Counting Calories

on 4/16/19 7:12 am
VSG on 06/28/17

Counting Calories. How many of you count calories vs focusing on protein forward and solely intuitive eating? Can a formerly morbidly obese person be trusted to intuitively eat or should an individual track food and/or also calories? If you do count calories, how far out are you and what are your stats/range/activity level and any other information you might want to include?

Erin T.
on 4/16/19 7:33 am
VSG on 01/17/17

I'm going to have an unpopular opinion, but I do not count calories and I do not weigh my food. I am about 2.5 years out from surgery. I did track, weigh, and measure everything for the first 18 months (and that included 1 year of maintenance). I wasn't at all sure what would happen when I stopped tracking, but this weekend I went back in MFP to look at the last time I tracked my weight there (October 1st, 2018) and I was 140lbs on that day. This morning I was 140.3lbs.

If I do track (which I've done on random days for fun or to see my total carb count for diabetes medication adjustment) I'm eating 2,200-2,400 calories/day (or a bit more or less). Today's meals that I mentioned on the menu thread total about 1,600 calories. I normally have something in addition to what I plan at some point.

I run for 30-60 minutes 4-5 days per week (running with a heart rate in the "easy effort" pace range all but one of those days). In addition, I hit 10-15k steps overall 5-6 days per week. My strength training efforts are sporadic.

VSG: 1/17/17

5'7" HW: 283 SW: 229 CW: 135-140 GW: 145

Pre-op: 53 M1: 22 M2: 12 M3: 12 M4: 8 M5: 10 M6: 11 M7: 5 M8: 6 M9-M13: 15-ish

LBL/BL w/ Fat Transfer 1/29/18

Citizen Kim
on 4/16/19 7:42 am - Castle Rock, CO

You can get away with a lot up to 3, 4, 5 years out. It's not the same at 15 years out at all.

I log and I count calories. I naturally eat protein first and I mainly eat carbs in the form of vegetables and dairy.

A big part of long term success is recognizing that things change over the years. You will not be doing the same in your 50s or 60s that you get away with in your 30s and 40s and you wont be the same at 5 or 10 years as you are at 2 or 3!

We all think we've got this during losing and early maintenance. Just make sure you know how to not regain before it happens!!!

Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Democratic Socialist

Gina 18 Years Out
on 4/17/19 6:42 am - Burleson , TX

THIS !!!!!!!!!

RNY 4-22-02... HAG=Honest And Genuine

LW: 6lb,10 oz SW:340lb GW:170lb CW:170

We Can Do Hard Things

on 4/16/19 7:53 am
RNY on 06/03/15

different methods work for different people. I can't eat intuitively. If I ate intuitively, I'd weigh 300 lbs. I still weigh and measure whatever I can weigh and measure. I started calorie counting when I was several months out (maybe a year?), when my pouch could suddenly hold a lot of food. I can maintain my current weight as long as I limit myself to 1700 kcal/day (on average). I do exercise three or four times a week, but I'm not a gym rat.

I do focus on protein because my prealbumin level tanks if I don't average at least 100 grams a day. I now eat 100-150 grams of carbs a day, which is still "low carb" to the average person, but pretty high for a WLS patient (I didn't eat nearly this many when I was in the losing phase). But then again, I'm not particularly carb sensitive, but I know a lot of us on here ARE. If I was (carb sensitive), I'd lower my carb intake. My carbs are almost always in the form of fruit, veggies, dairy, and ****asional) whole grains.

RNY 06/03/15 by Michael Garren (Madison, WI)

Plastic Surgery 08/10/18 and 03/29/19 by Lawrence Zachary (Chicago, IL)

HW: 373 SW: 316 GW: 145 LW: 138 CW: 150

on 4/16/19 8:38 am, edited 4/16/19 1:38 am

i didn't and that worked for a while..until it didn't. so now i do. i'm 10 yrs out from RNY.

ETA: it eventually comes down to a simple math equation of calories in and calories out. no way around that.

Laura in Texas
on 4/16/19 9:48 am

Up until a year ago (at 9 years out)I weighed myself everyday and when was up 3 pounds, I tracked until I lost it. I agree with the others who said after 5 years out, it got much much tougher for me.

About a year ago my mom was diagnosed with cancer and died a month ago. I gained due to my stress eating, but I am not ready to do anything about it (I have stopped gaining). I will use MFP when I am ready to lose it.

Our numbers when tracking vary from person to person, but you need to figure out what works for you through trial and error. For me, to maintain, I consume about 2000 calories a day and to lose I cut back to 1500. Carbs do not seem to make a difference, but for many they do.

Laura in Texas

53 years old; 5'7" tall; HW: 339 (BMI=53); GW: 140 CW: 170 (BMI=27)

RNY: 09-17-08 Dr. Garth Davis

brachioplasty: 12-18-09 Dr. Wainwright; lbl/bl: 06-28-11 Dr. LoMonaco

"May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears."

H.A.L.A B.
on 4/16/19 9:50 am

I don't count calories. I eat intuitively unless I am working on a regain. Working on losing regain.

When I follow proper RNY diet: proteins + fat+ a few bites of veggies, I don't need to count calories. But if I eat processed foods, like protein bars, or ready to eat foods - I need to be very careful.

The subject of calories came up in a different post on main forum. works

A long time ago I discovered that for my system, counting calories is pointless IMO.

Calories are just numbers, created by scientists, and they are neither accurate, nor precise numbers to determine how much is too much, and how much is too little. Calories is not a precise science.

Reality - you calories are " what you eat, can digest and assimilate, then deduct what you eliminated". Saying that- I notice that when I got chronically constipated, my body extracted as much as it could from what I ate. The bacteria in our guts has ability to break down - digest things in food that we normally should be able to pass through undigested. But when bacteria breaks the fiber into elements like sugar, gas, water, etc, suddenly your body can use more from that food that a person with normal transition time would not have.

Not only that, but the delivery of food - manufactured, predigested food, vs work out body has to put into digesting it can affect how much calories you can assimilate out of the "hypothetical" 1200 calories you take per day.

if you just google "not all calories are equal " you can come up with a lot of blogs, articles, etc etc to talk about that issues.

here is one of them , and I just use that as example. I have not read this one completely so I would not use that as a reference, but there is some info worth exploring. -is-not-a-calorie

Hala. RNY 5/14/2008; Happy At Goal =HAG

"I can eat or do anything I want to - as long as I am willing to deal with the consequences"

"Failure is not falling down, It is not getting up once you fell... So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...."

on 4/16/19 10:31 am, edited 4/16/19 3:31 am

Seven years out (wow, almost 8!) I don't count calories, only carbs. I eat a lot of fats, almost no sugar/fruit/bread/starch/etc.

Works for me although I would not impose my beliefs on others... I realize I am fortunate Pouchy still stops me before I eat too much...

Some of the science suggests calories are not exactly what we think (I've put an example link below, although note it was funded in part by Crossfit... but the science itself is interesting)....

Even the American Heart Association is backing off some of the fat=bad thinking: mart/fats/the-facts-on-fats

Just my two cents,


Highest weight: 340
Surgery weight: 313
Surgery date: 10/24/11
Current weight 170... 170 pounds lost!!!!

I am not a doctor, but I play one at work.

on 4/16/19 12:19 pm
VSG on 06/28/17

I appreciate everyone who took the time to post their experiences. I really value a long term view. There don't seem to be as many long out versus those who are sooner post op and I think that once that initial OOmph wears off and reality and life REALLY set in I have to realize it will be a moving target and the "right" answer may just be "it depends" based on the responses.

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