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Protein Requirements After Bariatric Surgery

by Atomic Strength Nutrition August 08, 2017

Protein Requirements After Bariatric Surgery

Obesity is a chronic disease that can lead to a plethora of health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. When medically supervised weight loss approaches are unsuccessful, more and more people are turning to weight loss or bariatric surgery to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

Some of the popular weight loss surgeries include Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Adjustable Gastric Band, Sleeve Gastrectomy, and Laparoscopic Surgery.

Weight loss surgery and diet

When considering bariatric surgery, it is crucial that patients understand that successful weight loss is highly dependent on how much they are committed to making major lifestyle and diet changes. Although weight loss surgery is a powerful tool in this journey, making an active contribution at home through your diet can help maintain your weight loss for several years.

Whether you’re at the pre-op liquid diet stage or your post-op regular food stage, what most diet plans provided by doctors have in common is having ample protein throughout the day. Protein is the building block for muscle and it plays a major role in almost all of your bodily functions. It’s low-calorie, slow-digesting and leaves you feeling full for longer compared to other macronutrients. Keep reading to find out some of the top sources of protein recommended for bariatric surgery patients.

Top protein sources for bariatric surgery patients

When adding protein to your diet, your best bet would be to look out for lean protein sources. This can cut down fat and calories, massively, helping you eat until satiation – with a much lower risk of overeating. The following are some of the top sources of low-fat, low-carb protein that can help you achieve long-term weight loss success following bariatric surgery.

  1. Eggs: According to the Highland Hospital, one serving of eggs equals two egg whites, one egg or one quarter cup of egg substitute. Trim the fat in your meal by using a nonstick spray in your skillet instead of adding a dollop of butter. Add in vegetables, such as spinach, onions, celery or herbs to make an omelet and boost your meal’s nutrition, without a drastic increase in calories.
  1. Lean meat: A three ounce serving of meat has up to 21 g of protein! Choose lean cuts of meat to cut down fat and calories and prepare them by roasting, grilling or boiling your meat – instead of using high-fat cooking methods such as frying. Mix up your meat sources, with tuna, salmon, tilapia, turkey and chicken to keep your diet interesting.
  1. Legumes: One cup of dried beans or peas can provide about 16 grams of protein. Legumes, such as chickpeas and kidney beans make an excellent addition to soups, salads and curries. They’re also completely vegan, such as other meatless protein sources like peanut butter, nuts, tofu and other soy products and plant-based milk.

*Note that plant-based protein sources make a great low-calorie and low-fat addition to your regular diet, but they are also high in fiber. Therefore, be sure to eat them only after you have progressed to regular food post-surgery or according to your doctor’s instructions.

  1. Dairy: Non-fat dairy is an excellent source of protein and calcium, with one cup of nonfat milk proving about 11 grams of protein and one serving of nonfat, sugar-free yogurt proving 8 grams of protein. Avoid full-fat cheeses and butter and only use low-fat cheeses sparingly.
  1. Protein shakes: Until your pouch matures post-surgery, you may face difficult consuming sold foods to meet your required protein goals. Protein shakes make an incredible source of liquid protein for your post-surgery recovery and beyond. Plant-based milk such as soy, almond or cashew milk or yogurt make it convenient to add more protein to a shake without loading up on calories.

How to choose the right protein powder

While looking for protein powder, choose one that gives you at least 15 grams of protein per serving and no more than 5 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving. You may add fruit, vegetables or other healthy flavorings to your shake but be sure to plan your meals accordingly and avoid adding unnecessary calories.

A great example of a low-calorie, low-carb, sugar-free and fat-free protein powder, excellent for bariatric surgery patients is the Fuel X30. It’s free of chemical additives and fillers, and each serving gives you 25 grams of bioavailable un-denatured protein, giving you an optimum amount of protein, minus the calories, sugar, carbs and fat load. Best of all, Fuel X30 comes in 5 delicious flavors, including chocolate brownie, cinnamon swirl, homemade ice cream, vanilla coconut and mochaccino!

With so many protein sources to choose from, there’s no risk of you getting bored of your new diet any time soon. If you’re not sure about the type of protein source or supplement you can use, call your doctor to receive guidance on what works best for you.




Atomic Strength Nutrition
Atomic Strength Nutrition


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