Long-term Sleevers, do you calorie count?

on 12/19/18 7:33 pm
VSG on 11/20/18

It seems pretty important for me to track everything I eat right now at 4 weeks out. I'm struggling to get enough protein and calories each day. But, after a while, it seems that you know how much you can eat and you're able to get your protein allowance in.

When you reach that point, and you're eating nutritious foods and not eating more than your pouch can hold, do you still calorie count?

on 12/19/18 8:45 pm, edited 12/19/18 12:46 pm

I am 4 years out. I tracked every single day thru the first year which is when I lost The Weight. I continued into maintenance for a long time. I still pick it up now and then for various lengths of time for various reasons. I have a soft rule that if I can't weigh daily, then I need to track daily to make sure that I stay mindful.

Staying mindful is key. Tracking helps keep my lying, dysfunctional brain in check.

Most of the successful maintainers I know still track. It is probably one of the best things you can do to stack the deck in your favor. The surgery was just the first step....now it is time to focus on new behaviors.

You are really new into this process so let me offer unsolicited advice that "not eating more than your pouch can hold" should never be a way to gauge if your food strategy is on track. I apologize if you didn't mean that literally.

Best wishes for you --- what a wonderful path you have ahead of you! Stack the deck in your favor, in every way! Shel

HW:361 SW:304 (VSG 12/04/2014)Mo 1:-32  Mo 2:-13.5  Mo 3: -13.5  Mo 4 -9.5  Mo 5: -15  Mo 6: -15  Mo 7: -13.5  Mo 8: -17  Mo 9: -13  Mo 10: -12.5  11/3/2015 Healthy BMI Reached Mo 11: -9  Mo 12: -8    12/27/2015 Goal Weight Reached!

on 12/20/18 5:23 am
RNY on 06/03/15

I'm an RNY'er, but our diets and methods are pretty much the same. At some point (maybe towards the end of the first year) I switched to calorie counting (before that, I couldn't eat all that much - and after I managed to get in all the protein we were required to get in, there wasn't much room for anything else).

I still calorie count at 3.5 years out, and probably will for the rest of my life. I can eat 1500-1700 calories a day now and maintain my weight. If I go over that range too often, my weight starts to go up. So yes - I log everything I eat and try to stay within that calorie range. I know I'd be in trouble if I quit paying attention.

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 12/20/18 5:59 am
VSG on 12/08/14

I am 4 years out. Here is what can happen if you "don't count" calories or weigh yourself daily. My story.... the first two years, I wrote everything down. I ate basically the same thing every day so I thought , I don't need to count the calories. Then I started grazing thru out the day. I was paying attention to when I ate last. When I became bored, I grazed. My clothes felt the same so I thought I was doing ok. I weighed at that point , gained 5 lbs, thinking no problem, I can get that off. I stayed away from sweets but still grazing. In the last two years my father passed away unexpectedly and I had to quit by teaching job due to legal blindness. This put me in a deep depression. (Sorry for so much info, just trying to help someone here) My husband always fixed what he wanted to eat. I would eat whatever he had and made bad choices,,,, bad carbs and some sweets. I never weighed myself either. I finally got out of the depression and finally in the last month decided to take care of myself after gaining 40 lbs! I started back on my journey on Dec 1st. I am going to my doctor today and getting some blood work done to see what damage I have done in the last two years. So,,,,, my advice to you as you start off on this journey, "always" write down your calories and weigh yourself "every" day even when you reach your goal. Good luck and congratulations!! Pray for me. :)

Gwen M.
on 12/20/18 6:04 am
VSG on 03/13/14

I have never calorie counted because I tend to get very obsessed with numbers in a way that's unhealthy for my brain. (I was a math major in my previous college life for a reason.) I do, however, do the following:

  1. I keep a food journal and write down everything I eat and drink. Every day.
  2. I only eat three meals a day.
  3. I weigh (or otherwise measure) about 80-85% of what goes into my mouth. I don't weigh food when I'm eating out, but I also eat out very, very rarely.
  4. I weigh my body every day.
  5. I ensure I'm getting at least 80 grams of protein a day. (I know the approximate protein/oz in the food I eat, I mainly eat meat, this is fairly straightforward.)

That said, I promised myself when I went into this that if I ever got to a point where my weight was not going in the direction I wanted it to, and I didn't know why, that I would start tracking calories to figure out what was going on.

I have never been in that position. When my weight has stopped going the direction I want it to go, I 100% know why. :P

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Surgeries with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL & brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL & mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 42 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

TrendWeight | Food Blog (sort of functional) | Journal (down for maintenance)

on 12/20/18 7:07 am
VSG on 11/20/18

Thanks responders. I find myself stressing about the numbers and weighing and it feels a bit obsessive and also not sustainable.

Still, I am determined to be successful. If that means calorie counting, I can manage my anxiety about the numbers. If it's just logging, that'd be preferable.

Regarding "how much your pouch cab hold", I didn't mean that literally.

on 12/20/18 8:38 am - DC
RNY on 12/16/13

Well, I had RNY, but like CatWoman said, we really have similar eating plans as VSG.

I lost almost 200 lbs through weighing my food and logging it in MyFitnessPal and weighing myself every day. I did that in two weeks short of a year. The next couple of years I maintained well and all was good. When I stopped the weighing of food, tracking of food, and weighing of my body...well, perhaps unsurprisingly, I regained. I just posted about this on Monday as a matter of fact (here). So everyone is different, but the truth is, we gain weight when we take in more calories than we expend. Which is why, for me, knowing how many calories those are is necessary. Because the calories can sure sneak in - via things like coffee creamer, a few crackers, a bite of a cookie etc.

Hopefully you find exactly what works for you!

on 12/20/18 8:47 am
RNY on 08/21/12

When I stop weighing my food, I end up weighing more. Tracking is vital.

I gave 2,298 consecutive days on MyFitnessPal.

6'3" tall, male. Maintaining a loss of 280 pounds.

Highest weight was 475. Consult weight 04/12 was 411. RNY on 08/21/12 at 359 lbs. Current weight 195.

M1 -24; M2 -21; M3 -19; M4 -21; M5 -13; M6 -21; M7 -10; M8 -16; M9 -10; M10 -8; M11 -6; M12 -5.

on 12/20/18 12:14 pm
RNY on 03/21/16

I weighed, measured and logged all of my food throughout the weight loss phase and through about the first year of maintenance. I stopped logging close to a year ago, but still weigh myself daily. If the scale goes up a pound or two, I just cut out the higher calorie density foods (nuts, etc) for a few days and it tends to go back down. But I always know that if I have an issue, I can go back to MFP. It's a great tool, and great to know it's always there for me.

on 12/20/18 1:19 pm

I am only 18 months out, but have been maintaining for 6 of them. I eat pretty much the same thing every day (protein bar for breakfast, soup for lunch, chicken or turkey with vegetables for dinner, and a small bit of fruit at night) so I don't really track anything unless my routine changes. Then I count calories. If I go above 1200 for more than a day or two, I start to gain. I found that weighing daily was discouraging due to water weight fluctuations, so I weigh every Saturday morning. At this point I can't eat sweets other than fruits - if I do, my blood sugar gets wonky and I feel sick. If I feel like grazing, I have something to drink and it usually goes away.

So the short answer is that you will have to continue to at least track your food and weigh yourself on a regular basis to make sure you keep the weight off.

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