Weight Loss Surgery - Scientific-al Sorta Type-y Question

04-18-2005, 10:17 PM
I have not had WLS. I don't qualify, even though I am as big as a house. :) But anyway...

You know how "they" (You know, those "they" people.. and magazines, and doctors, and junk) say that people shouldn't go below 1200-1400 calories a day because it fries your metabolism and your body goes into starvation mode? Well, most of the girlies I know who have had WLS eat well below that caloric amount each day and lose weight. A lot of weight. Yes, it slows down after a six or eight month period a bit but until then, they can lose up to 7 pounds a week. Whyyyyyyyyy? If non-WLS people can ruin their metabolisms by not eating "enough" calories why doesn't that happen to WLS people? Me no understand it. :) Does it have to do with the fact that most post-op'ers eat many tiny meals a day so that keeps the metabolism up? Any thoughts welcome.

04-19-2005, 01:17 AM
Once a person has weight loss surgery, at least the type I had, the metabolism complately changes. Ergo, the rules change. The relationship between the pancreas and small intestine is so dramatically different, that the body doesn't recognize 500 calories a day as starvation mode. The brain also sees the relationship change, so hunger signals typically change as well. The pancreas puts out less insulin and the blood sugar levels stay stable longer, forcing the body to burn stored fat as long as there is adequate protein being ingested. So, don't make the mistake of thinkng of those of us who have had surgery as starving ourselves. We aren't. We are doing what our "new anatomies" need. Our bodies will eventually adapt to certain aspects of the malabsorption aspects in abywhere from 2 to 10 years time. It's so individualistic. Each person's results, side effects and complications are as individual as their fingerprints.


04-21-2005, 04:11 PM
Even for us non-WLS people, the 1200-1400 rule isn't about metabolism, it's about nutrients. It takes at least 1200 calories of a well-balanced diet to provide an adult with the bare minimum RDAs of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Taking vitamin pills obviously help avoid that problem, but the "metabolism" threshold isn't really related. I can eat 3000 calories per day, but if that is significantly lower than than what my body needs (due to body composition and activity), starvation mode will still kick in. It happens to people on weight loss programs all the time. They are eating a lot more than 1200 calories and losing. Then they start a vigorous exercise program and their active caloric needs increase a great deal, but they don't eat any more. Sooner or later their body puts on the brakes and they stop losing. So, the point at which your body shifts into survival/starvation mode is individual, and can change drastically over time.