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One Year Out, Looking For Advice



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Hello! This is my first post on a weight loss surgery forum. Just seeking advice for some developed bad habits.

I am officially one year post op from my gastric sleeve. I am 5'1 and 133 pounds now and 10 pounds away from my goal weight.

At this point, I've found it very difficult to loose more weight.

I'm looking for advice on how to get back in gear. I've found that I'm eating through the entire day, and I'm constantly thinking about food. I didn't even do that before surgery.

After my operation, I wasn't getting enough calories, at max 300-500 a day, even 6 months out. I just couldn't eat a lot during meals and never felt hungry. My nutritionist advised to snack(healthily of course) throughout the day, and I was able to increase my daily calories to 900 on average.

About 9 months post op, I was able to eat enough calories without having to snack as frequently. But I find that now I can't stop snacking throughout the day. And I've gone to eating sweets and chips etc. Even if I'm not hungry. All my brain can think about is "what can I eat next". Because I had to force myself to eat more throughout the day, I feel like now my body has gotten in the habit of constantly wanting food, even when I don't need it. And I've been really craving junk food and snack food.

What are some tips to help myself from getting out of this habit? I'm maintaining my weight now, and not gaining. But I feel like I will eventually gain if I keep this up, I don't want it to derail all my hard work.

I still do want to get to my goal weight. I do a boot camp 3-4 days a week for 7 months now. But I haven't lost any weight in over 3 months.

I know it's a mindset thing, but I would appreciate any tips. :(

Thanks!

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Hi Tapioca!

First, congratulations on your successful weightloss! 👏 It must feel incredible to be so close to your goal, but frustrating that you are struggling to get where you want to be.

I'm only about 3 months out and far from goal, so I am sure some veterans will have better advice or experiences to share.

Have you been able to speak to your nutritionist or doctor about your progress? I have seen suggestions to go back to tracking food, making sure to get Protein & Water anytime you get off track or hit stalls. Have you tried to go back to 3 meals & only 2 protein rich Snacks? I can easily see how snacking can creep back into the routine after WLS. There are also "pouch reset diets" that may be helpful to "reset" and get those last 10 pounds off.

I hope you get to where you want to be & find ways to get the snacking in check.🤗

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I think you’ve probably answered your own question in that you realise you’ve gained a bad habit, and why. It’s going to take determination and willpower to break that habit and eat differently. If you’re now getting enough food and your weight loss has stopped, you don’t need to snack - it’s as simple as that. The stopping of snacking is not so easy, because you have to retrain your brain. It may be that you need to construct some other ‘habits’ by working out something to do instead of snacking. If you DO want to snack, put aside small portions of healthy Snacks you will allow yourself, but only so many in the day. Calorie count them if necessary. Avoid making your snacks sweets and chips. You must have other, healthy things, you could eat. But don’t allow yourself to snack too much anyway - find a strategy. Sticking to it at first will be hard, but like with any habit, it can be broken and a new habit can be achieved. You do not want to start gaining again, because it’s demoralising and you don't want that. Your brain is telling you that you NEED these unhealthy things - you don’t. You can retrain it!

Edited by Jacks133

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You may have to wean yourself off the fun foods until you feel better about having them.

If you are eating chips, try to take 1/4 the amount you are eating now and substitute the rest with vegetables that have the same umami (I never thought I would get to use that word 😂) or similar texture.

Sweets are a little bit harder to substitute but perhaps try fruit because if the natural sugar vs something artificial until you can wean off completely.

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I wish there were an easy answer to your question but there's not.

In the near-term, you can substitute less destructive Snacks to limit the damage. You can eat Quest chips instead of potato chips, sugar-free pudding or Jello instead of ice cream, etc.

But for lasting change, you're going to need to understand how you can relate to food in a healthier way. Are you eating as an emotional coping mechanism? Are you eating out of habit? Are hormonal fluctuations causing cravings? Some people find a therapist helpful to explore food issues (especially a bariatric therapist). Journaling might help - what's going on around you when you feel the urge to eat? Are you watching TV? Arguing with someone? Worrying about the future? Do track all your food every day - even when you eat the bad stuff. It's hard to deal with a problem you won't confront so bring it out into the open.

Most of us who are/were obese have had issues with eating for reasons other than nutrional need. Getting to the root of why that is can be difficult, but lifechanging. Hugs and best wishes!

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Thanks for the tips, everyone. I really appreciate the advice, it was helpful. I typically keep how I feel to myself or I'm not 100% honest with myself, and I know I shouldn't.

I'm just having a hard time distracting myself, or telling myself no When I get a craving. Or I'll tell myself no and just eventually give in.

I think it's more out of boredom than anything. I do eat my feelings sometimes, but I feel lately I think about eating because I'm not doing anything, or just because I can.

I feel I've just been more embarrassed and ashamed to talk about it. But I think maybe seeking out a bariatric therapist might help me. Maybe help develop ways to distract myself too.

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Hi Tapioca- I am no expert and I love the idea of a Bariatric Therapist from @Jaelzion! She sounds like a pro. It also sounds like you are doing great and are at a healthy weight!

Like you, I've found myself snacking on more unhealthy things lately and a few tricks that have helped me include:

1) Going for a walk for about an hour. During this hour I naturally don't snack, and drink a full water bottle. Even if i don't want to go, I tell my self to do just 20min and I always end up doing an hour.

2) Paying attention to what I am craving when I snack- usually its salty or sweet/chocolate, so I've tried to swap for healthier salt/sweet (Salt- hummus & carrots, soup; Sweet- SF hot chocolate, Protein hot chocolate, 100 Cal Chocolate bar, strawberries & whip cream)

3) I stick to an eating schedule, and eat basically the same thing M-F, so I don't get too hungry and don't have to think about what I am going to eat.

4) Sometimes I force myself to have a Protein Shake before a snack, and 90% of the time I don't want the snack after the shake.

5) I turn off the TV/regular shows and replace them with computer (unhealthy in other ways, but nonetheless), documentaries or books. I am easily influenced by what people on TV are eating. If they are having Cookies, I want cookies.

6) Controversial but, I weigh myself everyday. It keeps me motivated. I know others say not to, but it works for me.

7) Balancing out an unhealthy day, with an extra healthy one. It was my Dad's bday recently and ya know what, we had cake, pizza & wine. I had a little of each. I think long term success includes balance. So, following a day like that (which is rare, but is life) I try to have an extra healthy few days focused on Protein Shakes & veggies.

Again, I am no expert but hope these ideas help. I know ideas from other members have helped me a ton.

Take care! You are doing great!

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I am also at the one year mark and have about 15 pounds to go. I don't find myself snacking BUT my body is fighting to keep every ounce of fat on. Its a battle for me to try to cut back because then I am constantly feeling like I am not getting enough Protein in or I feel "cheated" (and I am not really I just feel that way) if I try to cut back. I have never really focused on calories but instead on protein so to me its super hard to try to cut back because then I am afraid I am shorting myself something necessary......

I know in my heart of hearts I should focus on working out more but I am just not a fan of exercise ....that may be the answer for me and that sticky 15 pounds.

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7 minutes ago, Betty1971 said:

I am also at the one year mark and have about 15 pounds to go. I don't find myself snacking BUT my body is fighting to keep every ounce of fat on. Its a battle for me to try to cut back because then I am constantly feeling like I am not getting enough Protein in or I feel "cheated" (and I am not really I just feel that way) if I try to cut back. I have never really focused on calories but instead on Protein so to me its super hard to try to cut back because then I am afraid I am shorting myself something necessary......

I know in my heart of hearts I should focus on working out more but I am just not a fan of exercise ....that may be the answer for me and that sticky 15 pounds.

Hi there - when I got to that point (under 20 pounds from goal), my surgeon did recommend resistance training. Not in order to burn off calories, but to add muscle which raises your BMR. I adopted a beginner's dumbell routine (it was at the height of the pandemic so I couldn't go to the gym) and started doing it 3 times a week. Within 2 weeks the scale was moving again.

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1 minute ago, Jaelzion said:

Hi there - when I got to that point (under 20 pounds from goal), my surgeon did recommend resistance training. Not in order to burn off calories, but to add muscle which raises your BMR. I adopted a beginner's dumbell routine (it was at the height of the pandemic so I couldn't go to the gym) and started doing it 3 times a week. Within 2 weeks the scale was moving again.

I actually ordered some resistance bands but I will look into some dumbbell trainings and see what else is out there.....ANYTHING for these last pounds would be awesome!

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