question for ppl 5 years or more post op....

on 7/18/14 8:22 am - Westbury, NY

Has anybody returned to 1200 calories or less per day, 5 years or more post op? Trying to get back on track and on the losing side again.

Karen M.
on 7/18/14 10:49 am - Mississauga, Canada

I'm over 8 years post-op and I've never counted calories but I do plug my menu into MFP once a week to make sure I'm on track and it does list my calories. I typically eat between 1200-1400 calories per day just about every day. There are days when I go over that a little, but usually not. It's very do-able to eat really well, and enough food to satiate, at that level of calories. I'm maintaining a 170 pound weight loss (I weigh 120 pounds) very easily with that amount. Everyone's body is different so I guess you'll have to play with it a bit to see how many calories you need to eat to lose. Good luck!



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on 7/18/14 11:51 am - Westbury, NY

I am also using mfp, what a great tool, I wish they had that around 10 years ago when I had my surgery! Just a quick question for you tho, so if you are eating between 1200-1400 to maintain, then you would probably think I should be eating less than that to lose, right? Ive been doing under 1200 and I am down some weight but its not coming off like I want it to, Im also walking 2+ miles a day, something Ive never done before (ever...), congrats at being able to stay at 120... Jeez.. I def dont know what thats like!!!

on 7/18/14 3:05 pm - CA
RNY on 10/07/13

One thing you can do is get a test to see how many calories you burn per pound. This will tell you how many calories you need daily to just exist. Your PCP or nutritionist should be able to advise you on where to get this done. I had it done and it's really easy. You go early in the morning basically straight from bed and breathe into a tube for a few minutes. It turns out I need a measly 8 calories per pound, so 8 x 230 = 1840 calories to maintain and not gain. :D

If you want to do a rough estimate until you find out your true rate, try multiplying your weight times 9 or 10.  That will give you a rough idea of your current maintenance calories and you can subtract from there. Other advice I've seen on these boards is to not eat back your exercise. If you burn 400, don't eat an extra 400!  Which sadly, is basically a cookie. 

Good luck and let us know how it goes!


on 7/18/14 11:58 pm - Westbury, NY

What a great formula, Ive never seen that before... Thank you, so for me that would be 1440 to maintain and not gain (presumably), I am doing less than 1200 a day right now and not "eating back" my excercise.... (i hate that they put those calories back in to our pool for the day, its fakes me out!!!) Down 4 pounds in 8 days but Im nervous its just "water weight".

Karen M.
on 7/19/14 2:10 am - Mississauga, Canada

4 pounds in 8 days is awesome! Who cares if it's water weight? It counts. Keep doing what you're doing for a couple of weeks and see what happens - I suspect you'll see a slow, steady loss.



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Karen M.
on 7/18/14 8:45 pm, edited 7/18/14 9:07 pm - Mississauga, Canada

MFP is a great tool, agreed. I was using for years, but it's not nearly as quick and user-friendly as MFP.

Like Lora, keeping my calories to 1200-1400 per day all the time is what works best for me. If they had crept up for an extended period and I had gained weight, I would cut the carbs, first and foremost, immediately. They have a way of creeping back into my menu easily (way TOO easily) which is why I still do a formal tracking on MFP once a week or so. When I've gained a couple of pounds, and they've stuck around for a while, I track more often. While WLS is not constantly on my mind, I have been so engrained over the years to look at a piece of food and automatically figure out protein and carb count in my mind. I still eat very protein forward at every meal and I even still do a protein shake everyday to boost the protein count a little (not a heavy-duty shake like when I was in my first few years - almost always a protein iced coffee with 20g of protein, but I do also really like Premier protein shakes that have 30g and do them a couple of times a week too, depending on my daily intake). I participate in a "what are you eating/doing today" thread on my provincial board each morning - it keeps me organized and accountable with my eating and allows me to eat mindfully each day.

As jenorama said, there are ways of finding out how efficiently your body is burning calories - that would help a great deal. As I mentioned, the calorie level that it takes for me to lose or maintain may differ than your own needs. For me, if my calories had really crept up, I would do a week of 1400 calories per day to see what, if anything, happens on the scale. Then I would decrease (hoping to lose) by 100 cal and check again in a couple of weeks on the scale, and then adjust accordingly. It's important to remember that you're not going to lose in the same way when you were a new-post-op either. Your body has been living with frankenguts for a long time.

And thanks - maintaining a healthy weight long-term is not something I ever thought I could do. I've had little bumps in the road along the way, as everyone does, and everyday is certainly not perfect by any means. But I do try. And mostly, it works. :)

It's so great to see someone so many years out is still "fighting the good fight" - your calories and exercise is exactly what you should be doing. Hang in there and let us know how you're doing!


Edited to add: Just plain LUCK had something to do with the positives I'm sure. lol



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on 7/19/14 12:02 am - Westbury, NY

Karen, I totally agree with what your saying. My serious problem IS with carbs tho... I dont have to eat alot, but I cant do NO carb... It makes me totally crazy! Seriously, nobody wants to be around me and the weight will not fall off me like it does with other ppl. Plus, the second I tell myself I CANT have something, my fat brain says.."oh you cant have that??.. Now Im going to make you eat 14 of those".

Frankenguts... love it!!

Karen M.
on 7/19/14 2:04 am - Mississauga, Canada

Oh, I don't think you have to do NO carbs, just LOW carbs. Heck, there's carbs in fruit and vegetables too, so kind of unavoidable. When I was actively losing I used a percentage system - 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fats. It's pretty general, but a good "rule of thumb" guideline.



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Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 7/18/14 1:52 pm - OH

Like Karen, I don't normally track calories (never have) but based on when I do track them for a couple of days once or twice a year just to see where I am at (or if my weight is creeping up) I have to keep my caloric intake below 1400 in order to avoid weight creep. 

I will be 7 years out next month, and when my weight creeps up 5 pounds, I go back to basics: I eliminate as many non-protein carbs as possible (I get a lot of my protein from dairy products which all have carbs, though), eliminate all non-protein snacks, and try to increase my water.  I only tracked my calories once while I was doing this to lose a few pounds, and I was eating 1000 - 1100 calories.

The "lesson" for me has been that it is easier to keep my calories at around 1200-1400 to maintain my 190 pound weight loss than it is to allow it to start to creep up and then have to drop my calories down to about 1000 to get the excess weight back off.  I personally find it difficult to drop back to so few calories without feeling deprived (and that sense of deprivation is what makes dieting so completely UNsuccessful for most people).  



10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

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