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Thread: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

  1. #1
    Gastric Sleeve Member EarthAngel71's Avatar
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    Question Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    Hi everyone. I have a question that might seem silly - over the years, with various diets and regimes, I have been warned about not letting calories get too low or the body goes into starvation mode. It seems most people are on between 700 and 900 calories, which is below what is advised - is that why there is a need to supplement vitamins and calcium? With people being so successful with weight loss , it doesn't seem to be hurting the metabolism...so is that just general advice but the fact that sleevers do it under medical supervision makes it different?

    Reference Guide for Calories
    "You can actually hurt your body's ability to lose weight by going too low. Here's why. The body has a protective mechanism. When calories drop too low (we recommend a minimum of 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men) the body reacts as if it is starving and tries to conserve energy. It will lower your metabolism, conserve calories and fat, and you will not burn calories as quickly. This results in a slower weight loss or even no weight loss. This is what's know as "Starvation Mode."

    When calorie intake falls below 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, it is also extremely difficult to follow a balanced diet and obtain all the nutrients that are needed by the body to stay strong and energetic and prevent disease. These very low calorie intakes can also lead to other health problems such as eating disorders, gout, gallstones, and heart complications. For these reasons, the SparkDiet strongly suggests not going below 1,200 calories daily for women and 1,500 calories daily for men."
    “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”― Nelson Mandela

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  3. #2
    Gastric Sleeve Member scgal21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    I have yo-yo dieted for a long time and was actually gaining weight on 1200 calories a day. It is very frustrating, since I've never been one to binge or eat a lot of junk food. My Dr. said I messed up my metabolism by starving myself to try and lose weight. I am trying to get in 800 calories a day after my sleeve and the weight loss is very slow, but it is coming off so I'm trying to be patient. As the weight comes off, I'm walking and excercising more, so hopefully in time I'll build my metabolism back up. The sleeve and restricted calories were a necessity for me to lose anything. The protein supplements as well as the vitamins help with the daily nutrition. I also saw a documentary on the link between calorie restriction and living longer...not sure about that, but was definately interesting.


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  5. #3
    Gastric Sleeve Member lauriej71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    Honestly, I have a hard time getting in 800 calories a day and sticking to the requirements my doc gave me. I am supposed to eat no more than 1/2 of food per meal and no snacking except occasionally. It is extremely hard to get in 800-900 calories on those restrictions especially when you are focused on protein. I managed to get in 830 one day, but most days it's well below that. I see my doc on the 7th and plan to ask him a few questions then.
    Steve Demko likes this.


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  7. #4
    Gastric Sleeve Member MOMX2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    Would you let me know what your doctors says after your visit. I think that is one of my fears right now. I'm getting ready to move into the mushy stage tomorrow. At this point, I am only able to get about 400-500 calories at most each day. Plus, I've been walking with the Wii. There are days where my exercise is bringing me down to almost all my calories being burned for the day. I am getting in enough protein as I usually make sure I get to of my shakes a day to give me 70 grams of protein. I worry that maybe that's why my loss is so slow since surgery especially when comparing myself to the others who had surgery about the same time as me. Could it be that I am not getting enough calories in at this point that my body has gone into starvation mode? So many questions.....Good luck everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lauriej71 View Post
    Honestly, I have a hard time getting in 800 calories a day and sticking to the requirements my doc gave me. I am supposed to eat no more than 1/2 of food per meal and no snacking except occasionally. It is extremely hard to get in 800-900 calories on those restrictions especially when you are focused on protein. I managed to get in 830 one day, but most days it's well below that. I see my doc on the 7th and plan to ask him a few questions then.


  8. #5
    Gastric Sleeve Member Rainbow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    The whole starvation mode thing really freaked me out. Mainly because before my sleeve it really seemed to be true.I would try so hard to loose and my body would not let go of the fat! After my sleeve however, i was unable to get the minimum in. Seriously i thought i was gonna die for sure because i was getting probably 500 calories or less a day! I only had 100 lbs to loose so it was very unhealthy to loose 70 lbs in the first 4 months! My Body was in shock and ALL my hair fell out. But my main point is that even though my body used to hold on to my fat and slow my metabolism. After the Sleeve it didn't do that. Now it just lived off the fat. I took vitamins and got as much protein as i could, but my body was FORCED to burn the fat. By 6 months i came to grips with the fact that as long as i had the vitamin supplements my blood-work proved that i actually had enough nutrition the whole point all along was for my body to have to burn the fat! If not for the sleeve i would have given in to the self-preservation instinct and would have started eating more and not lost the weight like all the times in the past. There is not a pretty way of saying it but for that 1st 6 months i really did "starve" as time went on i was able to get a little more food in and by a year i was able to get enough to stop the starvation. by 1 1/2 years i was able to maintain a level weight. This is what the sleeve was meant to do. Been over 2 years now and i am able to eat even more, but am careful as i know now that if i want to stay small i must always eat small.
    Steve Demko and lvbigmom like this.


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    Gastric Sleeve Member Kelly Jo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    I do worry about this. My loss has been slow compared to many others on this forum. I am losing consistently, but not the 5+ lbs a week so many people lose. I'm 7 1/2 weeks post op and I've lost 26 lbs post op. I wonder if it is because I am eating too few calories. But I am eating all I can. You get full so fast post op and try to get in protein and it's just hard to eat any more. I go to Curves several times a week and I have an active job and feel like I should be taking in more calories but I just can't. The only way to do that would be to eat empty calories or junk food and we all know that is not a wise choice. I've come to terms with my loss being slower and am happy with the consistency and just hope that after I pass the 6 month mark it doesn't slow down even more.


    "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears."

    Beginning weight: 324; Pre-op loss: 33 lbs; Weight on day of surgery: 291

    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

  12. #7
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    I am four days post op, how do you know you are getting enough? I am so tired today!



  13. #8
    Gastric Sleeve Member Kelly Jo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    Quote Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
    I am four days post op, how do you know you are getting enough? I am so tired today!
    You are going to be tired. That is normal. You still have anesthesia in your body. For some people, that may keep you tired for a couple of weeks. Get your rest. You should still be on liquids right now. Just try to stay hydrated and if you are allowed yogurt and such eat some of that for some protein and your shakes.


    "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears."

    Beginning weight: 324; Pre-op loss: 33 lbs; Weight on day of surgery: 291

    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

  14. #9
    Gastric Sleeve Member Rainbow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    2-3 lbs a week is more then enough! 10 lbs a month is 100 lbs in 10 months! If anybody on here was able to do that before surgery they would not have done this in the first place! Dont worry that you are not eating enough, that's not gonna stall you out! The main thing with this is staying hydrated! The more you Pee the faster you flush away the fat! So sip! sip! sip! Worry more about your fluid intake that is the most important part.


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  16. #10
    Lea
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    Gastric Sleeve Member Lea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calories and metabolism, starvation mode and the sleeve

    I was very interested in this thread because I think alot about how few calories sleevers take in....it kind of bums me out about metabolic changes, I mean, there are people out there that seem to be able to eat and eat...and not gain. I have often wondered if I had screwed up my metabolism from the crazy diets of the past...I am having the sleeve so I have the tool to keep it off, I really am pretty good about losing the lbs...I just need to keep it off this final time! screwy metabolism or not...ps...i am on medifast and i want a bowl of pasta or a slice of pizza...lol

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