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Hungry-hungry hippo…



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So I could use some help. Had surgery Dec 20, 2019, but really started working out (lifting and running) in Oct. Since I increased my activity level, I have been just hungry. My eating habits are all over—trying to get Protein, but hungry (so I’m grabbing handfuls of whatever). I haven’t been tracking food accurately due to being snacky. And unfortunately gaining weight (roughly +7 pounds—from 143 to 150). I can’t tell if it’s muscle or flab. Clothes still fit, but my body dysmorphia is in full bloom and I feel like I look like I’m back at pre-WLS shape. The working out has been amazing though, and I’m enjoying the weightlifting in particular.

I know at 2 years it’s common to gain some weight. And for the body to begin to absorb calories more efficiently. I guess I’m at a loss as to how to “right this ship”. I need to get back to below 145 for my mental health, which sounds slightly ridiculous, I know. Tracking calories accurately and not snacking I guess? Thoughts or “been there / done that” experience ?

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Pre-plan your meals. Seriously, make them and reheat them, that way when you're hungry it's "heat this up" not "ALL HANDS ON EVERYTHING".

Can you get a DXA scan (InBody, BodySpec, etc.?) It'll tell you your body fat percentage much more accurately than a Renpho scale can, and you can track it (I get one every 3 months) so that you can see whether your weight is muscle gain or fat gain.

I'm gonna say, though, that if clothes still fit, you're likely doing a body recomposition and not gaining fat. But only a body fat scan will tell you.

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Guest

I'd commit to tracking for a few days, with one caveat: usually when we "can't" find the time to track, it's not the actual time. It's because we told ourselves to stay at X calories, but some other part of us knows it isn't realistic, so ... we don't track. Maybe this doesn't apply to you.

Whatever calorie goal you have, up it by 50%. And then track. :) We tend to over-correct things, try not to. The opposite of 'snacking all day' isn't 'only eat 3 approved meals'. It's having a real conversation with yourself about what you need.

I need to have plenty calories left for the evening. It's just how I work. So I plan for it, eating half my calories before 5pm, the other half after. Sometimes it doesn't work like that, but that's the general pattern. The people who can eat dinner at 6pm and then not eat until the next day? Good for them! It's just not something that works for me.

Back to you: you took up sports, that's an amazingly positive health decision!

Maybe it's time to talk to a therapist with experience in eating issues?

Edited by Guest

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I agree with the need to track your eating, if only a few days. If you are eating "handfuls" of food... it might not be the best food. Like, are you eating Protein? Yes, with heavy exercise you will need carbs, but that could be farro, butternut squash, sweet potato, wild rice, not chips (I don't know what you're eating, but most people don't eat handfuls of wild rice).

And, I agree with the suggestion to get a DXA scan. I got one at the beginning of my journey as a benchmark. The home scales are not accurate because most of them don't measure your upper body, so they just extrapolate from your legs (I have one that measures upper body by holding something with your hands but the DXA scan is still better). You don't need to get the ones you would use for diagnosing osteoporosis which can cost thousands. I got one for $100 but it might cost $150 or so.

I don't think you need to limit yourself to 3 square meals a day, but try to "plan" your Snacks, by having something like nuts or Jerky or cheese or fruit with you.

But... congratulations on your success!

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Thank you all so much. This is the kick in the pants I needed.

I got some little containers at the market yesterday and have "packed" my meals and Snacks for today. I really like the mentality of planning ahead so I can "succeed" in managing hunger.

Also, @MiniGastricBypassDude, you called it on the calories. I left my MyFitnessPal calories at 700 (from when I first had surgery) and had never updated them. Of course I got frustrated with myself for "running out of calories" by dinner... and then I stopped tracking. Also, the snacking (just a few raspberries... three chips...) needs to become more disciplined, so I will keep on with my little containers.

After the holidays I will schedule a DXA scan. There are a few providers around here that should be able to help (in the $100-200 range, which is doable).

Will let you all know how it goes. Appreciate the input!

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14 hours ago, CheerfulLoser said:

Of course I got frustrated with myself for "running out of calories" by dinner... and then I stopped tracking.

Honestly, I think you made a huge step here. I was really just guessing, but thanks so much for reporting back. We're all just learners on this road!

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One thing you can do is track your measurements instead of your weight. You may be adding muscle and that's okay. Also, keep tracking your food intake, including grazing the Snacks, for the rest of your life. It keeps your accountable and aware of what you're putting in your body.

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