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How many calories should a gastric bypass post-op being eating daily?

"How many calories should a gastric bypass post-op being eating daily?"

pork fat, it's what's for breakfast.

This is a question I see in the searches all. the. time.  I would assume that everyone that has weight loss surgery goes through a thorough program that educates you in the post-operative eating plan.  Some programs give you binder -- a book -- a website to fall back on.  It surprises me how many of us just don't know.  I didn't, I know that now, but the materials were available, but I don't think the nutritionists and doctors shared EXACTLY how many calories we should take in, it was more about the lower carb intake and higher protein levels, and a bit of don't worry about calories.  I feel NOW that I should have considered calories from the beginning.

The ASMBS guidelines (which is where many surgeons GET their recommendations for you) state:

  • 1,000 to 1,400 calories depending on the individual and activity level.
  • 60 to 100 grams of protein depending on the individual and activity level.
  • 27 to 47 grams of fat based on 20 to 35 percent of a daily 1,200-calorie intake.

Even then, it's open to translation, there's no carbohydrate level listed, which is one of the biggest hurdles many of us have in this journey.  Just. how. many are we supposed to eat? Most bariatric meal plans say, "4-6 starches,"  and if a starch has an approximate 15-20 carbohydrate level per 1/2 serving, That's A Lot.  (And for people who might end up hypoglycemic after roux en y surgery, it's laughable.)

I started out with the mind-set of very low carbs, >20 a day, much like Atkins Induction Phase.  I quickly learned that each packet of sugar substitute was costing me a carb, and then a protein bar?  HA.  This leads to high protein, high fat, non-calorie counting eating.  That's fine, as long as your carbs are GONE.  It does NOT work when you start eating a normal amount of carbs again.  

Cheese, eggs, meat, olives...it's all good until you add that toast back -- don't forget the 20 carbs in the SLICE of bread!

And, we end up in calorie counting land again.  Trying to aim for 1-1,500 calories, protein first!  This is drilled into your head.  Here's a daily caloric chart for download.

Now, in "maintenance" phase, I still hit my basics every day, the only thing that I might vary drastically is the calorie intake, which ranges from 1,000 (on a watching-every-bite-day) to 2,000 or more (on a hungry-hippo day) 

I fall in the middle most days, which is why I am several pounds above goal.  ;)  My body can have very few* calories to maintain what I think of as my "goal weight," and it's extraordinarily hard to get there.  *Because I don't do any real scheduled exercise, if I do, I can take in a bit more.

  • What about you?  Do you follow an eating guideline? 
  • Did your surgeon or nutritionist give you a specific set of instruction about calories, carbs, fat or protein? Do you count calories, carbs, fat or protein? 
  • Or - do you just EAT and not count anything?
  • How is your plan working for you?
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