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I know that we Mostly all had to see a nutritionist or dietician of some sort pre surgery at least once but I’m guessing we have all received varying levels of education about labels. I know that my appointment they just went over the post op diets early stages nothing after real food and nothing about calories, carbs, sugars, etc. i was just thinking I may not be the only one feeling sorta lost in this new world of trying to read labels to make better choices and thought maybe a thread to ask questions related to this might be beneficial to others as well. I am almost 9 months post op and I still have a shake for Breakfast and lunchable or P3 for lunch almost every day to keep calories low so I can have a couple low calorie Snacks and a sensible dinner. I only pay close attention to the calories now but I glance at the percentages of carbs And sugars and just make sure they are not super high. I know I have a lot to learn about labels. Any advice would be appreciated. Was anyone given specific numbers to not exceed daily? And anyone else with questions I don’t know to ask please jump in. I’m sure we can all learn something helpful.

Edited by ShoppGirl

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EASY VERSION:
As a general rule, as long you get your Proteins and keep track of your calories, you're fine.

In simple terms, aim for 1 gram of Protein per 2 lb / 1 kg you weigh. If you're a 200 lb dude, you're going to want 100g of protein. And so on. Find your calorie sweet spot depending on where you are on your journey. No, nobody has a sweet spot of 400, and almost nobody at 4,000. Somewhere in between.


INTERMEDIATE VERSION:
There's no doubt super quick sugars are not the best idea, but the idea that carbs are the enemy is utterly ridiculous.

Remember all the people you know on Keto who've been on keto for 20 years? Yeah, neither do I.
Because they never exist. It's not a natural way to eat (no, really). Bottom line: if you're not doing ultra-low carbs, you don't need to worry.

I've lost 169 lbs without thinking one time about carbs. I do tend to make conscious choices about how much super quick sugar I want. Americans, check your bread. The sugar factory dropped 6x as much in there as we get in Europe (yes, literally).

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See if you can get back in to your dietician & with their guidance develop an eating plan that is sustainable in the long term. It’s best to design a way of eating that works for you & not for someone else. You’re physiologically & psychologically different to everyone else. You may find you don’t follow a specific ‘diet’ but pick & choose across a few eating styles. Like low carb but not low fat or incorporate some vegan or vegetarian meals each week.

In the meantime, & as a starting point, keep in mind the recommended daily amounts for the ‘average’ person who’s maintaining like 6 teaspoons or 25g added sugar per day for women. You will need to consume less if you still want to lose. Take into account your plan, lifestyle & personal needs.

How many calories are you eating a day? It seems like it could be low if you’re still on shakes. It’s not sustainable to be still having shakes for Breakfast & most lunches. You need to be eating real food, especially as you seem to be almost at your goal weight, to get the nutrients your body needs. I stopped taking Multivitamins from maintenance because I got all I needed from the food I ate. I was so happy not to have to take them or buy them!

I don’t buy a lot of prepared foods, sauces, Condiments, etc. simply so I can control the ingredients & how they’re prepared/cooked. If I do, I study the nutrition panel & look for low processed foods, low sugar content, low fat content, multi & whole grains, no or low artificial sweeteners, Watch the ‘front of the jar’ labelling though. No added sugar usually means they’ve used artificial sweeteners or sugar alternatives or they’ve upped the fat. I bought a 25% less fat ‘lite’ peanut paste. It actually had 50% more carbs, 20% more sugar & only 16 calories less per serve.

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I was told 0.7 to 1.0 grams of Protein per pound of /lean body mass/ - not weight. Which presumes you know your LBM (I do)—you can get a test to figure this out, or use a machine and get a guesstimate of your body fat percentage, and then do math.

I am three and a half months out and am eating 1500-1600 calories a day—140 g of protein, 50 g of fat, and 120-150 g of carbohydrates depending on my need for physical exertion for the day. "The scale eats first," which means I weigh and portion everything and track it before I put it in my mouth (this is easier when you portion out a couple or three days' worth of food at a time to reheat).

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7 hours ago, vikingbeast said:

I was told 0.7 to 1.0 grams of Protein per pound of /lean body mass/ - not weight.

Over here, we usually actually say 1g per 1kg lean body mass as a rule of thumbs, so that sounds high - which is good, all things equal - but it's not super approachable for most to make that distinction. And going over on Protein is definitely better than going under :)

It ends up being the same in obese / overweight adults if you count you fat as needing protein, too :D

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Most surgeon's offices offer free unlimited lifetime support to meet with your nutritionist, so you might want to make an appointment and get in there with your questions. It's good that you're reading labels!

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The my fitness app works it all put for you

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I am eating around 1000-1200 calories and aim for 80 grams of Protein (I am 169 pounds so that’s almost right at 1 gram per 2 pounds coincidentally MiniGastricBypassDude) I do not know my lean body mass Vikingbeast but will have to look into that and see what that calculates out to and ask my team which numbers they want me to go by) I only drink one shake in the morning because it’s convenient and I like the taste and the caffeine boost (caffe latte by premiere protein) and I usually have a Turkey and cheese lunchable for lunch or a P3 pack. My weight loss had been steady and my protein has been fine on the two labs so far so I think my calories and protein are fine for the phase I am in. I just want to better understand WHAT I am getting my calories from. Like I did not know, Arabesque, the recommended sugar amounts for women is 25 of added sugar. I don’t know the recommendation for fat or carbs either. GradyCat, my team does not offer free visits but I wouldn’t mind paying if I felt that I would get the answers I am looking for. I just did not feel like the lady they sent me to answered my questions. I assume she knows what she is talking about, she just makes it sooooo technical and talks over my head on this topic. I need to understand the basics first. SleeverSk, I have the Baritastic app and I used that for a while but I am a creature of habit and have the same handful of meals so for the most part I know the calories and that was all I was looking at. I may have to start using it again now that I am looking at that other stuff. I just need guidelines for me for each of those numbers. Not necessarily for weight loss cause I am losing without paying too much attention to them (just eating reasonably healthy foods) but to make sure I am not eating junk. What started all of this was a chat about cauliflower Pasta when I realized that I do not really know for sure whether it is a good (at least better than the real deal) or a great option. There are some flours listed in the ingredients that I need to do some research on to see if they are nutritious or if it’s just pasta disguised as cauliflower. But to start I just want to know for example how much fat is recommended for me per day and how many carbs. Like your Peanut Butter, Arabesque, that was something bad disguised as good I do not want to fall into those traps so I need to get educated about all this.

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I would recommend going to your library and checking out a nutrition TEXTBOOK. Not some diet book, but a textbook on nutrition, and one that is recent. I did this years ago. It not only explains what you need in terms of macros, but also why.

There is no firm answer as to how many grams of Protein, carbs, fats, sugars because there are so many different schools of thought. If there is flour in the cauliflower Pasta, it's essentially just pasta. I made this mistake with cauliflower crust pizza. I thought it would be low carb, but it's mostly flours (rice flour is still just flour) and it wasn't low carb at all.

Look at the ingredient list for words like flour, rice Syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, etc. These are not good, but you won't be able to avoid them completely, so make sure they are towards the end of the ingredients list - by law, ingredients must be listed in order of most to least, so if the first, second, or third ingredient is one of the ones listed (these are not the only ones) then it probably is high in refined sugar or flour.

You can't completely avoid carbs, but try to eat whole grains like quinoa, wild or brown rice, farro, steel cut oats...

Here is a general rule of thumb: the more "processed" a grain or food is, the more calories your body can absorb from it. For examples, if you eat 100 calories of corn meal, you will be getting more calories than if you ate 100 calories of corn on the cob, because it's easier for your body to digest the calories in corn meal (this is a particularly gross example, but your poo will contain some undigested corn if you eat corn on the cob but you will not see this with corn meal).

I personally have read a lot of clinical studies on artificial sweeteners, and have talked to my doctor and nutritionist about this. There is no issue with artificial sweeteners. Those studies where they say people gained weight due to artificial sweeteners were not very good studies (I have a degree is research methodology, so this is my field of study). Some people get digestive or other issues from certain artificial sweeteners, but if you're not one of them, I say enjoy! The Protein Drinks have artificial sweeteners.

Are you eating a P3 pack for lunch because you don't have room for anything else? Or is just because it's easy? Try to have some non-starchy vegetables (ie, not potato or corn) with your meals, or some fresh or frozen fruit. The P3s are pretty processed so they may pass through quickly (I eat them too, as Snacks while traveling). Try switching that for tuna fish (no bread) or rotisserie chicken etc. Refried Beans with cheese also provides good levels of Fiber (important for a lot of reasons), some protein, and slow-digesting carbs.

Sorry, this has turned into a book!

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37 minutes ago, lizonaplane said:

I would recommend going to your library and checking out a nutrition TEXTBOOK. Not some diet book, but a textbook on nutrition, and one that is recent. I did this years ago. It not only explains what you need in terms of macros, but also why.

There is no firm answer as to how many grams of Protein, carbs, fats, sugars because there are so many different schools of thought. If there is flour in the cauliflower Pasta, it's essentially just Pasta. I made this mistake with cauliflower crust pizza. I thought it would be low carb, but it's mostly flours (rice flour is still just flour) and it wasn't low carb at all.

Look at the ingredient list for words like flour, rice Syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar, corn Syrup, etc. These are not good, but you won't be able to avoid them completely, so make sure they are towards the end of the ingredients list - by law, ingredients must be listed in order of most to least, so if the first, second, or third ingredient is one of the ones listed (these are not the only ones) then it probably is high in refined sugar or flour.

You can't completely avoid carbs, but try to eat whole grains like quinoa, wild or brown rice, farro, steel cut oats...

Here is a general rule of thumb: the more "processed" a grain or food is, the more calories your body can absorb from it. For examples, if you eat 100 calories of corn meal, you will be getting more calories than if you ate 100 calories of corn on the cob, because it's easier for your body to digest the calories in corn meal (this is a particularly gross example, but your poo will contain some undigested corn if you eat corn on the cob but you will not see this with corn meal).

I personally have read a lot of clinical studies on artificial sweeteners, and have talked to my doctor and nutritionist about this. There is no issue with artificial sweeteners. Those studies where they say people gained weight due to artificial sweeteners were not very good studies (I have a degree is research methodology, so this is my field of study). Some people get digestive or other issues from certain artificial sweeteners, but if you're not one of them, I say enjoy! The Protein Drinks have artificial sweeteners.

Are you eating a P3 pack for lunch because you don't have room for anything else? Or is just because it's easy? Try to have some non-starchy vegetables (ie, not potato or corn) with your meals, or some fresh or frozen fruit. The P3s are pretty processed so they may pass through quickly (I eat them too, as Snacks while traveling). Try switching that for tuna fish (no bread) or rotisserie chicken etc. Refried Beans with cheese also provides good levels of Fiber (important for a lot of reasons), some Protein, and slow-digesting carbs.

Sorry, this has turned into a book!

A textbook is a great idea. Something that someone studying to become a nutritionist or dietician would start out with. Yea that cauliflower pasta has cauliflower as the first ingredient but it also lists three kinds of flour so it’s not exactly pure. These are the things I want to be able to recognize. Yea I just have the lunchable or P3 out of convenience. Well that and I am a creature of habit. I guess I could stand to switch it up a bit at lunchtime. I just get lazy and do what works. Lol. Anyways, thanks for the idea of the textbook and the suggestions.

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1 g Protein per kg lean body mass seems like too little protein. I have a significant amount of LBM (enough that it alone puts me overweight without any body fat) and that would result in a daily protein intake of 89g. An average six-foot man with 15% body fat at the top of the "normal" weight would be eating 70g a day of protein.

My protein target (set by nutritionist) is about 1.58 g of protein per kg lean body mass.

BUT! I am also extremely active and do physical work as well as working out.

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Does anyone have any suggestions for a particular nutrition textbook? I googled just to see what was out there and there are so many to choose from. I put a call into my dr office and the NP directed me to fda.govs website on the new nutrition labels which I just checked out and it was helpful to understand the information it is giving and why they feel each thing is important but I think I am ready to learn in more detail now. One thing I found interesting with the new label is that the serving size is NOT a Recommendation of how much we should eat. It is just the amount they think the average person does eat. I was using that as a recommendation of how much I should eat so I learned something today at least.

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1 hour ago, vikingbeast said:

1 g Protein per kg lean body mass seems like too little protein.

And that's why I said 1 g per kg - not lean body mass, just per kg - under the "beginners" section as it's a handy rule of thumb. I'm not sure why this is becoming a thing, but congratulations on having low body fat and very active.

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26 minutes ago, MiniGastricBypassDude said:

And that's why I said 1 g per kg - not lean body mass, just per kg - under the "beginners" section as it's a handy rule of thumb. I'm not sure why this is becoming a thing, but congratulations on having low body fat and very active.

That’s just my own poor reading comprehension! 1g/kg body mass makes way more sense <does math>. Thanks for being patient with me.

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