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Old 08-09-2008, 02:27 PM   #1  
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Question Why do too few calories slow down our metabolism: but people with surgery lose weight

This might be an ignorant question: but I wondered why when we eat too few calories we slow down our metabolism, but those that have lap bands or their stomachs made smaller lose weight?

Don't get me wrong...there is no way in this world I would do the surgery...I just don't know why they have success and we have slower metabolisms then everything we eat turns to fat
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:33 PM   #2  
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truthfully i dont know the Real Reason, but i DO know that when you eat too little your body goes into Starvation Mode like the Cavemen used to do and it holds on to all the weight it can... i guess because it slows down your Metabolism? maybe a Veteran can pop in on this one...
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:39 PM   #3  
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I don't know but I assume that just because they eat smaller potions they probably just eat smaller meals more often and therefore dont necessarily eat too few calories.
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:15 PM   #4  
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Actually, I think the metabolism of weight loss surgery patients DO slow down drastically. Otherwise, in the case of gastric bypass patients (where a good portion of the digestive system is REMOVED so that food cannot be absorbed easily) it should be virtually impossible to ever return to their starting weights (at least not without eating horrendously more calories than when they started. In theory (if metabolism did not slow down), a patient should be able to lose at least a good deal of weight, even if they were somehow be able to continue to eat their usual amount of food (because less would be absorbed in their systems). So again, in order to return to their original weights, in theory (again, if metabolism were unaffected), they should have to eat vast amounts more of food than they ever did before, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

The statistics on wls patients' success and failure rates are a bit dicey, but the best stats I've read are that wls is effective (resulting in maintaining at least some of the weight loss) in only about 40 to 50% of cases. Which means at least HALF return to their starting weights or higher (yet may still suffer from nutritional deficiencies caused by the failure to absorb enough vital nutrients).

WLS enforces a starvation diet. They lose weight because (and only so long as they) eat next to nothing. Starvation diets result in the body slowing down, but not halting the starvation process. On few enough calories, anyone will eventually starve to death, losing weight during the process. The secret to wls patients who are successful, is maintaining that fine balance between starvation and weight gain.

There doesn't seem to be much evidence that wls patients are ever able to eat like a "normal" person ever again. They will probably always have to eat much less than a person who has never had to diet, or even less than an overweight person who has never gone on a starvation diet or had the surgery.

To some degree, exercise seems to increase metabolism. So wls patients (or anyone for that matter) can boost their metabolism through exercise (if they're eating sufficient calories).

I learned recently that my next door neighbor had gastric bypass. She lost over 100 lbs, but is having a terrible time maintaining her weight. She's gained about 25 to 30 lbs back. She says she has to eat next to nothing, just to keep from gaining. She's also had several bouts of vitamin deficiencies. She admits to having difficulty following the diet she's "supposed" to be eating, but says it's so much less than what she was eating before her surgery, that she still can't believe she is maintaining her weight (and not losing) with how little she's eating.
Also, struggling with the vitamin deficiencies has been very difficult for her. Because vitamin pills don't get absorbed well enough, so she's torn between being told she should eat more (and possibly regain more) or get expensive vitamin shots (her insurance won't cover).

Not everyone who has wls has these complications or difficulties, but her story has definitely influenced my desire to do this without wls.

Last edited by kaplods; 08-09-2008 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:27 PM   #5  
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Thanks for sharing that. My heart go out to people that are struggling with all of that, I can't even imagine.

Last edited by cdiem4994; 08-09-2008 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:43 PM   #6  
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It's heartbreaking really. To think of going through all of that and having less than a 50/50 shot at keeping it off. I'm not saying that no one should consider the surgery, because I've also met a couple people very happy with their surgery. One woman I met while in the waiting room while my husband had a spinal injection procedure. She looked fantastic, and was three years post surgery. She had some minor complications, but nothing life-threatening. She told me that she was able to keep the weight off with a high protein, low carb diet and TONS of exercise, but she seemed content with doing so.

I started seriously looking into surgery then, but decided against it for myself, because I'm far too prone to staph infections, and have an autoimmune disorder that makes either surgery more risky than it would be for most patients.

It really opened my eyes to the surgery being considered "the easy way out." The fact is, there really isn't ANY easy way.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:05 AM   #7  
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I think it also has to do with your Thyroid slowing down - and since your body isn't given an abundance of calories, it saves what it can while it can.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:10 AM   #8  
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Let me offer an alternative theory on this, and a much simpler one. Patients that weight less than 100 lbs overweight, need to pay for these procedures out of pocket most of the time. Most of us don't have that kind of money right? So most that get gastric bypass surgery only when they are already morbidly obese.

If you are 5'4" and weigh near 300 lbs when you start consuming so many less calories, you will drop weight just because of the starting weight being so high despite this so called "starvation" mode. Think of how many excess calories they were consuming before. On the other hand, if I am 5'7" and weigh in the high end of healthy (159 lbs), I think this type of surgery if I would get approved (which I wouldn't) wouldn't have the same effect. And... as others said...even people on starvation diets lose weight even if that is just often due loss of protein and muscle.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:02 PM   #9  
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My opinion is, you can lose weight by starving yourself no problem, the weight will come off, but is it healthy? No. Is it a lifestyle you can maintain? No. People who have gastric bypass or lapband can still overeat, they just have to do it in small portions. They can also maintain a normal weight loss calorie range 12-1500 ish calories a day. They are not starving by dieting standards, just overeating standards. If you used to eat over 4500 calories a day and you go down to 1200, you'll lose weight. If you normally eat 2000 calories a day and you go down to 1200 you'll lose weight, just alot slower. Its all a matter of where you've been and where you are going.
Personally, I'd rather eat good food and watch my portions then starve...it tastes better...lol.
I have a friend who has struggled with anorexia and bulimia for years. She can gain and lose weight like nobody's business so we all know that starving will work but its just not healthy. My friend has so little muscle left in her body from starving that her heart could literally give up the goat at any minute. Her body has literally metabolised the muscle from her heart in its fight against her self imposed starvation.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:24 PM   #10  
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That is so frightening. My heart goes out to your friend; I hope she's getting help for her eating disorder.

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Her body has literally metabolised the muscle from her heart in its fight against her self imposed starvation.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:28 PM   #11  
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I lost about 40 pounds a few yeears ago doing Weigh Down. It's a biblically based approach to weight loss, but the jist is you only eat when abrolutley hungry and then stop when you are satisfied. I think that the surgery patients are forced into this principle. I wouldn't say that I was starving myself, but I did find that I could still lose weight, eat healthy and stay active without eating much. Way less calories than calorie counting allows me. I truly don't believe this is a bad way to look at things. Going to extremes and starving yourself, yes, but only eating when true hunger sets in is the way we were designed. We shouldn't stuff ourselves or eat more just because we have extra calories to lose. So yeah, your body may go into starvation mode for a time but everntually realizes that you don't need all the crap you were feeding it and adjusts. Am I making any sense???
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:59 PM   #12  
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I think starvation mode is less likely to occur when we are feeding ourselves when we are hungry and only until satisfied than it is when people are ignoring hunger signals and NOT eating when they are truly, physically hungry. Severe stomach rumbling hunger, exhaustion and excess sleepiness may be signs that the body is trying to "cut back" on it's resources.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:13 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost View Post
My opinion is, you can lose weight by starving yourself no problem, the weight will come off, but is it healthy? No. Is it a lifestyle you can maintain? No. People who have gastric bypass or lapband can still overeat, they just have to do it in small portions.
If you don't eat healthy even with the surgery you will not lose the weight.. in fact you can even stretch your stomach back out to the original size. I know a girl who lost 100 pounds after the surgery but her weight loss slowed while she was still obese because she felt that she had lost a great deal and that she could eat four packages of ramen noodles for lunch at our school.
I know another person who has had the surgery and has lost very little weight and its been a few months.

If you starve yourself down to your goal weight and then start eating healthy, your body will hold onto everything trying to get back to a healthy state just in case of another starvation period and you'll gain the weight back.... as they say Rapid weight loss often means Rapid weight gain. Fad diets down work.. Gotta do it the hard way.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:28 PM   #14  
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Quote:
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as they say Rapid weight loss often means Rapid weight gain. Fad diets down work.. Gotta do it the hard way.
well...personally, IMHO, I think starving IS the hard way...lol! I'd so much rather eat 1000+ calories of good, flavorful, clean food then starve anyday!
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:01 PM   #15  
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I have a question... I find this all very interesting!

Let's us me for an example. I was eating anywhere from 2,500- 3,500 + cal/ day. I starting eating 1,200/ day and lost 19 pounds in a month. Everyone told me I was not eating enough for me. I'm 5'11. I also started exercising 3 times/ week. I upped my calories to 1,500 and have not love anything in 10 days. Is my body storing my additional calories? I don't understand my body. If I did the actual calories that health people recommend. I would be eating 2,000- 2,500 cal, which obviously would not work. Any suggestions to what is going on?
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