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Peace, everyone!

 

I’m really struggling with losing weight right now, I thought I got this surgery so I WOULDN'T have to write a sentence or fee like that ever again. *sigh* I’m about 2.5 months out from surgery and had been losing just fine. I was weighing myself weekly and continued to drop pounds. UNTIL about 3 weeks ago when the scale.would.not.move. I’m literally stuck at 245. I had convinced myself that the scale broke, I reset it, took the batteries out, put my cat on it. Then I said I’m going to my PCP to get checked for a hernia and to step on another scale. No hernia and I learned my scale is NOT broken. I probably should go to the surgeon to see about this idea of a hernia given I do have some pain in my belly area but they want to approach from the perspective of diet, so I’ve not yet mad that appointment. 

 

Of course my surgeons office is saying its diet and i need to get on my fitness pal and come in to review my food diary. Sounds fair. But, I’ve got a block with tracking calories, I’ve tried on and off with my fitness pal. 

 

I have beef with tracking because, clearly I am eating ALOT LESS portion size, my.stomach.is.smaller. I have 3 meals and 1 - 2 snacks per day. I drink 60 oz of water per day. I exercise through the week and I had (but no longer) been lifting 5 pound weights. My meals look something like this. Eventually I want to join a gym to switch up my workouts but right now, that’s just not happening. 

 

Bfast - eggs (2) and strawberries ( up to 4)

 

Snack - string cheese/dried fruit/granola bar (or nothing, I’m working in a school with an earlier lunch currently)

 

Lunch - salad with half a frozen burrito, turkey with cheese rolled up and an orange, (literally the only combo I’ve had)

 

Snack - popcorn, dark chocolate, fruit 

 

Dinner - tuna crackers cheese/ soup/ salad with lunch meat 

 

SURE, i’m not perfect and have had pizza, fast food, VERY SMALL AMOUNTS MAYBE UP TO TWO TIMES IN THE PAST 3 WEEKS. Popcorn with cheese, peanut chews and other random unhealthy snacks, but nothing excessively. I generally stick to the above foods. 

 

LITERALLY, the only thing different are these premier clear drinks (120 calories) I’ve been out of my other favorite drinks (diet snapple which has 10 calories and diet green teach with 0 calories) I’m out of them and have been for 3 weeks now. I’ve been shopping at the neighborhood coop and they don't have ANY  diet drinks, so I was having up to 2 premier clears per day - COULD THAT BE IT?

 

I feel annoyed and confused by this. Yet, I don't feel discouraged or hopeless because I continue to feel better, have more energy, my clothes are big, my walking pace is fast and I feel strong. Because of these changes despite the scale, I’M OK, I guess. But still, WHAT THE HECK?

 

I try to get over the fact that I don't want to track because I was feeling pre-op that the surgery itself is like a natural tracker and way to control portions!? I even tried to start again today tracking but trailed off by lunch.

 

What are your thoughts, suggestions or feedback?

 

Thanks.

Also, where is my current weight in my status? I know I put it in and was going to use that as an additional check with loss. Now, I'm further confused about my numbers. UGH. 

 

 

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Hi, @Ani! So sorry you're feeling frustrated. I'm one of the slower losers around here. I'm so familiar with changing the scsle batteries, because I cannot believe I'm not dropping weight like crazy with how little I'm eating. I HAVE to track on MyFitnessPal to have any hope of losing weight. I've just accepted it. I've been tracking for over 250 days now, and it's just a habit now. If I don't keep my carbs extremely low, I don't lose and can even gain. Granola, dried fruit, burritos, crackers, popcorn, and I have parted ways until I meet my goal (and maybe forever). Can we brainstorm some replacements for those foods that you would like? Beef jerky, protein bars, cottage cheese, nuts, deviled eggs, olives, pickles, whisps (parmesan "crackers"), sunflower seeds? The good news is, with some diet tweaks, you're due to drop some serious pounds. 

Edited by Gretta
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Hmm ok so maybe my snacks are not as healthy as I'm thinking!

Beef jerky, protein bars, cottage cheese, nuts, deviled eggs, olives, pickles, whisps (parmesan "crackers"), sunflower seeds.

The only thing you suggested that I do is Nuts (pistachio) So, I should drop the cheese, dried fruit, crackers and popcorn and granola bars?

What do you have for your actual meals?

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The cheese is good! Keep that!

I eat ribs (beef and pork), beef jerky, shrimp, scallops, fish, salad, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, all kinds of cheese, turkey, chicken, whisps, habenero bbq almonds, pulled pork, bacon (small amounts), Oh Yeah ONE protein bars, protein shakes (occasionally). I wish I liked yogurt, but I don't. When I need crunch, I've been known to eat pork rinds and onion dip (not proud of that!). I rarely crave sweet things, but I got a bag of Russell Stover Sugar Free peppermint patties. I've probably had 3 or 4 in the past 4 months. 

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Not sure if I should be jumping in here since I had gastric bypass, but I'm going to chime in (and you can totally tell me to butt out, if you'd prefer). Also, I'm half-asleep so if I sound short or snarky at all, I completely apologize. 

My thoughts: 1) my doctor did not want me eating that frequently. I was to stick to 3 (small) meals a day. Eating 5 times a day would have been considered "eating around the pouch" (eating small amounts, but too often) by my surgeon's standard 

2) from what you described, you're eating a lot more than I ever ate during active weight loss, much less at 2.5 months post-op. I'd really be interested to hear about a typical day in more detail (with measurements, what exactly is in the salad, etc), because off the top of my (sleepy) head, it sounds like you're probably eating at least 1200 calories (is that lunch all one meal? Or are you describing 2 different meals?) which, while it's low by normal standards is a lot for that early out post-op IMHO.

3) no nuts, no dried fruit, no granola bars, etc (or at least super minimal amounts, measured and tracked) during active weight loss. Those are calorie dense and can add up quickly. The foods you & Gretta mentioned (jerky, protein bars, etc) can be great, but you really have to watch your portions because the calories can add up.

4) the only time you should be drinking anything with calories is as a meal substitute. Protein shake in lieu of lunch? Great! Protein shake in addition to lunch (or 30 min after)? Nope. I'm not sure where the 120 cal drinks you mentioned come in, but I just wanted to encourage you to be aware of when you're drinking caloric liquids since they're an easy way for calories to sneak in.

5) Measure and weigh everything, then track it all. It's hard to gauge how many calories you're getting from your descriptions above and, particularly since you're eating so often, the calories could easily creep up.

6) WLS doesn't save us from keeping track of what we eat. I don't track on MFP, but I do keep a running tally in my head and weigh myself daily. I honestly don't know anyone of a normal healthy weight who doesn't keep track of their food in some way. Even people who have never struggled with weight issues. The only people I know who don't at least keep mental tabs on what they eat are overweight.

7) for a "normal" meal during active weight loss, I'd eat a P3 pack (those were the only nuts or chocolate I ever touched during active weight loss) *or* 1 string cheese & 2.5 oz carrots w/ 2 tbsp of homemade ranch dip *or* a high protein slimfast drink (I can't stand other protein shakes). My meals were typically 180-200 calories and I ate 3 times a day. That was it. I didn't work out until I hit my goal weight (I didn't want to get used to eating more because working out made up for the extra calories). Now, I'm in maintenance and I have more wiggle room in my diet, but I'm also in the gym 6 days a week, 1-2 hours a day minimum. 

So anyway, those are my thoughts and experience. Feel free to take it or leave it. :)

Edited by athenarose
So many typos...
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8 hours ago, Orien said:

 

Bfast - eggs (2) and strawberries ( up to 4)

 

Snack - string cheese/dried fruit/granola bar (or nothing, I’m working in a school with an earlier lunch currently)

 

Lunch - salad with half a frozen burrito, turkey with cheese rolled up and an orange, (literally the only combo I’ve had)

 

Snack - popcorn, dark chocolate, fruit 

 

Dinner - tuna crackers cheese/ soup/ salad with lunch meat 

 

 

 

Agree with @Gretta and @athenarose I think you may be too lax with your food. At this early out I was not eating any carbs including fruit and salad. I do eat them now in moderation but at 8 months out I'm still not having frozen burritos. I think you may want to start logging and weighing and making sure you are getting all of your protein in.

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I'll chime in with the same caveat that I'm also RNY, not VSG.

I think there's a lot of room for variance between different people's approach to the rapid loss phase - some are super low cal, super low carb, sprint to the finish line (that's kind of what I'm doing) and others are a bit more measured and eat more of a "normal" variety of foods, including things that are higher in carbs. It's basically the two different ways of looking at the "honeymoon" period: is it the time for cracking down and trying to lose as rapidly as possible, or is it the time to train yourself to eat more "normally" while listening to your body? Tough to say - but everyone has an opinion! :) 

That said, your carbs look like they're probably not the highest quality carbs (granola bar, tortilla on burrito, popcorn, crackers). Those are refined carbs that might be triggering some hunger and causing you to eat more than you need to. Well, the popcorn isn't refined, but it's a slider food - you could theoretically eat about a ton of it and still not get full. If you're serious about including some carbs in your diet at this stage, whole grains (maybe) and vegetables are probably your best bets. 

I'd wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing without MFP. I always know how many calories/carbs/etc I have eaten any day - and sometimes, I'm truly surprised at how many calories are in things. Tracking helps me decide whether I'd prefer 10 cashews or a string cheese (both about the same amount of calories, lots more protein in the cheese) or whether a couple ounces of tuna with some greek yogurt in it wouldn't fill me up better (and provide way more protein). My answer depends on the day and the rest of my food during it and my exercise and my mood and...

I'd give some kind of tracking a shot if I were you. It would at least help you answer your question: "Am I doing something wrong?" If your calories and macros look good, then you know it's just an old-fashioned stall.

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I will echo much of what has already been said.  At this earlier stage, you need to be tracking/weighing/measuring and keeping very close tabs on what you are consuming in a day.  Now, if you were having good results with what you're doing then the advice might be different, but you're not.  So...time to get to basics and stick with them so that you can maximize this honeymoon period and develop healthier habits for long term success.

I think maybe you give your little sleeve too much responsibility; it is not a magic fix, it is a tool.  Your sleeve does not take the place of tracking because your sleeve does not control WHAT you put in it, nor to some degree how much.  There are many foods (commonly called sliders) that we can eat quite a lot of.  Just because we can doesn't mean we should.  It will always be up to you to make healthy choices about what and how much to eat.  Most of us became obese because of our head not because of our stomach and surgery does not address the head issues.

At this point to maximize your weight loss, you should eat primarily (weighed out) protein first and then veggies to complete the meal.  Snacks, if you need them, should be protein dense like jerky, cheese, greek yogurt, etc.  What do I mean by needing a snack?  Two reasons; if you're hungry or if you're not meeting your protein goals without them.  Otherwise there is really no reason to eat snacks. 

You totally can do this, and obviously you want to do this or you wouldn't have put yourself through all the preop hoops and major surgery.  A glorious, healthy life awaits you and it is absolutely worth the "hassle" of tracking :)

 

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9 hours ago, Orien said:

... What are your thoughts, suggestions or feedback? ...

@Orien

(By way of perspective, I'm more the second style Jen mentions above - not sprinting with super low caloric intake but rather a measured approach, and had a sleeve. Having said that -)  The fact you are stalled at your current weight might just mean you are calorically in balance right now and need to go all-protein for a while or get more cardio exercise. --- or that your body is in super survival mode and has ramped down your basal metabolic rate. 

Or both. 

It might be easy to zero in on something you eat. Sunflower seeds are high calories, and a lot of fruit has a surprising amount of carbs. Ditto granola. When you say dark chocolate, maybe it has more sugar than you think... so that is a specific-food approach. Maybe knocking one or several of these out will do the trick for you. 

In your post you ask if x or y or z food could be the culprit keeping you from losing... but it may not be ONE food, it may just be the total mix of things. One bit of good news is that for you to analyze what you are eating... you already have a list that you posted! Just add the measures (weight, volume, whatever) and tot up the calories, the carbos...

It could be that your breakthrough in your approach after surgery will be the thing you have the beef with, the tracking of calories. You're able to put your finger on something that is difficult or not easy for you or whatever.... but I bet you'll get some good insights if you can do it. If you can go through surgery, which is hard, you can measure some food and look up the calories, right? Like you I don't use an app, but I do write down my intake in a Google Docs spreadsheet and then calculate stuff when I have 5 minutes at the end of the day. 

The second bit of good news is your walking, your smaller clothes... all sounds like your body is remodelling, which presages some big dramatic and wonderful weight loss. :D

Good luck!

 

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Also chiming in from the RNY side, but I'm only about a week behind you in terms of time out from surgery.  At this point my nutritionist told me I should only be eating every 3-4 hours, to avoid "eating around" my surgery.  I eat between 600-800 calories a day, with about 160 of them being a protein shake for breakfast.  That gives me 30 grams of protein up front, so I feel like I have a bit of a head start on hitting between 60-80 grams of protein. 

Your menus are way more advanced than mine - I can't eat fruit yet, except maybe a strawberry once in a while; and I can't really tolerate vegetables that haven't been cooked to within an inch of their lives, so salad is right out for me.  I feel like even if I could eat salad, it would just be taking up valuable room in my new stomach that really needs to be taken up by protein.  

A typical day for me looks like:

Breakfast:  Protein shake mixed with tea

Lunch: 2-3 oz of plain greek yogurt, maybe a string cheese.  Sometimes 2-3 oz of lunch meat instead of the yogurt, but since I can only tolerate lunch meat about 50% of the time, it's kind of rare that I do that.

Dinner:  Refried beans on half a taco shell, with some cheese on top, with plain greek yogurt as "sour cream" dip.

Roughly half an hour to an hour after each meal, I drink 16 oz of water and take my calcium.  Before bedtime, I take my multivitamin and two fiber chews.  Plus, I mix miralax into one of my bottles of water to, uh, keep things moving.  

I'm not perfect.  When my room mate orders pizza, I usually eat some of the cheese/meat/sauce of the top of one slice (about half of it is all I can fit in).  When we have our monthly potluck and someone brings a dessert, I usually have one bite of it.  And some days I just can't get to "real" food until dinner time, so I end up eating two protein bars instead of my first two meals, because I didn't plan well (like today).  I had one piece of Leah's popcorn at the movies the other day and felt hugely daring.  

I'm losing pretty well, so this way is working for me.  I agree with the others above who suggest cutting way back on carbs, especially processed ones, and focusing on protein.  My nutritionist wants me to be eating *solid* protein, but I can't keep much of that down at this point; when that changes, I'll do things like replace the yogurt with chicken or pork or something, probably in about the same or smaller quantity.  I might also suggest not eating a lot of fruit this early in your process - it's great, but it's also sugary/carby, and I don't plan to indulge until I'm a lot closer to my goal weight and out of my honeymoon period.

I think that may be the best piece of advice I can offer - right now you're in a period where your body really wants to lose weight, so take advantage of it!  We should have a good 6-9 months of easy, steady loss if we keep our meals protein-forward and keep the carbs low.  

I'd also suggest having a talk with the part of yourself that's resistant to tracking your food intake and measuring portions.  I had to have that same talk with myself.  It's just far too easy for me to guesstimate, or forget I ate something, or forget to think about it at all.  And our intake does matter - even in the honeymoon phase.

Good luck!  I hope things start moving downward for you again soon!

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3 minutes ago, Kio said:

Also chiming in from the RNY side, but I'm only about a week behind you in terms of time out from surgery.  At this point my nutritionist told me I should only be eating every 3-4 hours, to avoid "eating around" my surgery.  I eat between 600-800 calories a day, with about 160 of them being a protein shake for breakfast.  That gives me 30 grams of protein up front, so I feel like I have a bit of a head start on hitting between 60-80 grams of protein. 

Your menus are way more advanced than mine - I can't eat fruit yet, except maybe a strawberry once in a while; and I can't really tolerate vegetables that haven't been cooked to within an inch of their lives, so salad is right out for me.  I feel like even if I could eat salad, it would just be taking up valuable room in my new stomach that really needs to be taken up by protein.  

A typical day for me looks like:

Breakfast:  Protein shake mixed with tea

Lunch: 2-3 oz of plain greek yogurt, maybe a string cheese.  Sometimes 2-3 oz of lunch meat instead of the yogurt, but since I can only tolerate lunch meat about 50% of the time, it's kind of rare that I do that.

Dinner:  Refried beans on half a taco shell, with some cheese on top, with plain greek yogurt as "sour cream" dip.

Roughly half an hour to an hour after each meal, I drink 16 oz of water and take my calcium.  Before bedtime, I take my multivitamin and two fiber chews.  Plus, I mix miralax into one of my bottles of water to, uh, keep things moving.  

I'm not perfect.  When my room mate orders pizza, I usually eat some of the cheese/meat/sauce of the top of one slice (about half of it is all I can fit in).  When we have our monthly potluck and someone brings a dessert, I usually have one bite of it.  And some days I just can't get to "real" food until dinner time, so I end up eating two protein bars instead of my first two meals, because I didn't plan well (like today).  I had one piece of Leah's popcorn at the movies the other day and felt hugely daring.  

I'm losing pretty well, so this way is working for me.  I agree with the others above who suggest cutting way back on carbs, especially processed ones, and focusing on protein.  My nutritionist wants me to be eating *solid* protein, but I can't keep much of that down at this point; when that changes, I'll do things like replace the yogurt with chicken or pork or something, probably in about the same or smaller quantity.  I might also suggest not eating a lot of fruit this early in your process - it's great, but it's also sugary/carby, and I don't plan to indulge until I'm a lot closer to my goal weight and out of my honeymoon period.

I think that may be the best piece of advice I can offer - right now you're in a period where your body really wants to lose weight, so take advantage of it!  We should have a good 6-9 months of easy, steady loss if we keep our meals protein-forward and keep the carbs low.  

I'd also suggest having a talk with the part of yourself that's resistant to tracking your food intake and measuring portions.  I had to have that same talk with myself.  It's just far too easy for me to guesstimate, or forget I ate something, or forget to think about it at all.  And our intake does matter - even in the honeymoon phase.

Good luck!  I hope things start moving downward for you again soon!

Thanks so much for the input. I've def refocused myself of protein and dropped as many of the carbs as I can. I also no longer drink the premier shakes like a diet drink. I've managed to start losing again - down 6 pounds. I can basically tolerate anything and that can be difficult at times but I'm finding a better balance I think. I'm still thinking about tracking but for now, I'm just ALOT more mindful of what I put in my mouth and how often. I'm feeling good about myself. I check in with the dietitian on Dec 1st. So, if they want to make further changes, i'll do it. I'm thinking I was losing inches for the time and not weight but only time will tell. Sounds like you are also getting into the flow of life after surgery and I hope you continue to do well! 

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Just now, Orien said:

Thanks so much for the input. I've def refocused myself of protein and dropped as many of the carbs as I can. I also no longer drink the premier shakes like a diet drink. I've managed to start losing again - down 6 pounds. I can basically tolerate anything and that can be difficult at times but I'm finding a better balance I think. I'm still thinking about tracking but for now, I'm just ALOT more mindful of what I put in my mouth and how often. I'm feeling good about myself. I check in with the dietitian on Dec 1st. So, if they want to make further changes, i'll do it. I'm thinking I was losing inches for the time and not weight but only time will tell. Sounds like you are also getting into the flow of life after surgery and I hope you continue to do well! 

Thanks!  How long was your stall, exactly?  I've had one or two weeks (not in a row) where I bounced around between two numbers (most recently, a week of 269-270-269 that seemed endless, but was just a week! and finally broke). 

Glad to hear you're doing better and the scale is moving again!!

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It honestly felt like a month of being stuck. Maybe towards the end of that mouth it was about two weeks, like you said just going from 243 - 245, it drove me nuts! I'm out of the 240's now - never going back! And now your'e out of the 270's, so we're winning! 

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On 11/15/2017 at 9:55 PM, Orien said:

Thanks so much for the input. I've def refocused myself of protein and dropped as many of the carbs as I can. I also no longer drink the premier shakes like a diet drink. I've managed to start losing again - down 6 pounds. I can basically tolerate anything and that can be difficult at times but I'm finding a better balance I think. I'm still thinking about tracking but for now, I'm just ALOT more mindful of what I put in my mouth and how often. I'm feeling good about myself. I check in with the dietitian on Dec 1st. So, if they want to make further changes, i'll do it. I'm thinking I was losing inches for the time and not weight but only time will tell. Sounds like you are also getting into the flow of life after surgery and I hope you continue to do well! 

Congrats on the breaking out of the stall! The Plan works if you just keep to it. 

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