soup = 240 calories

DINNER: One source of Protein (Yogurt/veggie burger/cottage cheese) usually about 240 calories

My Snacks are diet Jello for ten calories per serving - 2 servings at the most

Sugarless lollipops for 17 calories each for about 34 calories in a day

I'm down about 9 pounds from my date of surgery but have been stalled for about 5 days now.

I don't think I can try harder than I am right now. Maybe I'm wrong but doesn't it come down to calorie intake?

Thank you again. I DO APPRECIATE THIS!

My best,

Grace

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I'm just a little confused as to why you had to have revision surgery. It seems your original surgery was done correctly. ??

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16 minutes ago, IAmGrace said:

Thank you ever so much for your informative and comprehensive response to my inquiry. I appreciate this more than you know. Just FYI I am not taking in more than 700-800 calories daily. It seems to me that even without surgery I should be losing weight on that caloric intake.

I will be MUCH MORE VIGILENT concerning the amount of food I consume at meals. I will give you an example of what I have to eat daily:

BREAKFAST: High Protein Shake = 160 calories

LUNCH: Amy's Tomato Bisque Soup = 240 calories

DINNER: One source of Protein (Yogurt/veggie burger/cottage cheese) usually about 240 calories

My Snacks are diet Jello for ten calories per serving - 2 servings at the most

Sugarless lollipops for 17 calories each for about 34 calories in a day

I'm down about 9 pounds from my date of surgery but have been stalled for about 5 days now.

I don't think I can try harder than I am right now. Maybe I'm wrong but doesn't it come down to calorie intake?

Thank you again. I DO APPRECIATE THIS!

My best,

Grace

Volume is KING. Most of us don't have to worry about calories at the 3 week stage (although I still logged them and i was at around 350-500 cals at 3 weeks).

And the volume range for 3 weeks seems to average 1/8-1/4cup of VOLUME. That could be up to 4 fl. ounces of liquids. Or up to 1 egg, or up to 1-2oz of soft Protein by weight, depending on how dense it is. Generally, dense protein 1oz, occupies about 1/4c by VOLUME of food.

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2 hours ago, IAmGrace said:

I'm just a little confused as to why you had to have revision surgery. It seems your original surgery was done correctly. ??

It was. But over time I was able to eat around it. You can't really stretch the sleeve, despite what many people (and doctors say), but you can find ways to eat more. Slider foods (simple carbs) go down real easy so it's a slippery slope once on it. There's a reason why not everyone loses everything they need to lose, there's a reason why people regain. Hunger does return. After your stomach heals, it can deal with more food, and even being stuffed. That's why I'm much more conscious of bad habits and most importantly, Portion Control. One thing I did until recently was eat until I had the "full" feeling. I realised after awhile that this was a comforting feeling and something I needed to feel satisfied. But when I was losing on the sleeve I was much more aware of always being just slightly hungry (without the hunger, if that makes sense). Once I learned what that feeling was, I was okay with it, realising I had more energy. But of course over time the pleasure of being full overtook it. Think of being obese as like being an alcoholic - they are both diseases based on addiction, and once you recover (i.e. surgery/weight loss), you'll have to deal with your addiction for the rest of your life. So many people ask, oh, when can I eat cake again, or Cookies, or a pizza, or chocolate...but from my experience I think there are some things that I will always have to avoid, because the chance of falling off the wagon again is too great.

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2 hours ago, IAmGrace said:

Thank you ever so much for your informative and comprehensive response to my inquiry. I appreciate this more than you know. Just FYI I am not taking in more than 700-800 calories daily. It seems to me that even without surgery I should be losing weight on that caloric intake.

I will be MUCH MORE VIGILENT concerning the amount of food I consume at meals. I will give you an example of what I have to eat daily:

BREAKFAST: High Protein Shake = 160 calories

LUNCH: Amy's Tomato Bisque Soup = 240 calories

DINNER: One source of Protein (Yogurt/veggie burger/cottage cheese) usually about 240 calories

My Snacks are diet Jello for ten calories per serving - 2 servings at the most

Sugarless lollipops for 17 calories each for about 34 calories in a day

I'm down about 9 pounds from my date of surgery but have been stalled for about 5 days now.

I don't think I can try harder than I am right now. Maybe I'm wrong but doesn't it come down to calorie intake?

Thank you again. I DO APPRECIATE THIS!

My best,

Grace

It's not about calories. It's about Protein. The only protein I see you consuming in a day is Breakfast and dinner. The Soup is okay I guess, but I would cut the portion in half and add some protein to that meal. All the Snacks are empty - no real nutrients. If you are capable of eating a veggie burger and asparagus, you certainly could add more nutritious snacks throughout the day. *Note: I understand Jello and lollipops if that's on your plan, but if you are eating real foods then I don't know why these are still on your plan. More yogurt, or cheese, or eggs, etc - something with protein would be a better alternative. The other thing to consider is that jello/lollipops/etc are traditionally sweet foods, Desserts, snacks. Even if they are zero calories, they probably still remind you of eating those real things in the past. If you can avoid those kind of temptations, it will probably help you in the long run.

For example, today I had:

Breakfast: Chocolate/PB2/banana smoothie made with sugar free almond milk [Protein: 29g, Calories: 266]

snack 1: 1 Mushroom egg bite (size of a small deflated muffin) [Protein: 5g, Calories: 53]

Lunch: a chicken roll (basically a processed chicken breast rolled to the size of a small breadstick). I split this up into two servings eaten about 2 hours apart. Today was my first day to try meat of any kind. [Protein: 13g, Calories: 65]

Snack 2: PB2 mix (PB2 is powdered peanut powder with 85% less calories/fat. I mix it with Water for a small snack). It's actually a bad habit I need to break eventually, but I can't eat yogurt or cheese straight up because of a newfound lactose intolerance problem, so this is my alternative. [Protein: 8, Calories: 90]

Dinner: Miso soup with tofu [Protein: 14g, Calories: 136]

Total for today - Protein: 69g, Net carbs: 38 (a little high today because of the banana and PB2], Fat: 20g, Calories: 610

You can see that I don't eat a single meal that doesn't have some kind of protein in it. Even when my stomach is feeling a little rough and I want to just have liquids, I'll replace the meals with an extra Protein Drink (the juice kind) or miso soup, and skip all snacks (just drink extra water). If I have soup, I'll add Protein Powder to it, or, my preference right now is miso soup, since it's so savoury and high in protein. The tofu is optional but it's basically a puree/slider so goes down easy. My main goal is protein (50g or more on this stage, but if I can get over 60 I'm really happy, staying between 400-600 calories (today was a little high), and under 40 net carbs - 30 even better). Fat, high or low, is not a concern for me.

Anyway, I'm just posting this all here as a way to think about what you are consuming. Focus on the protein, not the calories. You can get many nutrients from Vitamins, but you can only get protein from food. It's important - if you don't consume enough, your body will start taking it from your muscles to make do, since it's so important for several different functions (tissue repair, hormones, etc.). This can really weaken you. Try your best to find real foods (not protein powder, although that is something we need in the beginning) for your protein. One suggested meal I have now that I'm on soft foods is to add egg white to oatmeal and mix it in. I've never tried that but I will once I can find some oatmeal around here!

I don't know what kind of guidelines you've been given, but what I have right now from my surgeon (and bear in mind this is for gastric bypass) is to eat one or two bites of food, chew well, wait 5-10 minutes, then have a few more bites, then wait, etc. But all food must be eaten within 30 minutes - any left over after that time goes back into the fridge for later. Regardless of surgery type, portions should be about 1/8-1/4 cup for real food, and 1/4c -1 cup for liquids like soup, is about right. I also try to be very conscious of what and when I am eating - if I am in front of the computer (which is almost always) I make sure to focus on my food, not the screen, when I am eating. I measure out portions before I put any food in front of me. I weigh things - tofu cubes, bananas, everything. It gets me accountable down to the last gram. It is more work, but I feel much more satisfied with the way things are going.

Hopefully you can find a way around this!

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