Some Lap-band patients come in a bit discouraged because they are eating less than ever, and have not lost the weight they want. The question is – do they need a fill to jump start weight loss? The answer is – when you eat the specified small portion – 3 to 4 ounces of meat, fish, poultry, or some protein and 6 ounces of vegetables (not salads) – how long before you feel hungry – two hours, three hours, four hours? Often, they don’t know the answer to that question.

Part of the reason lies in the paradigm of weight loss versus weight maintenance. To lose the pounds you need to burn 500 calories more a day than consumed (and unless they exercise four or five hours a day for five days a week usually increased activity won’t do it).

Eating less is a part of weight loss. Often it means eating much less than ultimately they will need to maintain the weight loss.

See the table below – based on a 45 year old woman who is five foot six inches. This chart shows how many calories she needs to maintain the weight on the left. Then it shows how many calories she needs to eat to lose either one or two pounds a week.

Weight Cal to maintain 1 lb/ week loss 2 lb/ week loss
250 lbs 2208 1708 1208
200 lbs 1950 1450 950
160 lbs 1743 1243 743
150 lbs 1692 1192 692
140 lbs 1640 1140 640

As you can see – the closer she get to her goal- she needs to eat even less to lose the pounds.

Most Lap-band patients get stuck because they prematurely enter a “maintenance phase”

In this example when she weighed 250 pounds and was eating 1708 calories a day – she was losing a pound a week. But if she didn’t change that – once she reached 200 pounds instead of losing a pound a week, she would be losing a pound or two a month.

Just remember- you will eat less now than you will once you get to your goal. Until then figure out where you want to go – and chart that path.