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Old 01-16-2010, 03:27 PM   #1  
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Default The Surgery Plan - Without the Surgery

My sister has decided to get the gastric bypass surgery, and I am excited for her and her decision. I am not ready to go that extreme yet, but I am a little jealous of how quickly she will lose the weight.

No one loses weight from the surgery itself, though. They lose weight from the diet they are forced to eat because of the surgery. At least, that's what she thought when I asked her. I have always heard that 1200 calories should be the floor, and I have always tried to respect that when I've lost weight before, but why shouldn't I embrace a plan that has been successful for so many people? At least for the first 40-50 pounds?

I know that a lot of people will balk at this, and I absolutely want to hear what the naysayers have to say, as I don't want to ruin my health while trying to preserve it. On the other hand, I am far more interested in opinions supported by evidence. I know the "conventional wisdom." I just don't know why it is in opposition to the advice so many weight loss doctors give to their surgery patients.

If nature had intended our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies. ~Elmer Rice
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:55 PM   #2  
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I guess the thing I would be concerned about is that your sister will be heavily monitored by doctors because her eating will be so altered. Including special vitamins and supplements, blood tests, monitoring of protein levels and other nutritional things. If you are doing it on your own with no one monitoring what you are doing to yourself, you run the risk of causing yourself harm.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:02 PM   #3  
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Ya know what, I've asked the same question myself, and the only thing I can come up with other than th above stated medical personel monitorring your body and weight loss closely, is this . . .
If I had a stomach that could hold only 4 oz or something like that, a 3 oz meal is going to tell my brain im full and that way teach it that smaller portions are ok.
If my stomach holds say 16 oz . . . having a 3 oz meal isn't going to do to much other than make my mind think Im with holding food or that its in short supply and go into starvation mode.

Of course I could be WAY off here, and I probably am, but it made sense in my head.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:08 PM   #4  
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The surgery itself causes weight loss, too, at least in the case of gastric bypass. It bypasses part of your intestines so you don't absorb as much of the nutrients/calories. Certainly part of it is the restriction, but that isn't the only component. Either way, though, as people have already said, you shouldn't do something that extreme without major medical supervision.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #5  
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I'm glad you asked this because I've wondered too. I also wonder why if a person manages to lose 80+ pounds just to be a candidate for the surgery, why can't they just keep going with that? I think maybe because it's really, really hard and the surgery makes it easier? I don't want to be insensitive. I know there's a logical answer.

I know that by going to 1200 calories my stomach has shrunk. So with the above example of a 16 oz stomach originally, well mine probably used to hold that, but it doesn't any more. After a good week of hard effort, 1200 calories is now no problem.

Now with my own personal example, keeping my stomach this small is completely up to me. I'm sure one night of a good heavy meal would probably stretch my stomach out and it wouldn't take much to get used to 16 oz again. Perhaps that's not the case with the surgery???
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #6  
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There's no secret to losing weight...there are a million plans out there that work BUT there is a secret to keeping it off...learning lifetime habits you can maintain forever. Something this extreme is not doable over a lifetime. I'm afraid you may be setting yourself up for failure if you take this extreme of a route, when a regular old plan works well too. Most folks here do calorie counting/portion control, carb counting or low fat. Maybe test out one or more of those to see which you are the most compatible with rather than starting with a "nuclear" option.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:04 PM   #7  
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Wow Laurie...u took a big risk (IMO) writing this question. I say GOOD 4 U! Because I have thought the same thing. I actually recently met a person who has a sister that had the surgery and the person I met did the same diet without surgery. She did it without surgery because her insurance wouldn't cover the surgery.

Before joining 3FC I thought possibly the WLS was the easy way out. But ewww I don't think that way now. What a BIG RISK 2 take and the pain of surgery and the possibility of throwing up and blah blah blah...not to mention the risk factors of surgery. And I also know people that have gained a lot of the weight back after surgery.

DCHound said it...this is about maintenance in the long run. We can all learn secrets to weightloss and try all sorts of ways and gimmicks and theories... the magic is...and it isn't is science...ya gotta burn up what you put in. Burn up means either "just living" or moving more.

We all learned "what goes up must come down" What I am learning now and learning it over and over...whatever I put in my mouth turns into energy or turns into a weight gain. I wish it was that simple to get a grasp of it.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:41 PM   #8  
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lauriedawn, i think that's a great plan. it's what i'm doing (i went to the weight loss services group here and asked to be put on a medically supervised weight loss plan).

I agree with the other commenter that it's a good idea to have a few more sets of eyes monitoring. But really the gist of it is a balanced diet (35 % carbs, 35% protein, 30% healthy monounsat. fats) and moving...
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:05 PM   #9  
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Many times WLS candidates need to lose at least 10% of their body weight through diet / exercise for safety reasons. I think that's what Laurie meant by mentioning the WLS diet, not the surgery itself necessarily...
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:05 PM   #10  
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Well surgery (except lapband) causes those that undergo surgery to not be able to digest all the calories they eat. I'm not sure about the percentage but it is one thing that helps with surgery that you can't get otherwise.

Also, surgery is extreme for a reason, it is for those people that really need help to get some initial weight off, regardless of other things including muscle loss. From what I've read, eating too few calories can result in a greater muscle loss.

There are also diets that do kind of mimic surgery in a way such as optifast. Doctor guided, liquid diets. Again, they are meant for people that need the weight off fast for various reasons.

Even when I was well over 300 lbs, surgery wasn't on my mind because I was relatively healthy and figured there had to be a way to get the weight off without surgery.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:54 PM   #11  
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The thing is, if this was readily doable, then I think a lot more people would *just do it.* "Just" eat the 600 cal a day or whatever in protein drinks for x months, and then teeny portions as if you had had the surgery. I have seen this suggested many times, but I have never seen anyone able to stick with it for more than a few days.

The surgery *forces* you to eat that way. If you could eat that way on your own, you'd just do it. Right? A lot of people would.

I personally at one point bought high quality protein shakes and tried to do shakes only for awhile, and I went nutso and binged because I was SO hungry.

If you or anyone else tries this approach, I think it's important to be monitored by a doctor. Regardless, please post your progress and experience here so we can all see if it IS, in fact, doable by anyone.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:10 PM   #12  
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I think you would be starving... With the WLS, your stomach is smaller. But if you could handle it and were under medical supervision, I guess it could work. For me, I would rather lose the weight slowly and and find an amount of calories that I can live with eating on a daily basis forever.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:42 AM   #13  
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Thanks for the thoughtful and respectful responses. You have given me much to think about.

Yes, I think it would be challenging. But this is not my first rodeo. I find it easier to go way low-cal than to eat moderately - both require a high degree of commitment. So, Lyn, while your point is well taken, you could say the same about any plan choice that anyone makes. If it were easier, everyone would be doing it. The statistics prove that this is not easy, no matter how we choose to do it!

After a day's contemplation and some very good input, I have decided that I am not going to try it now - though I may at some point decide to go extreme low-cal w medical supervision. But today, when I was eating an apple, my 6YO daughter decided that she wanted one too. And when I was on the elliptical in the basement, she asked if she could use the treadmill. So, for about 10 minutes, we pumped out Hannah Montana and worked out together. For now, that in itself is enough to make me want to model the habits that will help her develop habits so she (hopefully!) does not have to get on the weightloss roller coaster.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:56 AM   #14  
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I have always wondered why those people who lose 10% in order to have the surgery don't just keep doing whatever they were doing to lose that 10%. And we have a good friend who lost 10%, had the surgery, lost over 100 more pounds and is now at least as big as he was before the surgery if not bigger. Surgery was about 5 years ago. Very sad IMO.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:37 AM   #15  
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I have to say I agree with the others who responded and I am glad that you've chosen to re-think your decision.
I think it's wonderful that you have chosen to be a good example for your daughter in the hope that she might never have to deal with these kinds of struggles.
Cause it's not just about losing the's about keeping it off for the rest of your life and never having to go through this again. And that can only come from learning self-control, healthy eating habits, and staying active. It may not be the quickest way...but it is the safest, healthiest way.

I had considered doing the Lap-band myself but decided against it because for me at least, losing weight isn't my only issue. I have horrible self-esteem and I need the boost to my self-esteem that doing it myself will give me.

I only started two weeks ago...and I've only lost ten pounds so far...but I feel so proud of myself for working so hard and accomplishing this myself...and I need that.
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