VSG, Carbs and You

I was originally planning to write this in response to a comment posted on my best friend’s blog. The person commenting obviously had no clue what they were talking about. Yes the recipe they were commenting on seemed high in carbs (and certainly more carbs than I would consume in one meal) but, that’s not taking into account WLS sized portions. Since my friend is having a VSG, she won’t be able to eat that much post surgery.

At any rate, the comment got me to thinking about the differences in surgeon’s guidelines. For instance, my surgeon’s program allows up to 50 grams of carbs per day (I am typically around 30). They also tell you to cut out carbs from pasta, rice, potatoes and bread and limits high sugar things like juice. I get my carbs from vegetable sources, limited fruit (no more than 1/2 cup a day due to the natural sugars), and milk sources.  What I’ve learned over the past 9 months is that there is no one size fits all approach to diet after weight loss surgery. Even the surgeons can’t agree.

This is Dr. Cirangle’s sleeve guide. He’s a top surgeon in California who performs the VSG. His patients practically worship him and you absolutely can not argue with most of their results.  His recommendations for carbs are 40 grams or less per day (limiting the same carbs my program limits).

The Institute for Advanced Bariatric Surgery Manual. This one gives no hard numbers on how many carbs per day to have. They say that carbs should be kept to 15 to 20% of your diet while losing weight (while avoiding the ‘white’ carbs). It also recommends looking for 10grams of carbs or less per serving of carbs when reading labels. There are also instructions pertaining to diabetics if you’re interested.

NCA Surgical Weight Loss Program in Bethesda. This one also gives no numbers for carbs but one of their sample meal plans had 39 grams of carbs for the day.

Cornell Sleeve Guide: Cornell is another of those respected programs. Their diet also gives no hard numbers in the guide. Just to eat protein first, avoid refined carbs, and follow with your fruits, vegetables and then whole grains.

Johns Hopkins Sleeve Guide: As a name, Hopkins is almost as trusted as Mayo. Surely they know what they’re talking about, right? This guide also gives no hard carb numbers and mentions living sugar free.

Northwest Obesity Surgery Sleeve Guide: Couldn’t find numbers here either. LOL

At any rate, there is no 100% ‘you MUST eat this way post surgery or you will fail’ diet. Low carb GENERALLY is the way to go but the numbers for what constitutes low carb for YOU may vary. Also generally speaking, if you want to get into ketosis (this is NOT a bad state, it’s the state where your body is burning FAT to lose weight though opinions vary on how long it’s ‘safe’ to be in ketosis), nobody can really agree on the numbers. Somewhere between 50 and 100 grams of carbs per day will supposedly allow you to go into ketosis. For me, I know I don’t get there above 50 grams. So, your mileage will definitely vary.

So to all the trolls out there. Do a little research before you come barging into one of our blogs, trying to tell us what we need to do in order to be successful. You’re just going to get laughed out the door, then we’re going to make fun of you after you’re gone.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angel
    May 13, 2011 @ 21:26:11

    I LOVE this! This is so true. We must find what really works for our own bodies.

    Reply

    • Jeanette
      May 13, 2011 @ 22:00:56

      It really becomes a balancing act. I’m of the mindset to always try following the guidelines given to you by your surgeon and nutritionist first and then tweak until you find what works best for you. I’ve been given pretty sound advice by mine and it works for me as a general rule. I eat a bit more fat than they recommend per day, but most low fat stuff honestly tastes like crap and you have to watch the carbs. They often add sugar into low fat items to fix the taste. LOL. I just make sure it all fits into my calorie range for the day.

      Reply

  2. Waning Woman
    May 17, 2011 @ 18:46:55

    Wow. This was a really great and informative post. I LOVE it! I always preface anything I say with ” this is what works for me” I hate it when people tell me that I should/shouldn’t be doing something because of what their surgeon/trainer/nut said.

    Reply

    • Jeanette
      May 18, 2011 @ 03:12:12

      I try to do the same. I don’t have TIME to be the food popo for anybody but myself. I will always recommend lowering carbs to people when they ask, particularly during their losing phase, but I will also tell them they need to find what works for them.

      Early out, it was pretty easy for me to fall into the trap of ‘this is what you must do’. I don’t really consider myself a veteran but at least I feel like I know better now.

      Reply

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