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A shameless plea for support



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Hi everyone.

Had my surgery June 5 2021. I’ve lost around 93lb and feeling great. Physically had no problems with the surgery which I’m very very grateful for. Over the last maybe 6 weeks, though, I’ve lost nothing.

I can feel myself getting back into bad habits. I go to the supermarket and, instead of picking up chicken, I pick up chocolate or crisps. I also have found that my portion sizes are slightly larger now over the last couple months, even with Protein foods like plain chicken with vegetables.

A few times last year, maybe 3-4 times, I ate too much and was sick. Often I would feel that really full feeling like something is stuck in my throat. But this year, I haven’t had that. I don’t seem to get it anymore.

All this to say I’m really bloody worried. I’m so worried about slipping back into my old ways. I’m worried about my portion sizes going back to normal and gaining all the weight back.

I would appreciate any support or advice you can give. Did any of you feel like this and get yourself back on track? How did you do it? Can any of you confirm that eating more at this stage is normal healing and that my stomach hasn’t stretched back to normal?!?

Thanks in advance
NJ x

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Interestingly enough, I had an appointment with my dietician today and we spoke about portion sizes. Oh, I also had my surgery last May (19th). Part of the reason for the appt. was due to a VERY long stall I've been in.

Anyway, one of my concerns was whether or not I was eating too much at each meal and she assured me I was not. And I'm typically eating around 3-4 oz of meat and 2-4 oz of veggies. She said at this far out we should be eating around a cup's worth of food. Of course this may change due to the type of foods you are eating. She said you may be able to tolerate a little more or less than that depending on the type of food. Of course her answer was to STOP eating when you start to feel full regardless of the amount you started with. So, if you measure out 4 oz of chicken and 1/2 cup of veggies but get full after the chicken or after the chicken and SOME of the veggies (but not all), then just stop, of course.

Anyway, I was worried about the stretching out of the stomach too since I can eat more now and told her as much and she said no, based on my food logs I was NOT eating too much for where I am right now post surgery and that a cup was a normal amount. So, I doubt you are either.

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NJ, I'm in an earlier stage but I know I'll be where you are now down the line because I always read that plateaus (and slowed weight loss) are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of the process. Wow, you've lost 93 pounds and are feeling great!? That's AWESOME!!!!! Maybe take some time to care for yourself, focus on and enjoy what you've accomplished.

I'm taking an online workshop called "The Hunger Within" that focuses on the psychological aspects of eating and food choices. Maybe you would benefit from that course or something similar; I can't package it into a quick takeaway but it helped me notice that I often take either a strict or rebellious route with life's chicken vs. chocolate decisions, and that it would help me to develop and listen to a kinder and more rational voice that says something like "chicken and sometimes the little piece of chocolate." (I'm a vegetarian, so it's not chicken for me, but you get the idea...😊)

If you are able to check in with your nutritionist, they'd probably have advice and be able to reassure you that you are on track! You are totally in control and you've got this!

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Guest

Well, if you want chocolate, eat some. And no one ever got fat eating a bit too much grilled chicken and carrots. However, it seems like the control needs to be at the supermarket and what you bring into your home and developing strategies there. Perhaps ordering food online instead?

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Posted (edited)

yes - that does become a challenge for most of us as we get several months out (or sometimes a year or more) and "diet fatigue" sets in. It's a constant battle. I just have to keep reminding myself of where I came from, and how much I DON'T want to ever go back there...

as someone suggested, working with a therapist who works with bariatric patients (or even eating disorders in general) might be helpful - I haven't done that myself, but I know several others from various forums who swear by it.

P.S. no - your stomach almost certainly hasn't stretched back out

also, sometimes I'll do things like eat a big bowl of bran Cereal - or eat a bunch of raw carrots (which irritate my stomach if I eat too many of them) to stop a snacking attack...(when nothing else - like talking myself down - works!). Or just get the hell out of the house...

Edited by catwoman7

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Over the last maybe 6 weeks, though, I’ve lost nothing.

OK - are you panicking and thinking - oh well, if I'm not losing weight whilst sticking to my plan, I might as well buy crisps and chocolate and SCREW THE PLAN - IT ISN'T WORKING ANY MORE!? That's happened during pretty much every diet I've ever done - all fab while the weight is coming off, but total catastrophe and throwing my toys out of the pram, when it stops. If there's a bit of this going on inside your head then maybe you need to work on that. How rationally you can talk yourself through it I don't know - there may well be a place for a discussion with a therapist if you can find someone suitable.

It may be that you are approaching your new set weight - not all of us make it below a BMI of 25 after WLS. If so, you might be entering your maintenance phase. And it's perfectly OK to experiment with different foods - even chocolate and crisps - as long as you make allowance for that. I don't know whether you track food or calorie count, but it might be worth having a think about it if you don't.

I’m worried about my portion sizes going back to normal and gaining all the weight back

You will absolutely not do that if you're sticking to the plan you were given by your surgeon. If you start with Protein and then have your veg you shouldn't gain significant amounts of weight. If you start with crisps and chocolate then you very well might. So don't start with crisps and chocolate if at all possible - use that tool you went to so much trouble to get.

You have done so very well with this surgery, this tool - you've clearly made the most of it over the last 9 months. I think from reading here lots of people experience significant stalls, I can see that it's really worrying when you do, but lots of people come through those too and lose more weight, so you might be about to do that. You'll have read advice here about switching things up - increase protein, increase exercise or try building muscle as opposed to pure cardio, etc.

I think your loss is amazing and an inspiration. If you can embrace that and be kind to yourself then you'll be absolutely fine.

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I had gastric bypass in July 2020 and I constantly worry about slipping back into my old ways. I feel like I can eat way more (volume-wise) than I should be able to. I see people posting on the food Before & After Pictures thread and saying, "I ate two bites and was full for the rest of the week," or "I merely looked at this salad and was stuffed," but I can eat a "normal" size meal at this point. However, I think back to what I used to eat and realize I am still eating far less than I used to, and I'm eating foods that are much healthier and lower in calories than what I used to eat.

A few things that have helped me:

  • I shop almost exclusively online - grocery pickup or delivery. This makes it easy to avoid impulse purchases because I order in advance and don't actually go into the store. I start with my favorites list, and search for anything I need that's not on my list. My point is that I'm not browsing all of the products in the store, but targeting what I want to buy, so I don't even see or look at junk food, and I don't bring it into my house.
  • I eat a lot of vegetables. Every week, I buy and prep carrots, celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and sweet peppers. I prepare a container for each day and I pre-add a saved meal in My FItness Pal each day, so I snack on the veggies any time I want during the day (I use Walden Farms zero-calorie ranch dressing as a dip). It's a lot of food for very few calories (not to mention healthy and full of vitamins), and it helps me avoid snacking on other things. I almost look at it as an assignment to eat the veggies -- I have to eat them, so I better not fill up on other stuff first.
  • I find healthy and delicious recipes on Pinterest. I've found so many great recipes that I don't even want things like pizza and fast food.
  • I eat healthy(ish) treats every day. My favorite thing is sugar-free meringue (whipped pasteurized egg whites with 0-calorie sweetener), which I eat raw as a whipped cream substitute, frozen as an ice cream substitute, or baked as a cookie substitute. 25 calories worth of egg whites makes about 1 cup of meringue or 20 small Cookies. Other favorites include Protein Bars (Built Bars are my favorites, and they're lower in calories than most Protein bars), sugar-free Jello, protein Mug Cake, and plain rice cakes sprayed with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and sprinkled with brown sugar Swerve and cinnamon. I think these treats help me stay on track and not get tempted by real ice cream and high-calorie cookies.

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All of these methods are great. I find it’s more of a head game for me, and I need to keep trying new activities to surprise my body into shirking pounds. The “game” is tricking my body. I also don’t expect perfection, Sundays are my relax day.

I started 75 Hard. I modified it for real life, but the idea is to stick to eating plans, journal and do two planned exercise moments on top of the basic activities you normally do. I also found I burn more calories walking and weightlifting. I bought a rowing machine to mix things up even more. I just keep changing up my activities. Last fall I was very into yoga, now I go only once a week. I’m looking into a weighted hoola hoop, biking, and swimming for the summer. Stick to your eating plan and keep mixing up your activities. It’s even better when you include a social element like a friend or family member on a walk!

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Posted (edited)

For me, being realistic about the calorie amounts I'd allow myself in months 9-12 helped get to goal. I knew when I was trying to stick with 1800 cal/day as told by my plan, I'd still be hungry at night time.

That's where bad strategy becomes bad execution. Because what do you then do? Most of us succumb at some point and think 'screw it!' and eat whatever. Being hungry is the first step to over-eating.

Instead, I'm avoiding the sneaky eating by:

  1. Being honest with myself about what I need. Not being hungry is more important than weighing a certain number, because being hungry is how I got fat to begin with. Funny how that works.
  2. Having lots - and I mean lots - of less-bad alternatives on hand. Maybe that pesky bag of peanuts won't find its way to my cupboards if I have light popcorn in there instead. If I have nothing, the peanuts will arrive at some point.

And that's really it.

Edited by Guest

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