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6 weeks out - I'm very worried - could I stretch my sleeve with this amount of food??



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I'm posting this here for traffic in the hope that some of you can advise and/or reassure me.

I had my VSG on the 4th April (around 6 weeks ago)

I am very worried that I am eating too easily so early out. Especially as I keep reading posts about people who can barely eat a postage-stamp sized piece of ham.

An example day this week was:

  • Breakfast - 1 x Protein yoghurt pot (100 calories)
  • snack - 2 hard-boiled eggs (120 calories)
  • lunch - 100g / 4oz of pork sausages and vegetables (250 calories)
  • Snack - 50g / 1oz of chicken pieces (150 calories)
  • dinner - 130g / 4.5oz of salmon fillet and creamed spinach (200 calories)
  • TOTAL 820 calories

I didn't feel any real restriction; I could easily have carried on, but I made myself stop.

I'm pleased with the protein, but is 820 calories too much at this stage? Could I stretch my sleeve with this? Or could my sleeve be too "baggy"?

For reference, in just under 6 weeks, I've lost 26lb.

I wondered if my height could affect my stomach capacity? I am a 6ft female with an Amazonian frame, so maybe my tummy is bigger or longer than average to begin with?

Thank you for any replies!!!

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It’s interesting that you point out being tall because I have a long torso and wondered if my stomach is longer as well and I had a similar issue. I forget how many ounces I was eating at that stage but I could have also eaten more than my team expected at every given stage. I had to measure my food and like you I had to make myself stop at what I should be eating. Eventually my team said I would be able to eat about one serving of most things and that’s about true now. I am 14 months out and I have been eating a serving of most things for a while now. My NP said that I was ahead of most people at the earlier stages but to just measure my food and stop with the amount I should be eating and that’s what I did. The process still works.

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3 minutes ago, ShoppGirl said:

Eventually my team said I would be able to eat about one serving of most things and that’s about true now.

Thanks for your quick reply! 😊

Can I ask, what do you mean when you refer to as one serving?

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19 minutes ago, bestdecisionmade said:

Thanks for your quick reply! 😊

Can I ask, what do you mean when you refer to as one serving?

For fish, chicken or steak i have about 3-4 ounces and a small amount of veggies. But things like cauliflower pizza or tacos I have one slice or one taco. I can also eat almost a small burger or sandwich with thin low carb bread but nothing else with it. salad I can eat about a half salad from most restaurants. I am trying to think of what else. I don’t eat much variety. But I am 14 months out. Your team Should have given you an amount that you should be eating at this stage. I wish I still had my paperwork but I threw it out.

Edited by ShoppGirl

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3 minutes ago, ShoppGirl said:

For fish, chicken or steak i have about 3-4 ounces and a small amount of veggies.

But I am 14 months out.

I guess this is what worries me...

👉 You're 14 months out and eating 3-4 ounces of meat or fish.... it sounds good and right on track

👉 I'm 6 weeks out sometimes eating 5-6 ounces of meat or fish... it sounds like my stomach is too large/I'm too greedy/I've stretched my sleeve?

I feel like it's got to be at least one of these. 😕

Thanks again for your reply!

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2 minutes ago, bestdecisionmade said:

I guess this is what worries me...

👉 You're 14 months out and eating 3-4 ounces of meat or fish.... it sounds good and right on track

👉 I'm 6 weeks out sometimes eating 5-6 ounces of meat or fish... it sounds like my stomach is too large/I'm too greedy/I've stretched my sleeve?

I feel like it's got to be at least one of these. 😕

Thanks again for your reply!

I often times would and probably could eat more but I stop myself when I finish what I have measured for myself. I actually do believe I have a larger sleeve because I could eat more if I let myself. I have learned to stop with that portion and when I wait a few minutes I realize that I am satisfied. I don’t wait for that full to the brim feeling anymore. Just to be satisfied.

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10 minutes ago, ShoppGirl said:

I have learned to stop with that portion and when I wait a few minutes I realize that I am satisfied. I don’t wait for that full to the brim feeling anymore. Just to be satisfied.

Thank you so much for your candid wisdom and personal experience; you have given me much food for thought (if you can forgive the dreadful pun!) 👍

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First, it takes a hell of a lot of hard work, eating excessive quantities of food over a prolonged period of time to stretch out your tummy again.You certainly won’t stretch it out in 6 weeks. Many surgeons say it’s nigh on impossible to do. So you can breath about that. You’re ok.

As to quantity of food, yes your portion sizes are more than I did then & some are more than I do now. (e.g. 3-4oz Protein, 1.5 eggs, 1/2 a thin pork sausage). BUT, there are lots of different plans out there with different portion size & calorie goals/ recommendations. And some can eat more. If you are following your plan you are doing fine. AND, you can only eat what you are physically able to eat without causing discomfort. Though it is odd you haven’t felt your restriction yet given you are eating solid foods.

I’d check your calories though as 130g of salmon fillet alone is 222, 2 eggs are 156 & 4ozs pork sausages can be 345 calories. Of course it can depend on the size of the eggs, ingredients in the sausages, cut of chicken, etc.

Though you can eat more doesn’t mean you should. Have a chat with your dietician about protein goals, portion sizes, caloric goals, etc. For example 4ozs is generally considered the recommended portion of protein an adult should eat at a meal. I wonder if you are exceeding your protein goal as a result?? Having a little more is ok but again check with your dietician.

I remember my dietician questioning the size of people’s tummy post surgery. There’s a difference in removing 80% of a tummy that could hold say 3 cups of food versus 80% removed of a tummy that could hold 5 cups. The larger tummy is still going to be able to hold more. Simple maths.

Congrats on the weight you have lost so far.

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12 hours ago, Arabesque said:

So you can breath about that. You’re ok.

There’s a difference in removing 80% of a tummy that could hold say 3 cups of food versus 80% removed of a tummy that could hold 5 cups. The larger tummy is still going to be able to hold more. Simple maths.

Once again, I feel reassured on some key points; thank you.

I do believe my stomach pre-surgery was probably larger than average. In binges, I could shamefully stack away a HUGE quantity of food without feeling stuffed. In fact, I rarely remember feeling full in my entire adult life.

I just hope I develop more restriction as time goes on. I don't like the idea of having to second guess it forever.

Kind of starting to wish I'd got the RNY, but also trying not to go down that negative thought line.

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2 hours ago, bestdecisionmade said:

Once again, I feel reassured on some key points; thank you.

I do believe my stomach pre-surgery was probably larger than average. In binges, I could shamefully stack away a HUGE quantity of food without feeling stuffed. In fact, I rarely remember feeling full in my entire adult life.

I just hope I develop more restriction as time goes on. I don't like the idea of having to second guess it forever.

Kind of starting to wish I'd got the RNY, but also trying not to go down that negative thought line.

Pre surgery, I could eat a 24oz porterhouse, an appetizer, 2 sides, a drink, and a dessert myself. And completely finish it. I was ALWAYS hungry. I could eat 6 scrambled eggs, 8 pieces of bacon, 4 sausages, and 4 pieces of french toast in 1 sitting. Now, I get nervous if I had restriction on a tsp of food yesterday and a tbsp today (like, WHY can I comfortably take more food in so soon???). I had 1/2 an egg this morning and I was full. BUT....2 hours later and I'm hungry again. I'm drinking a shake, trying to ignore it, but I worry that my hunger hormone isn't really gone like I had hoped, and my appetite is roaring back. I only eat until I'm comfortable. And I do things to keep myself busy (read, go for a walk, watch movies, play computer games) but eventually the hunger gets so bad I can't ignore it. So I definitely feel your pain and understand what you're going through. We're all new to this still and trying to get our bearings and figure it out. I'm wishing you all the luck in the world on this.

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Many people say that warm beverages like tea and coffee help with their hunger. Decaf if you aren’t allowed caffeine of course.

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I'm 3 weeks out and I feel like I could eat a lot more then most at my stage. I never really feel full. I do get restrictions/pain when eating soft foods. But I can drink liquids with no problem at all. I've been wondering if my stomach is a little larger then some right after surgery. I don't feel like my hungry hormone weren't removed. All I can do is measure out my food. And when my stomach starts growling and I get the hunger pains. I just drink more Water. Ive only lost 13th in almost 3 weeks. I also walk about 45 minutes to an hour. 3 miles and burn over 300 calories 5 days a week. I really was hoping to have a bigger weight loss by now.

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6 hours ago, Happy Stylist said:

I'm 3 weeks out and I feel like I could eat a lot more then most at my stage. I never really feel full. I do get restrictions/pain when eating soft foods. But I can drink liquids with no problem at all. I've been wondering if my stomach is a little larger then some right after surgery. I don't feel like my hungry hormone weren't removed. All I can do is measure out my food. And when my stomach starts growling and I get the hunger pains. I just drink more Water. Ive only lost 13th in almost 3 weeks. I also walk about 45 minutes to an hour. 3 miles and burn over 300 calories 5 days a week. I really was hoping to have a bigger weight loss by now.

liquids go through you more quickly so you tend not to experience your restriction. If you do feel the restriction or any pain you’ve either eaten too much, too quickly or eaten something that is too dry or too coarse. The goal is not to feel the restriction.

At three weeks out you are still healing, hence the staged return to eating to not stress your tummy. A lot of nerve endings were cut & damaged & until they are healed you won’t get the same messages like for full. There is a big difference between eating until you’re full & eating until you’ve had enough that is what your body needs. Do you need that next bite or just want it. In time you’ll likely find your signals for full are different. Some sneeze or their nose runs - you just have to work out what they are for you.

Hunger pangs & abdominal growling, rumbling, in most times are just your digestive system doing what it should - digesting food. Any abdominal pain you may feel is likely an excess of stomach acid which will settle in time (your body is still producing enough acid for the amount of food you used to eat plus a reaction to the surgery) . Were you prescribed a PPI to reduce the acid production?

13lbs in three weeks is a good rate of loss - averaging 4lbs a week. Can’t complain about that. As you started at a relatively lower weight (like me) you won’t lose huge amounts like on say My 600lb Life. They weigh 3 times what you do & so lose at about 3times the rate. I’d lost about the same amount as you at three weeks & my surgeon was very happy with my progress.

Keep measuring, keep sipping. It gets better & easier.

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On 5/16/2022 at 3:56 AM, Arabesque said:

At three weeks out you are still healing, hence the staged return to eating to not stress your tummy. A lot of nerve endings were cut & damaged & until they are healed you won’t get the same messages like for full.

Keep measuring, keep sipping. It gets better & easier.

100% this! 👆

I spoke with my dietitian yesterday and told her my fears.

She said a few things I found helpful for my situation (and possibly others?)

  1. Being able to eat a bit more than the average sleever is not a big problem; not all sleeves are made the same.
  2. In the first month or two, the stomach is still healing, so it's too early to worry about hunger/restriction.
  3. Dense Protein and low-carb veggies should always be the go-to to keep the body feeling fuller for longer.
  4. I'm not over-eating (praise the Lord!) Calorie-wise, I am to aim for 1000 calories in the first few months, then 1200 calories next six months with a longer-term aim of 1500 calories maintenance.

I feel much, much happier knowing this. I hope it helps others too.

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I also was able to eat more than your average sleever. But also, I suspect my surgeon made my sleeve a bit bigger knowing how active I was even before surgery (it's hard to be so active when you can't eat enough!).

When I was three months out I was restricting myself to 800 calories and my center's nutritionist had an absolute conniption at me. Said I was ruining the tool and if I wanted to just gain all the weight back, that was my business. I was devastated for a hot second before I absolutely lost my temper at the top of my lungs and fired her so loud they heard it in the surgeon's office across the hall.

A friend of mine recommended a nutrition program she used, and I am so glad I found it. Immediately my nutrition coach (who had coached other bariatric patients before) upped my calories to about 1200, still prioritizing Protein. Over the last six months she's increased it to 1600-1800, and we're just now backing off a little bit because I feel like all I do is eat. I have just a few pounds left to lose, so they will be harder to shift. I expect maintenance will be around 1600 calories depending on activity level.

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