How to Get Enough Protein After Bariatric Surgery?

One of the most difficult dietary changes to make, post bariatric surgery, is getting enough protein. Protein is key to ensuring a swift and complication-free post bariatric recovery. This is especially true in the first year or two after surgery when your body is getting accustomed to reduced calories and a lower weight. Not only does protein speed up the recovery process, but it also helps you maintain lean muscle mass while you’re losing a significant amount of weight. Protein also helps keep you full longer on your new reduced-calorie diet.

Your post-op lifestyle will require approximately 60 to 80 g of protein each day. If that sounds like a lot, it is. Most people, who haven’t had bariatric surgery, don’t even get that much. Further complicating your protein intake needs, is the fact that your stomach, after a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve, is significantly less, of its original size. It can be difficult to fit that amount of protein into your new stomach pouch, from food alone.

Early Recovery Versus Medium/Long Term Post-op Protein

In your early recovery, the first 2 weeks after surgery, you will be on a very strict, full liquid diet.

Following the 2 week full liquid diet, is a 4week soft food diet. During this time, it is very important to follow your post-op diet plan, very closely.

For the purposes of this blog, we will discuss how to get enough protein in the mid to long-term time frame since your early post-op diet will be more strictly regulated.

So, What Do You Do?

We have included a link to our Eating 101, to help you have a better understanding of what to eat, and what is considered an acceptable protein source.

Bariatric patients have found protein shakes an excellent source of protein. Not only are protein shakes easy to make, but easy to consume with your smaller stomach pouch. Protein shakes can offer a significant percentage of your daily protein intake.

But how do you choose your protein shakes?

There are many commercially available protein shakes made specifically for bariatric patients. These are lower in sugar, high in protein and, admittedly, taste pretty good. You can also choose non-bariatric-specific protein shakes but be sure that they line up with your postoperative instructions.

Of course, any questions you have about your post-op diet or protein consumption can be directed to our office. We will be more than happy to answer any questions, you might have. Our private Facebook support group is a excellent way to find out more ideas on protein intake.

We look forward to sharing in your success!

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