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Am I really going to live on 1000 calories?



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I'm a 50 year old male, 6'1, weight 425 pounds. I'm healthy, exercise regularly, but I'm unable to control my weight so I'm finally pursuing surgery. Right now I average around 3000 calories a day and often splurge well beyond that. When I've successfully lost weight in the past (last time about 5 years ago), I ate about 2500 calories a day. Reading these boards, I'm seeing so much talk of living on 1000 calories per day, at least for a few months. I. Just. Can't. Imagine. Those of you that have done it ... HOW???

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Immediately post surgery you may eat only 300-500 calories, but your intake will increase as you transition to soft and pureed foods and finally to "real" food. Yes, you will feel satisfied by this minimal intake. Enjoy the restriction and weight loss because it won't last forever. Learn to recognize when your pouch is full and STOP immediately.

You also need to learn how to prepare and cook food appropriate for your new body. There are lots of bariatric recipes online and bariatric cookbooks are available on Amazon and elsewhere.

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1 hour ago, doobie31 said:

I'm a 50 year old male, 6'1, weight 425 pounds. I'm healthy, exercise regularly, but I'm unable to control my weight so I'm finally pursuing surgery. Right now I average around 3000 calories a day and often splurge well beyond that. When I've successfully lost weight in the past (last time about 5 years ago), I ate about 2500 calories a day. Reading these boards, I'm seeing so much talk of living on 1000 calories per day, at least for a few months. I. Just. Can't. Imagine. Those of you that have done it ... HOW???

It's really common for people to experience an immediate drop in apetite right after surgery. This can last from a few weeks to forever, it just depends on how your body reacts. I lost my apetite for most of the first year and then it slowly returned until now it is about 65% of what it was pre-surgery. When I had very little apetite, it was easy to live on 600 calories and I did for months. Then it went up to 800 calories and stayed there pretty much until I hit goal. I was blessed not to be hungry during the weight loss phase, but some people never do lose their apetite. So you won't know exactly how your body is going to react until you are post-op. But if you have the average experience, there will be at least some period of time when your apetite is greatly diminished.

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You don't what to put the cart before the horse. Do your homework on the various WLSs out there. If you believe WLS if for you then you will find a surgeon. When you speak with your surgeon you should bring up all your concerns, your history, and your future. Undoubtedly your surgeon will take your situation into account when arriving at a recommendation. If WLS is one of the recommendations then your post-op life will be part of the discussion and planning you and your surgeon undertake.

Worrying about the first 6 weeks of post-op life would be the least of my concerns.

Good luck.

Tek

Edited by The Greater Fool

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I was in a similar situation as you. 47 years old, 340 lbs (down from 400+), and doing a physical job, playing basketball still, and enjoying life. Then the dreaded D word came up, and I'd seen the diabetic story play out too many times. WLS immediately went from the back of my mind to it's happening.

I picked the brain of a friend who'd had it, lurked on forums like this, and had 2 notebook pages of questions for my surgeon, and dietician. To answer your question, the liver shrinking diet prior to surgery tested my soul. Followed that up with the 3 week liquid diet post surgery. Was more bored than anything. Soft foods, on it now, and it's not hard, and extremely satisfying. Not only will you live on fewer calories, but with the proper preparation, the right mindset, and a good support system, you'll thrive.

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For me the pre op diet was the hardest part because post surgery I have zero hunger aside from head hunger. At 8 months out I eat more than 1000 calories most days. I have more like 1200. I am losing still, slowly, but I am 11 pounds from a normal BMI now. Some people at this stage have a calorie goal and some have as few as 6-800 calories I have seen on here but for me this works and my team is happy with my progress. Your team should give you a goal that is realistic and will work for you.

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a lot of people lose their sense of hunger for a few weeks or months - plus your stomach will be a lot smaller - so yea - 1000 calories will seem quite filling. Even too much the first few weeks. I pretty much lost interest in food altogether for about the first five months (unfortunately, that didn't last!!). Milk that for all it's worth, because it's never going to be easier to lose weight than when you're not hungry and don't give a flip about food!

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Thanks everyone for the responses. I have talked to my doctor which is how I arrived at WLS. She felt it was a good option for me. I'm in the early stages of going through the process with the surgeon now, so we'll see if they agree I'm a good candidate. I assume for a few months I'll have a much smaller appetite, it's the long-term 1000 cals a day I was more thinking about. Maybe that's too few. Maybe that's just what my body will get used to. Just seems so incredibly small but if it others in my situation do it and get used to it, I'm sure I can, too.

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After the honeymoon period your calorie intake will increase, For a big guy like you, it may be 1500 calories, or more if you are very physically active. My maintenance level is likely to be 1000-1200 calories per day. At 1500, I gain weight. You will learn your way as you progress through the program. Do read as much as possible about WLS so you will know what to expect. Examples:

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7 minutes ago, Sunnyway said:

After the honeymoon period your calorie intake will increase, For a big guy like you, it may be 1500 calories, or more if you are very physically active. My maintenance level is likely to be 1000-1200 calories per day. At 1500, I gain weight. You will learn your way as you progress through the program. Do read as much as possible about WLS so you will know what to expect.

Thank you for the suggestions. I've been reading a ton including these boards and will probably check on one of those books as well. Makes sense that a larger person might have a larger calorie goal. Don't know what didn't occur to me. So much more to learn!

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I know for me, at 50 years old and 16 months out from my surgery, I'm up to around 1300 calories a day. Now I don't get that much all the time, but it's what my plan says I should have. Some days it's just hard to eat that much. For the first year I hardly ever got up to 1000. I also never felt unsatisfied with my food and I wasn't hungry for the first 6 months.
I weighed 393 at my highest and I'm sure I ate around 3000 calories most days. You'll be amazed how different it is after surgery though.
I deal with a lot more cravings and head hunger in the last few months , but I am still losing weight. It's has slowed to about 5 pounds a month, but I'm getting close to my goal so I am very happy.

Sent from my Nokia 7.2 using BariatricPal mobile app

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The calories you need to maintain will depend on many factors like age, gender, metabolic rate, how active you are, height, build, etc. Yes, you will be eating much fewer calories than you did before surgery (but let’s be honest that was why you were overweight - it’s why we all were) but the calories will increase as you progress & are physically able to eat more. To begin, I was eating <300 calories, <900 by goal & now eat about 1300 to maintain at my weight. But I’m also female, older than you, have a small frame & am not very active.

It all comes down to that basic equation: to maintain a weight the calories you burn must equal the calories your body burns to function. Eat more than you need you gain. Eat less you lose. If you want to maintain at a lower weight eat fewer calories. If you want to maintain at a higher weight eat more calories.

I eat way more food now in a day in terms of volume than I did when I was overweight. I eat way more frequently now too. The difference is the number of calories I eat & the quality of the food I choose to eat.

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17 minutes ago, STLoser said:

I know for me, at 50 years old and 16 months out from my surgery, I'm up to around 1300 calories a day. Now I don't get that much all the time, but it's what my plan says I should have. Some days it's just hard to eat that much. For the first year I hardly ever got up to 1000. I also never felt unsatisfied with my food and I wasn't hungry for the first 6 months.

Living this life for 50 years, it's just inconceivable that I could ever feel satisfied on even 1300 calories. It's very encouraging seeing so many posts like yours that tell me otherwise. And I realize it's going to take a lot of work on my part, too. Just such a foreign concept right now.

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Living this life for 50 years, it's just inconceivable that I could ever feel satisfied on even 1300 calories. It's very encouraging seeing so many posts like yours that tell me otherwise. And I realize it's going to take a lot of work on my part, too. Just such a foreign concept right now.
Yes! It is a totally foreign concept that I could not imagine either! It still amazes me that I'm satisfied when I eat and get full after such a small amount of food, when it felt like I could never get full before.
I never would have been able to feel satisfied or survive on so few calories before I had wls, but the surgery changes everything and it's really no problem now.
Yes, you still have to deal with head hunger and cravings, but even that is easier for me since the surgery.
You will see! :)

Sent from my Nokia 7.2 using BariatricPal mobile app

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