Tuesday, June 10, 2008

2 pounds in 5 weeks

I’m stalled.
Or at least I’m moving VERY slowly right now. Cumulatively, I’ve lost 2 pounds over the past 5 weeks. And I’m losing it by the ounce …. just 1/3 of a pound this week, 1/10 of a pound last week…. You get the picture. And I’m not losing inches right now either. It’s frustrating and agonizing.

I know, I know, I know, it’s all just part of the process and it’s completely normal. I know all the right answers. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

I called the nutritionist this morning (yes, the same one I met with the last time I had an appointment, I was hoping to talk to the other one, but got stuck with whoever answered the phone). I asked some questions and asked for her advice on what changes I needed to make, etc. She refused to tell me how many calories I should be aiming for. At my 3-month appointment I was given the guideline of 800-1000 calories per day, but not given any additional guidelines at the 6-month mark and now she won’t tell me anything at all. Yes, I even asked her about 6 times and she still wouldn’t give me a number. She just kept repeating her "rules" and wouldn't give me any specific information about how things might need to be adjusted for me personally and how my body was reacting to her rules.

Right now I am eating about 900-1000 calorie per day and getting 90-100g protein and about 60-80g carbs.

Here are the “rules” she said I needed to follow:

• eat 3 meals per day
• drink 3 protein shakes per day
• make sure I’m getting all my protein in each day - 60g-80g
• focus on portion size, not calorie count
• drink plenty of water

So here are the “rules” that I’m technically breaking:

• 60-80g protein/day --- I’m taking in 80g to 100g per day. It has stopped my hair loss and also boosted my weight loss when things were very slow at 4-month mark. Plus, other medical professionals on my bariatric team (the MD and the psychologist) always say 80-100g, the only person saying 60-80g is the nutritionist (and you know how much I trust her!)
• 3 shakes per day --- if I added an extra 2 shakes per day, I’d be getting an additional 60g protein per day. I’d rather eat real food than drink protein shakes that I don’t really enjoy. I do 1 shake per day first thing in the morning and get the remaining 70g protein from food in my meals and 1 snack.
• I count calories --- Actually I count protein grams using Fitday and knowing what my calorie count is, that's just a side benefit. I use an online food journal to count my protein grams because I’m too lazy to keep that running tally in my head all day – plus it’s more accurate than guessing.

I guess I have a different philosophy on calorie counting than my nutritionist does. She doesn’t think it matters how many calories I eat in a day – almost like she doesn’t believe I could possibly be eating enough calories to make a difference, as long as I’m following her rules. I personally think it’s easy to rack up the calorie total, even if I’m following her rules. Here’s what I mean:

My typical day's meals are about:

Breakfast (yogurt w/ granola)
Calories: 150
Protein: 14g

Lunch (today is chicken/zucchini casserole and a side salad)
Calories: 250
Protein: 23g

Dinner (tortilla pizza w/ turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, cheese)
Calories: 230
Protein: 22g

My protein shakes (made with 1 scoop powder and 1 cup milk):
Calories: 196
Protein: 35g

If I have 3 per day that equals:
Calories 588
Protein 105g

So my total intake for the day – if I listened to the nutritionist - would be:
Calories: 1,218
Protein: 164g (54%)
Carbs: 91g (23%)
Fats: 30g (23%)

I could live with the calories being at 1,218, but I can’t live with the protein being so high and out of proportion with the carbs and fat. I also don’t see how she can recommend doing 3 shakes per day AND 3 meals per day and still expect a person to remain within her protein rules of 60-80g – it just can’t work logically. Unless she thinks I’m still just sipping on broth and pudding or still eating 1 ounce of food at a time. Or unless she thinks protein shakes only have 10 or 15g of protein in each one. I just don’t get it. Obviously my nutritionist isn’t much help and that is really starting to piss me off.

So I need to figure out what I’m going to do to break this stall. Do I just keep doing what I’m doing and hope the scale begins to move again or do I make changes to my eating plan? I’m already doing a ton of exercising and can’t fit much more into my schedule, so that’s not the issue I don’t think.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



  1. Hi Pam,

    If you are doing a "ton of exercise", then you may need to boost your calories to compensate. Do you know your net cals? I have not read all of your blog so you may have addressed this previously.

    I recently upped my cals to 1000-1150 and have a better weekly loss. Different from you, I am only low to moderately active due to continued gout flares & arthritis. I am slowly building up my level of activity as I lose and plan to increase cals as I do.

    Just a thought which I am sure you have already pondered. I always enjoy your analysis and appreciate that we are close in surgery date.

    Take care, Jo

  2. what about a temporary reduction in carbs for a few days... or you could go back to a soft/solid diet for a...anything to mix it up a bit!

  3. Everyone i've ever asked has recommended the 5 day pouch test. Basically you go back to the first week after surgery. I never tried it, but you do liquids for the first few days then end the last 2, i think, with dence protien only. No slider food and don't drink any calories. I've also heard of people eating more to break stalls. Healthy foods of course. Just my 2 cents.

    1. Take a look at the post I wrote about the 5 Day Pouch Test. I DO NOT advocate doing that for healthy weight loss or breaking a stall. In my opinion, it's nothing more than a fad diet for WLS'ers. Here's the link to the article: http://pamtremble.blogspot.com/2013/04/i-hate-wls-fad-diets-and-so-should-you.html


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