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First off, let me say that you should always listen to your doctor and nutritionist...rather than crazy people on the internet, myself included.

But here's my rant today. And for what it's worth....this is just MY feelings on this nonsense. I'm no expert.

Ya'll need to eat. Not overeat. But also NOT UNDER-EAT. Eat healthy food you enjoy.

I know how it happens. Your weight loss gets sluggish and stuck and you think OMG, this isn't working, I'm Failing at this! You start to panic.

And what does a lifelong self-destructive dieter DO when they start to panic? They go exteme.

They go...ok, my doctor said it was ok to eat this much.....so I'm gonna try to eat HALF of that to speed up my weight loss!

I'm going to work harder than anyone! I'm going to eat less! I'm going to force this weight off of my body...because this is my last chance and I'm freaking out and I can't fail at this, so I NEED to do better and cut back!

Only, here's the thing. You don't need to cut back. You need to stay the course, nourish your healing body, have good energy to boost your metabolism and lose weight sensibly.

Why do people do VLCDs? (very low calorie diets....1000 or less calories a day)....they do them because they show results in a hurry.

And there is nothing people like better than a lower number on the scale...regardless of how they're achieving it. Or how harmfully they are achieving it.

When you eat less than 1000 calories a day, did you know you lose more muscle than fat...even if you are eating tons of protien grams?

When you lose muscle, you slow your metabolism, endanger your organs that have muscle (heart anyone?), and decrease your bone density. None of this is a good idea.

And when you're eating starvation level calories, your body tries like hell to keep you from dying....by, you guessed it, slowing your metabolism even further.

And the carb thing...can we talk about that a minute? You DO want to avoid carbs that are metabolized to sugar really fast, like sugary foods and refined white flour items because they can cause your pancrease to over-react and send too much insulin and you'll end up with rebound hunger....but other carbs, particularly ones that have good Fiber content to slow the sugar can also have good protien content...and they don't do the rebound hunger thing. They give you great available energy.

Why do we lose so much weight so rapidly when we do Keto? We don't really....but the first five pounds is so quick and shocking that it MUST work! (except you're not losing fat, you're losing the Water that your liver stores extra glucose in.....and you've stripped your liver of its emergency reserve of energy. And yeah...you can make the sugar you need from other things through gluconeogenesis....but it takes amino acids that your body is typically harvesting from your muscles.) Don't do that thing where you lose the five pounds eating keto....then eat a few carbs and go OMG, look at the weight I've gained!....and go keto again and lose the same five pounds of water. It's an illusion. (Not saying keto people can't lose weight...they do lose weight fast...but they also have about five pounds in lost water from glucose storage, no emergency stores, and their bodies may be consuming their muscles)

Food for thought (literally!) Guess what organ runs exclusively on sugar? Pure glucose. Your brain. Your brain burns over 300 calories of glucose every day. At just 2% of our body weight....our brains burn about 20% of the calories we use each day! The CPU needs fuel.

Lots of people lose weight rapidly with Very Low Calorie Diets after bariatric surgery. They have these amazing results that other people notice and are in awe of. They lose to goal eating very little and feel very accomplished about their self discipline and their amazing fast results.

And then guess what happens?

At goal...they are still people who have never learned how to eat sustainably for life. All they know is starvation and self deprivation. And starvation doesn't work long term.

Please learn to eat sustainable amounts of calories. Do it early so you don't fudge your metabolism into starvation level calorie requirements.

One of the best ways to have a robust metabolism...is to do exercise every day. It doesn't have to be the gym or something you find tedious. Do things you enjoy....but keep moving.

It's hard to build your robust metabolism.....when you're too tired to do anything but go to work and go to bed...because you're starving yourself.

Please eat. Don't overeat. But eat. Learn to eat right, not starve. Starving is not the cure and in many cases sets the stage for significant regain.

Do it right, even it it's slower than other people. Do it sustainably. Learn to coexist with food, not avoid it. (easier said than done)

Don't get discouraged by small losses. Just keep losing to goal with small sensible tweeks. You don't have to suffer extremes to have success.

Learning to control your diet moderately...is the best skill to have when facing a lifetime of sustaining a significant weight loss.

This end my rant.

Totally ok if you think I'm nuts/wrong/whatever. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Peace and best wishes to everyone on this crazy road.

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@Creekimp13

You don't like it when your choices are judged and criticized, but seem prone to chastise others.

There are many (some?) vets or semi-vets here on this board. We have all successfully lost and maintained. But we have taken different paths. Of course we have our biases that our approach is the best one. But the truth is it's just what worked for us individually, we don't know if it would work for someone else. We also can't be sure if it will continue to work even for us next week or next year.

Can't we just share our experiences without telling others they're doing it wrong?

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

gluconeogenesis

Had to quote this ^^^ because my cell bio studying butt REALLY appreciated the shoutout to the metabolic processes!! :)

Long: Just to add. Quite a few peoples nutritionists, surgeons and PA’s programs are VLCDs. Atleast for the first 6 months. Mine doesn’t have me going over 1100 til June. I have a biology degree with a chem minor, so I truly get nutrition stuff. However... If it’s recommended by the team, who am I to say no, you’re wrong, I need to be eating more... To a surgeon who’s been doing bariatric surgeries since they were invented, and a nutritionist with a masters in dietetics from Vanderbilt... I get where you’re coming from, I really do. And I think you’re coming from a very sincere and concerned place. But from a purely scientific standpoint we are all different. And we cannot be treated as a one size fits all. There are people with diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, mental illness, etc. who go through these surgeries and lifestyle changes. All of those pts need to be mapped out differently based on THEM and their past medical history and their familial history. Our metabolic rates, our sugars, body fat, all the stuff that people want a “baseline” for, really don’t have a true baseline. Because it’s not one size fits all. It’s never a one size fits all. What might help you lose weight might make me gain it. What is too much body fat on you might be too little on me.

If it’s going lower on Cals and carbs to lose or jumpstart, I don’t see that as such a negative thing like you’re portraying. You don’t have to restrict to something absurd like 500 cals, but dropping your daily calories by a few hundred for a short period of time is proven to be a huge factor in re-jumpstarting your weight loss.

There’s a distinct difference between starving yourself and not eating a lot. I was a dx disordered eater when I was a teenager. I know what not eating is. And (I’m gonna use me as an example but I know there are plenty more, but want to only speak for myself) the 750-900 calories I’m getting a day is a heck of a lot more helpful and nourishing than a single low fat string cheese wrapped in a piece of ham and one blue Gatorade per day for 2.5 years. And I am eating 750+ calories of sustainable, clean, organic veggies and lean meats/seafoods with no additives or anything fake—very sustainable over time. Was being anorexic healthy? Absolutely not. Not advocating for that but rather in the opposite direction. You need to eat, but the devil is in the details with each pt and not in the broad “calorie range” scope. I see a very big difference in starving yourself and not eating much because of that previous experience.

Just my .02$... Like I said, I really enjoyed the post, I just have a hard time even thinking about telling my doctors and team they’re wrong with giving me the diet they have me on, when this is the plan that’s been laid out for me, and many others as well. And they’re professionals. I mean, I paid almost $28K for this surgery (thanks no insurance and 4 days in the hospital), I’ve got to be able to trust that what my team is doing is to help and not harm me. And that they wouldn’t put me on a plan that will ruin my metabolism and make me unable to lose properly and gain back ridiculously. And that’s where these posts get harmful. Because they can have people doubting the road they’re on. I know for a fact it freaked me out good and well.

We are all on the same, but separate journeys. I have to remind myself of that daily. You’re a good person Creekimp and very very knowledgeable. I honestly learn something new every time you post. I hope you dont take this as hostility but rather as an open dialogue as you are a vet; and I’m 2 mos post op with a medical profession and bio degree so I only know what I know from that. I promise I’m not being contentious but I know online tone and inflection aren’t always picked up and seen!! :)

Also, how do you force yourself to eat that much in a day. I eat 6 “meals” a day and have to literally force myself to eat to almost misery each time to meet my goals. Do I need to add more fat or something to increase the caloric value of my food? !

Edited by BayouTiger

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3 hours ago, sillykitty said:

Can't we just share our experiences without telling others they're doing it wrong?

This is why I took such care to start with....follow your doctor, not crazy people on the internet....and ended with....Totally ok if you think I'm nuts/wrong/whatever. Take what you like and leave the rest. And also why I posted in "rant".

Sillykitty, you make an excellent point. And I think at the end of the day, maybe I've just outgrown this board and my commentary is doing more harm than good. People DO need to do their own process.

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4 hours ago, BayouTiger said:

Long: Just to add. Quite a few peoples nutritionists, surgeons and PA’s programs are VLCDs. Atleast for the first 6 months. Mine doesn’t have me going over 1100 til June. I have a biology degree with a chem minor, so I truly get nutrition stuff. However... If it’s recommended by the team, who am I to say no, you’re wrong, I need to be eating more... To a surgeon who’s been doing bariatric surgeries since they were invented, and a nutritionist with a masters in dietetics from Vanderbilt... I get where you’re coming from, I really do. And I think you’re coming from a very sincere and concerned place. But from a purely scientific standpoint we are all different. And we cannot be treated as a one size fits all. There are people with diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, mental illness, etc. who go through these surgeries and lifestyle changes. All of those pts need to be mapped out differently based on THEM and their past medical history and their familial history. Our metabolic rates, our sugars, body fat, all the stuff that people want a “baseline” for, really don’t have a true baseline. Because it’s not one size fits all. It’s never a one size fits all. What might help you lose weight might make me gain it. What is too much body fat on you might be too little on me.

Well said.

I also generally agree with your overall point @Creekimp13. Self-starvation is harmful, non-sustainable and counter-productive in the end. And my experience taught me that SPEED of loss is not as important as continuing to lose. It took me almost two years to reach goal and toward the end I was losing only about 1-2 pounds per month. But even that slow loss adds up over time and I got where I wanted to be!

But as @BayouTiger said, we really are all different. For instance, you said:

9 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

Why do people do VLCDs? (very low calorie diets....1000 or less calories a day)....they do them because they show results in a hurry.

This may often be true, but I am currently in maintenance and eating about 1000 calories per day. I'm not restricting myself to that number, I eat about six mini-meals per day and plus small Snacks whenever I am hungry. And I am exactly maintaining on that intake (besides normal fluctuations). I track my food pretty carefully, so my calories counts tend to be pretty precise. Some days I may have what I call a "munchie" day and eat more - I don't fight it. Some days I'm uninterested in food for some reason and I'll eat less - I don't force it (besides trying to hit my Protein goal). But it averages to about 1000 calories per day. I'm short at 5'1", I've lost more than half my body weight, and I'm guessing I have a fairly low BMR.

So the assumption that everyone eating 1000 calories a day or less is crash dieting for quick results is not always valid. As @BayouTiger said, I know your heart is in the right place and someone out there probably needs to read what you wrote. But you can't lump everyone together.

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44 minutes ago, Jaelzion said:

Self-starvation is harmful, non-sustainable and counter-productive in the end.

This was my whole point about including the excerpt about me being previously anorexic. It’s NOT a sustainable thing, and yeah I was 96 lbs for 3 years surviving on 148 calories a day as a 3 sport athlete... but I ended up at 263 pre-sx... so it doesn’t work and it IS counterproductive in the end and long run... me, case in point!

I just don’t see 800-1000 calories as “starving yourself” if you’re getting the right macros. Perhaps it’s the warped mind from when I was younger and actually living through (intentional) starvation. But I think it’s super important that even if not a medical professional, in ALL medical instances that we focus on the individual PT and their unique makeup and PMH, and not generalizations or broad spectrums, to provide the best care and treatment.

@Jaelzion well said about the speed of loss not being important, I learned a lesson in that this week. Had a -25 month, a -38 month, and then I gained 4 lbs in my last 21 days. Was losing at a very very very molasses-in-July type pace. Now it’s coming back off, but in like 1/4 lb increments. So I have had to tell myself it will happen, be patient, keep following your plan, drinking Fluid, and taking vitamins!!!

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13 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

First off, let me say that you should always listen to your doctor and nutritionist...rather than crazy people on the internet, myself included.

But here's my rant today. And for what it's worth....this is just MY feelings on this nonsense. I'm no expert.

Ya'll need to eat. Not overeat. But also NOT UNDER-EAT. Eat healthy food you enjoy.

I know how it happens. Your weight loss gets sluggish and stuck and you think OMG, this isn't working, I'm Failing at this! You start to panic.

And what does a lifelong self-destructive dieter DO when they start to panic? They go exteme.

They go...ok, my doctor said it was ok to eat this much.....so I'm gonna try to eat HALF of that to speed up my weight loss!

I'm going to work harder than anyone! I'm going to eat less! I'm going to force this weight off of my body...because this is my last chance and I'm freaking out and I can't fail at this, so I NEED to do better and cut back!

Only, here's the thing. You don't need to cut back. You need to stay the course, nourish your healing body, have good energy to boost your metabolism and lose weight sensibly.

Why do people do VLCDs? (very low calorie diets....1000 or less calories a day)....they do them because they show results in a hurry.

And there is nothing people like better than a lower number on the scale...regardless of how they're achieving it. Or how harmfully they are achieving it.

When you eat less than 1000 calories a day, did you know you lose more muscle than fat...even if you are eating tons of protien grams?

When you lose muscle, you slow your metabolism, endanger your organs that have muscle (heart anyone?), and decrease your bone density. None of this is a good idea.

And when you're eating starvation level calories, your body tries like hell to keep you from dying....by, you guessed it, slowing your metabolism even further.

And the carb thing...can we talk about that a minute? You DO want to avoid carbs that are metabolized to sugar really fast, like sugary foods and refined white flour items because they can cause your pancrease to over-react and send too much insulin and you'll end up with rebound hunger....but other carbs, particularly ones that have good Fiber content to slow the sugar can also have good protien content...and they don't do the rebound hunger thing. They give you great available energy.

Why do we lose so much weight so rapidly when we do Keto? We don't really....but the first five pounds is so quick and shocking that it MUST work! (except you're not losing fat, you're losing the Water that your liver stores extra glucose in.....and you've stripped your liver of its emergency reserve of energy. And yeah...you can make the sugar you need from other things through gluconeogenesis....but it takes amino acids that your body is typically harvesting from your muscles.) Don't do that thing where you lose the five pounds eating keto....then eat a few carbs and go OMG, look at the weight I've gained!....and go Keto again and lose the same five pounds of Water. It's an illusion. (Not saying keto people can't lose weight...they do lose weight fast...but they also have about five pounds in lost water from glucose storage, no emergency stores, and their bodies may be consuming their muscles)

food for thought (literally!) Guess what organ runs exclusively on sugar? Pure glucose. Your brain. Your brain burns over 300 calories of glucose every day. At just 2% of our body weight....our brains burn about 20% of the calories we use each day! The CPU needs fuel.

Lots of people lose weight rapidly with Very Low Calorie Diets after bariatric surgery. They have these amazing results that other people notice and are in awe of. They lose to goal eating very little and feel very accomplished about their self discipline and their amazing fast results.

And then guess what happens?

At goal...they are still people who have never learned how to eat sustainably for life. All they know is starvation and self deprivation. And starvation doesn't work long term.

Please learn to eat sustainable amounts of calories. Do it early so you don't fudge your metabolism into starvation level calorie requirements.

One of the best ways to have a robust metabolism...is to do exercise every day. It doesn't have to be the gym or something you find tedious. Do things you enjoy....but keep moving.

It's hard to build your robust metabolism.....when you're too tired to do anything but go to work and go to bed...because you're starving yourself.

Please eat. Don't overeat. But eat. Learn to eat right, not starve. Starving is not the cure and in many cases sets the stage for significant regain.

Do it right, even it it's slower than other people. Do it sustainably. Learn to coexist with food, not avoid it. (easier said than done)

Don't get discouraged by small losses. Just keep losing to goal with small sensible tweeks. You don't have to suffer extremes to have success.

Learning to control your diet moderately...is the best skill to have when facing a lifetime of sustaining a significant weight loss.

This end my rant.

Totally ok if you think I'm nuts/wrong/whatever. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Peace and best wishes to everyone on this crazy road.

Wow, I really needed to read this. I get so discouraged sometimes. Thank you so much.😀

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15 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

Please learn to eat sustainable amounts of calories. Do it early so you don't fudge your metabolism into starvation level calorie requirements.

< --- >

Please eat. Don't overeat. But eat. Learn to eat right, not starve. Starving is not the cure and in many cases sets the stage for significant regain.

Do it right, even it it's slower than other people. Do it sustainably. Learn to coexist with food, not avoid it. (easier said than done)

I think it all comes down to what YOU are comfortable with and what YOU are willing to do, and whether or not you are comfortable if these two things don't line up.

If you are comfortable with a lower/higher/"normal" weight, and can live contentedly with what you have to do to maintain it (and have no adverse physical or mental effects), then who is to say you are eating too little/too much/too varied/not varied enough?

Its when one's way of life is giving one grief/anxiety/dissatisfaction/health issues that I would think one would need to re-evaluate both their efforts and their expectations, either on one's own, or with some professional help.

I can appreciate how Creek's post may apply to many, but definitely not all. And I will give the benefit of the doubt that this post is directed to those who ARE having issues with adhering to plan and are beating themselves up over it, trying to fit themselves into a VLCD or similar that just is not working for them, and NOT the ones who find success in it.

P.S. I went sub-800 cals my entire weight loss phase and came out the other side pretty good (so far)

As far as I can remember, I did not experience feelings of starvation, deprivation, nor intense fomo, I did not have anxiety nor fear spirals, get depressed nor changed my social habits...unless you count going out MORE. I did not stall, if looking at results weekly. I had what I considered ridiculous amounts of energy (sorta still do).

From what I can tell, my metabolism is serving me very well, my last bone density scan this past November was actually better than my baseline taken 1 mnth post-op, my doc has zero concerns about my lab results.

Will I be able to maintain this current lifestyle? Who really knows. But its working for me. Today. Just as what I was doing during weight loss phase was working for me. Back then. If/when it is no longer working, it's my hope that I will adjust accordingly, or at least accept a new normal. Nothing is forever.

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I get that low carb is very polarized right now- I will say my 4 month pre-op diet was low carb, and it worked to get weight off prior to surgery. It was never intended to be long term, but I recognized I had a serious problem with limiting intake of carbs and particularly sugar. I also needed to drop weight so I could be healthier for surgery, since I was close to a 50 BMI. Low carb diets can be effective. I’m sure some people can maintain them long term because that’s how they like to eat. Me, I’m enjoying using Portion Control now and having fruit and vegetables again. Doing a short term “unsustainable” diet did not ruin my life, I’m not wildly binging out of control now or starving myself.

Some short, older, sedentary people will have very low calorie needs. I don’t think any of us are in a place to judge someone. I have to remind myself sometimes that I am almost a foot taller than some women on these forums, so of course my food intake doesn’t look like theirs. There are also 20 something very tall men here who exercise every day. I wish I could compare myself to them, but no dice!

Everyone here is on their own journey and we are all going to need to find what works for us. Let’s leave the person alone who wants to eat carbs and enjoy them, but similarly if someone wants to go low carb, that’s their own business.

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6 minutes ago, blackcatsandbaddecisions said:

Some short, older, sedentary people will have very low calorie needs.

I find myself in this category (even though I am not sedentary - I walk 1.5 miles per day and strength train 3 times per week). But I am short, and older, in the normal BMI range now, and I've spent a lifetime doing on-again, off-again dieting. Far from being a starvation diet, I am maintaining on 1000 calories per day. I was lucky that my body found its own equilibrium, when I eat whenever I'm hungry (but eating good food, not junk), it naturally adds up to about 1000 calories and that's what I need to maintain.

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2 hours ago, Jaelzion said:

I find myself in this category (even though I am not sedentary - I walk 1.5 miles per day and strength train 3 times per week). But I am short, and older, in the normal BMI range now, and I've spent a lifetime doing on-again, off-again dieting. Far from being a starvation diet, I am maintaining on 1000 calories per day. I was lucky that my body found its own equilibrium, when I eat whenever I'm hungry (but eating good food, not junk), it naturally adds up to about 1000 calories and that's what I need to maintain.

I'm short and old too! LOLOLOLzzzz

As for the weight maintenance strategy, I'm also team-set-a-red-line-top-weight-that-enacts-diet-mode. If I weigh more than my top self-imposed weight for more than 4-5 days, then I (try) to adjust calories and activity until I reach my self-imposed "normal" weight.

I've done this now 3 times total over the past almost 2 years. First time (after a vacation) took 1 week, 2nd time (after stopping daily logging and weigh-ins and reduced exercise due to PS) took 3-4 weeks, 3rd time (covid laziness) took 3-4 months. The last time took longer than I wanted (but I recognize I wasn't as dedicated as earlier attempts), and I considered upping my set "normal" weight for a while. If it happens again anytime soon, I probably might.

Edited by ms.sss

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14 minutes ago, ms.sss said:

I considered upping my set "normal" weight for a while. If it happens again anytime soon, I probably might.

I upped my "normal" weight, when I realized I actually like most parts of my body better with a little more weight on me. My curves are curvier, my face is fuller, and I realized this morning my ribs don't show on my upper chest now.

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4 hours ago, sillykitty said:

I upped my "normal" weight, when I realized I actually like most parts of my body better with a little more weight on me. My curves are curvier, my face is fuller, and I realized this morning my ribs don't show on my upper chest now.

I wish we could target where we put on weight. I'd funnel it all to my a$$.

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1 minute ago, ms.sss said:

I wish we could target where we put on weight. I'd funnel it all to my a$$.

Yeah there and I'd also take some of my boobs back. I mean, I wanted to smaller, but sheesh! LOL 😂

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On 4/10/2021 at 4:27 PM, ms.sss said:

I wish we could target where we put on weight. I'd funnel it all to my a$$.

You can, there's just an extra surgical step called a BBL 🤣

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