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alexandra_

Vegetarianism and the sleeve?

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Hi all - this is my first post but I have been reading and this seems like a lovely community.  I have basically decided on a sleeve over a band (although happy to hear from anyone with any kind of surgery's experience as I'm not 100% set yet).  I'm planning to have the surgery as early as possible after my PHI cover rolls over.  Unfortunately I've only been covered a week now, so 51 to go.  Oh how I'm kicking me from the past for not getting cover sooner.  I always said I would and never did!

 

Anyway my question is about post-surgery diet, both immediately after and going forward for the rest of my life, as I'm a committed vegetarian.  I'm hoping others out there may be vegetarian or vegan and have some insight on how easily you can keep a balanced diet.  I have read here and there just how important it is to be eating enough protein after weightloss surgery, which for me tends to mean more bulk than it does for meat eaters I think?  Most of my protein comes from legumes, nuts and dairy foods currently.  I do eat limited eggs also, maybe I will have to eat more going forward?  Also, immediately after surgery, what did the hospital serve you?  I'm picturing meat/chicken based clear soups/broths? 

Thank you to anyone who has any insight to share!  Obviously I will be seeing a dietician at some point during this, but some of your experiences may also be helpful for me.

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Protein powder is your friend for the first six months or so.

I'm not a vego, but I rarely eat red meat. I eat some chicken and love seafood though, but I have been using protein powder almost daily. Sometimes if I get a good tasting one, I can drink it with water, but sometimes if I get a bad tasting one (I shop for whatever is cheapest online as well as having the nutrients etc, so I don't always end up with the same brand etc), I blend it with skim milk or yogurt.

Two heaped spoonfuls gives 50g of protein and only about 250 calories. Seven months out from my sleeve and 8.2kg below goal weight (I'd actually like to put on 2kg) and a daily excerciser, calorie counting is not important to me at this stage.

 

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Wow, your weightloss is impressive!  You must feel great.  Do you find it easy enough to stomach protein powder like that?  Does two heaped spoonfuls/50g just act as a meal for you, and you go about your other meals with other foods?  I don't have too much of a concept of how much your stomach holds, but I have gone through times where I've had protein shakes etc and found them filling (if only short lived) even with my normal sized stomach.  :) 

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I can eat more than your average sleever so I probably can fit more in than most people.

The powder mixed with yogurt is very filling but I have it as a midmorning snack. I get up anywhere between 5am and 6am and go for a run then have two vita-brits with skim milk and coffee. Midmorning I'm ready for my yogurt mixed with protein powder. 

Lunch consists of a sandwich and arvo snack is usually some fruit salad. Dinner is whatever is going at the time - last night we had curry, but I skipped the rice.

You'll learn that your stomach has a mind of its own, especially after your sleeve and now that I am 7 months post-sleeve, things are rapidly starting to return to the way thinsg were pre-sleeeve, but obviously I cannot consume nearly the same amount (thank god!).

I would imagine being vegetarian (it's something I have seriously considered doing at several times in my life) with a sleeve would be relatively straightforward.

The other option for protein on a vego diet, is the Optifast shakes. Not only will the shake count as part of your fluid intake, it's a low cal and high protein way of getting sustenance. The problem is that after two weeks pre-op of nothing but Optifast, most people don't ever want to return to them. I didn't mind them and still occasionally have one for breakfast if I am running late.

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Oh, protein also acts as somewhat of an appetite suppressant. Carbs will have the opposite effect.

There are far more knowledgeable people on here than me, but a protein based shake or meal will always keep your hunger at bay for much, much longer than carbs.

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with having carbs, although for the first six months or so after your sleeve you probably want to really limit your intake of them, especially in the mornings. Because I run twice a day, I need carbs to sustain my training.

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I hope to be very active like you once I have my excess weight off.  I lost around 35kg just through diet and exercise (have gained it all back and some) some years ago and at the time loved to run.  It was my main exercise and my first choice, and I hope once I'm feeling good and have less weight on my knees etc I will pick it back up.  I'm glad to hear from someone like you who is very active, as I worried the lower calorie intake would make me lethargic and I wouldn't be able to sustain running.  I ate a lot more when I ran often, but I suppose it's about being smarter once you have a sleeve to get the most out of your body.  I do really miss running, it's just hard to get started.

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I used to run too. Then when the weight started creeping on, I kept getting calf strains and the wear and tear on my knees meant I had to give it up. 

After the sleeve I got into walking and thought that would be enough to sustain me as I didn't want to get 'obsessed' about running ever again. I tried running at 95kg and was still just that bit too heavy to do it.

Then a few kilos less I tried it again and well...breezed through it and have barely missed a morning now for a month. I'm trying not to get to the stage where I am going for more than 45 minutes at a time, and trying to stick to anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, but my competitive instinct is winning the battle at the moment.

It's best just to start off with walking for the first six months or so. Walking is underrated. It burns calories and you never have a 'bad walk' like you sometimes have a 'bad run'. Once the weight is off and the fitness level is at a stage where you can up the ante, get your running shoes on and go!

Edited by ilikewinter
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Hi alexandria,

As for wls options there are only possitives whichever way you choose, but personally i love my sleeve. I read on here about the sleeve eliminating your sweet tooth and carb cravings and i didnt think it would work for me,but to my delight it has, so now i feel confident that i will finally win this weight war. Good luck whatever you decide. 

Ps. They give you broth, i beleive it was chicken, in hospital. So i would just let them know, im sure they can come up with some veggie broth for you. Cheers

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Thanks soul sister - I feel like the sleeve will be right for me too.  I hope it will be.  The irreversible nature of it makes me a bit nervous, but I need a solution.  

When I was in hospital having my gallbladder out, I was given broccoli soup without any drama, but if it needs to be clear fluids it's a bit more difficult.  I will make sure to ask before I'm admitted.  I can always bring my own veggie broth.

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Hi again alexandra,

Im lazy, and thethought of having to go for fills, not tomention havi g a foreign object, the port sticking out of me made the sleeve the only way to go for me. I didnt consider it a drastic op just one that made me normal, like a slim person mentally. I now eat like a slim person, portion wise and dont crave bad things. I have arthritis in my back, hip and knees and am fearful of getting diabetes. I also hadhigh blood pressure, already my body is responding tothe weight loss, everything has eased and i no longer take medication for blood pressure. I recently flew to melbourne and was very pleased with the amount of excesss seatbelt. Yay.

My staring weight was 108.8 and im 160cm tall, today 10 weeks post surgery im 91.9.

I hope this all helps as i found this forum invaluable and the people on here so encouraging. I dont think i would havegotten this far without them. Good luck. Cheers.

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Hi Alexandra, 

I've been  vego for 30 years now (since 15) and had my band put in August 21 2015. I've lost 16kg of the 40kg I'd like to lose. I'm eating more tofu than I was, and also more beans. A typical dinner for me would be one piece of the soyco flavoured tofu, and two veggies. I still have sweet cravings, but know it's up to me to resist. Maybe that's a big difference between sleeve and band - I've heard the sleeve is better for eliminating those and giving your body a negative reaction (dumping syndrome?) when you eat those items. 

I play competion tennis and find I need something easy to get down in the mornings so I have an Up & go Energize (16.8g protein in 206 calories) so I don't run out of energy. 

The dietician at CBS (Melbourne) told me that a vego diet is great with the band, as the things that tend to get 'stuck' are often meat. She's given me some great advice re: getting enough protein and not falling back onto carbs and sugar which is how I got to 110kg in the first place. In hospital I was given a clear veggie broth, but to be honest, I really didn't feel like eating at all because of the soreness from the procedure.

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Hi Alexandra, 

I've been  vego for 30 years now (since 15) and had my band put in August 21 2015. I've lost 16kg of the 40kg I'd like to lose. I'm eating more tofu than I was, and also more beans. A typical dinner for me would be one piece of the soyco flavoured tofu, and two veggies. I still have sweet cravings, but know it's up to me to resist. Maybe that's a big difference between sleeve and band - I've heard the sleeve is better for eliminating those and giving your body a negative reaction (dumping syndrome?) when you eat those items. 

I play competion tennis and find I need something easy to get down in the mornings so I have an Up & go Energize (16.8g protein in 206 calories) so I don't run out of energy. 

The dietician at CBS (Melbourne) told me that a vego diet is great with the band, as the things that tend to get 'stuck' are often meat. She's given me some great advice re: getting enough protein and not falling back onto carbs and sugar which is how I got to 110kg in the first place. In hospital I was given a clear veggie broth, but to be honest, I really didn't feel like eating at all because of the soreness from the procedure.

Hi Anniecat,

Thanks for your insight - it's been a while since you've posted but I have just checked back in and I appreciate your response.  I eat a bit of tofu now but try to limit my soy intake.  Beans etc I really enjoy and would be more than happy to up those.  I guess I'm just concerned if I eat a much smaller version of my current diet I will not get enough protein in.  I guess it's just a case of needing to focus!

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I hope to be very active like you once I have my excess weight off.  I lost around 35kg just through diet and exercise (have gained it all back and some) some years ago and at the time loved to run.  It was my main exercise and my first choice, and I hope once I'm feeling good and have less weight on my knees etc I will pick it back up.  I'm glad to hear from someone like you who is very active, as I worried the lower calorie intake would make me lethargic and I wouldn't be able to sustain running.  I ate a lot more when I ran often, but I suppose it's about being smarter once you have a sleeve to get the most out of your body.  I do really miss running, it's just hard to get started.

I'm not running much these days due to hip issues but I am pretty active, my average week will involve at least an outside run (and pain be damned), three gym sessions including cardio and weigths and lots of walking the dog/active on my feet job etc.  I have no trouble sustaining that on an intake of about 1600 - 1800 calories a day and I had no trouble running 6-8kms per day on 1200 or so when I was actively losing weight. Fat is energy and if the food's not there, you just burn fat.

I agree in part with vegetarian meals being easier to eat with a band - I've come to actively dislike meat even though I've not had really bad experiences with it - I really love legumes such as chickpeas and lentils and use them as the base for meals.  I love cooked vegies too and find oats and quinoa and rice very easy to eat.  I loathe salads though - ugh - hard to eat with a band but I've always hated cold crunchy things like salad and fruit.

I've never been one for a high protein diet - I've never been a "protein first" person or had protein shakes and I probably have a far higher carb diet than a lot of WLS patients but it hasn't stopped me having phenomenal success with the band and I most definitely am not protein deficient.

Edited by jachut

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