CelticGirl

Can you have too much protein?

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Hi everyone,

 

3 1/2 weeks post-op and have lost 19 lbs. It looks like I'm settling into losing 3 lbs a week (last week and it looks like this week too)  and I have to admit it's disappointing. I thought the average was 5-7.  I'm 57 if that matters. I do an hour of water aerobics 6 days a week and am eating mostly protein. (on soft foods) Besides the two protein drinks made with non-fat milk (72 grams) I'll have a light & fit yogurt after my workout.(12 grams) hour later fruit. hour later string cheese (12 grams) was eating sliced turkey (on one meal) but after I went up a pound yesterday I think it has too much sodium. (I got the smoked. LOL) so last night I ate 7 oz of fat free refried beans at two intervals. (lost the pound plus one)

Bottom line is I'm exercising more than usual and eating less than 800 calories a day and getting more than my protein in. Am I eating too much protein? Do you think it's my age? Thanks for your advice. 

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Docs differ.  Mine was fine on my hitting 70+ grams of protein early out (the bulk of which was protein shakes made with milk).  His goal was 60 to 80g per day.

Even now at 10+ years out, it's rare that I don't get 75 - 80g protein in daily, half of which comes from a protein shake (made with milk).   I don't eat meat or eggs but eat fish and shellfish but I don't always want that for every meal.  And he was fine with me continuing to use protein shakes to keep my intake up.

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If I did the math right, you’re eating about 100 grams of protein a day. That’s not too much by any stretch of the imagination (even the most conservative RDA is 0.4 grams protein/lb of body weight). That said, there are varying opinions about how much protein you can actually absorb (and utilize) at any given time, so it would be wise to be conscious of how often & how much protein you’re eating at a time. The general consensus is a max of about 35 grams per meal, depending on the type of protein (whey protein, for example is absorbed at a rate of about 10 g/hr). Honestly, I doubt your weight loss is related to your protein intake or your exercise. Unless it’s incredibly intense water aerobics, I doubt it’s stressing your body enough to increase your cortisol levels and inhibit weight loss. Personally, I’d cut out the fruit and replace the beans with a lower carb food and, depending on your water intake, possibly increase that to see if it makes a difference. But the 3lbs/wk may just be the rate of loss that your body is losing at. That’s really not a bad rate, honestly, particularly given that you had the sleeve which is known for a slower rate of weight loss. I think if you stick with doing what you’re doing, the weight will come off, even if it’s slower than you’d prefer.

Edited by athenarose

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^^^ agree with @athenarose

My losses averaged about 3 lbs per week the whole time I was losing, and only lost 20 pounds in one month in my pre-op diet, never after that. 5-7 sounds like what a few people get for the first month. Not any kind of normal or average. Lucky, though! 3 pounds per week will have you losing 150 pounds in a year, if you kept it up... which is astounding. 

I think you’re just getting used to things right now - most people at your point are worried that “it’s not working” - I definitely was. It’s working. Trust the process. 

Also unless you’ve been specifically told to by your doctor, don’t worry about a little salt - you’re not eating enough food for it to actually be a lot, most likely, and not eating much in the way of salty processed food. Water retention isn’t fat, although the scale numbers may be a tad high. I ended up with really low blood pressure while losing (and still now) and upping my sodium was helpful in not feeling faint when standing up. If you’re concerned, you can track it in My Fitness Pal, along with protein and carbs and fat and calories, etc.

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@CelticGirl

You're doing fine! Each of us has a  different trajectory than everyone else based on our own metabolisms, etc. The water aerobics as @athenarose says are not likely to be a major source of caloric loss right now BUT BUT BUT it is so important in terms of cementing your habit of exercise. In the future you may do laps swimming or something similar; exercise is essential to an healthy life (we tend to focus on weight loss here, but the ultimate goal is to lose weight AND have an healthy life).

I'm sensitive to water weight too. But a couple of days of laying off the salt --> it comes off. 

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You could well be in the stall that happens around the 3 week mark.  

Also, remember the excess weight didn’t appear overnight and it isn’t going to disappear overnight;). Just stay on plan and it will come off.

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Relax.  You are doing great!  Trust me, if you stick to the diet plan within a year you will be at your goal weight and look back at this post and wonder why you were concerned.

Also, everyones' weight loss surgery journey is a bit different, but remember that typically vertical sleeve patients lose weight a bit slower than gastric bypass patients, and that men typically lose weight faster than women.  

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@athenarose Thank you . I feel so much better. You're so smart about this stuff! I  It's weird but eating makes me feel like I'm cheating even though I'm only eating whats on the plan. I'm sure you're right about the 3 lbs a week. My metabolism has always been so slow and that's why I had such a hard time losing weight on my own.  The reason I mentioned the water aerobics is that I wanted to add that I'd been excising which speeds up my metabolism and I was still losing so slowly. I added the yogurt and watermelon because the protein alone was clogging me up which was very uncomfortable. I used to be so regular this is a new thing. I appreciate you taking the time to impart your wisdom on me.

Take care,

Karen

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@cinwa You're right, all doctors are different. They told me to have at least 60 grams of protein a day, but didn't say anything about a max amount. 

I've been having 2 whey shakes with non-fat milk to make sure I got that. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

Take care,

Karen

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@Jen581791 That's good to know. Thanks! I must admit I do love that Turkey. LOL. I've always loved salt, but don't feel the need to put it on anything anymore. I've already had to cut my blood pressure medicine in half because it was so low. I'm kind of excited about that. Now that I know 3 lbs is normal, I won't sweat it.  Now I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. A novel idea, I know! Ha. 

Thanks for answering.

Take care,

Karen 

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@BurgundyBoy the water aerobics work for me now, but when I'm able I will up the exercise. For me it works for firming and toning as well as aerobics. I do a two part workout with water weights. They actually make my arms look worse because of the muscle underneath the fat, my arms look like they have cellulite! LOL. I think that will go away as I lose more weight. 

Thank you for the words of encouragement.

Take care,

Karen

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@Cheesehead Thanks for the words of encouragement!

Take care,

Karen

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@Res Ipsa thank so much for the kind words! and encouragement! Yes, men do lose faster women. Those little buggers! LOL.

I appreciate you answering.

Take care,

Karen

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2 hours ago, CelticGirl said:

@Jen581791 That's good to know. Thanks! I must admit I do love that Turkey. LOL. I've always loved salt, but don't feel the need to put it on anything anymore. I've already had to cut my blood pressure medicine in half because it was so low. I'm kind of excited about that. Now that I know 3 lbs is normal, I won't sweat it.  Now I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. A novel idea, I know! Ha. 

Thanks for answering.

Take care,

Karen 

Good idea with checking with your doctor on the blood pressure - if he/she is checking your bp regularly and monitoring your meds, best to ask. But I found while tracking my sodium on MFP that while eating tiny amounts, my sodium intake was really low, even if I was eating canned soup or something, just because the amounts of food were so small!

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On 7/15/2018 at 3:19 AM, CelticGirl said:

@BurgundyBoy the water aerobics work for me now, but when I'm able I will up the exercise. For me it works for firming and toning as well as aerobics. I do a two part workout with water weights. They actually make my arms look worse because of the muscle underneath the fat, my arms look like they have cellulite! LOL. I think that will go away as I lose more weight. 

Thank you for the words of encouragement.

Take care,

Karen

Oh those will tighten up too with time. When you think of your arms now focus on the emerging muscles, so that your thoughts about your arms are more reasonably balanced and positive, not unbalanced and negatively attuned to the cellulite. 

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On 7/15/2018 at 2:43 AM, Jen581791 said:

Good idea with checking with your doctor on the blood pressure - if he/she is checking your bp regularly and monitoring your meds, best to ask. But I found while tracking my sodium on MFP that while eating tiny amounts, my sodium intake was really low, even if I was eating canned soup or something, just because the amounts of food were so small!

@Jen581791 I hope that's true. I'm a month out now and my taste buds changed again. Pea soup was fabulous and now it needs salt and pepper for taste. Same with bean soup. Guess I won't be eating them anymore.  I wonder how long this three week slump lasts?  I'm afraid to weigh myself since I lost only 1 lb in week 4.  

 

 

Edited by CelticGirl

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On 7/18/2018 at 8:38 AM, BurgundyBoy said:

Oh those will tighten up too with time. When you think of your arms now focus on the emerging muscles, so that your thoughts about your arms are more reasonably balanced and positive, not unbalanced and negatively attuned to the cellulite. 

@BurgundyBoy YAY! I can't wait. All right, I'll be nicer to my arms so they don't get a complex. LOL. Do men get those chicken wings?  You know, the flab that hangs under the arms?  Just wondering if those will tighten up as well or if I'm stuck with those.

Take care!

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On 7/15/2018 at 2:43 AM, Jen581791 said:

Good idea with checking with your doctor on the blood pressure - if he/she is checking your bp regularly and monitoring your meds, best to ask. But I found while tracking my sodium on MFP that while eating tiny amounts, my sodium intake was really low, even if I was eating canned soup or something, just because the amounts of food were so small!

 

On 7/14/2018 at 5:50 AM, Cheesehead said:

You could well be in the stall that happens around the 3 week mark.  

Also, remember the excess weight didn’t appear overnight and it isn’t going to disappear overnight;). Just stay on plan and it will come off.

@CheeseheadI'm so glad you warned me about the 3 week stall. Only lost 1 lb in week 4. Hard not to panic, but I trust you. LOL. Any idea how long it lasts? Afraid to weigh myself again. 

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Sometimes a few days to couple of weeks.  Do tape measurements!  Sometimes when you aren’t losing weight, you are still losing inches.  I never noticed a stall, but I only weighed every other Saturday.  Btw, I get 80-120 gr protein per day..  

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18 hours ago, CelticGirl said:

@BurgundyBoy YAY! I can't wait. All right, I'll be nicer to my arms so they don't get a complex. LOL. Do men get those chicken wings?  You know, the flab that hangs under the arms?  Just wondering if those will tighten up as well or if I'm stuck with those.

Take care!

Oh sure, anyone can get chicken wings (my family calls them bat wings). The younger you are the more elastic your skin is, and the chance of remodeling of your skin is higher.  Will let others comment, but with the exercise I do, I have almost no bat wings. (I swim, bike, do indoor rowing, some upper arm strengthening too). My arms are all handsomely muscled according to my Perfect Wife, whose judgement is not to be quibbled with. More seriously, if you just do some modicrum of arm exercise, am sure your skin will tighten up there. 

I do have a ridge of remnant blubber about my middle and some saggy booty issues, but, well, that is what stretchy nylon was invented to cover. :D

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On 7/20/2018 at 6:08 PM, BurgundyBoy said:

Oh sure, anyone can get chicken wings (my family calls them bat wings). The younger you are the more elastic your skin is, and the chance of remodeling of your skin is higher.  Will let others comment, but with the exercise I do, I have almost no bat wings. (I swim, bike, do indoor rowing, some upper arm strengthening too). My arms are all handsomely muscled according to my Perfect Wife, whose judgement is not to be quibbled with. More seriously, if you just do some modicrum of arm exercise, am sure your skin will tighten up there. 

My arms are handsomely muscled as well...under the bat wings!

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18 minutes ago, Carina said:

My arms are handsomely muscled as well...under the bat wings!

My arms get a lot of exercise and I've got pretty good biceps.  Some of my skin shrank but not enough for me to go sleeveless.  

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8 hours ago, Carina said:

My arms are handsomely muscled as well...under the bat wings!

Ok I guess the confession now... no bat wings for me on the arms. but I have pretty impressive bat upper thighs now. Muscles on the legs from the exercise and weight loss, and then this hilarious wobbly bat thigh stuff. Spandex, spandex, I worship you...

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On 7/20/2018 at 9:08 AM, BurgundyBoy said:

Oh sure, anyone can get chicken wings (my family calls them bat wings). The younger you are the more elastic your skin is, and the chance of remodeling of your skin is higher.  Will let others comment, but with the exercise I do, I have almost no bat wings. (I swim, bike, do indoor rowing, some upper arm strengthening too). My arms are all handsomely muscled according to my Perfect Wife, whose judgement is not to be quibbled with. More seriously, if you just do some modicrum of arm exercise, am sure your skin will tighten up there. 

I do have a ridge of remnant blubber about my middle and some saggy booty issues, but, well, that is what stretchy nylon was invented to cover. :D

@BurgundyBoy That's fantastic! I was afraid that without plastic surgery that my arms would always be flying in the breeze. :D I have two older sisters that don't have this problem and I'm the only one who consistently works out my arms, so I thought I was destined to live with it forever. Phew. You're right about the cellulite looking bumps on top of my arms, they smoothed out already. 

Thanks once again for your input.

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On 7/22/2018 at 3:51 AM, Carina said:

My arms are handsomely muscled as well...under the bat wings!

@Carina I'm with you. My entire body looks like Jennifer Lopez, you just can't see it yet!:D

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