Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, refers to a variety of procedures performed on people struggling with severe obesity. Common surgeries include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and lap band. The goal is to physically limit food intake in order to promote significant weight loss. As a result of the changes in anatomy, it becomes extremely important to pay close attention to nutrition post-surgery. Consuming adequate protein should be a top priority.
Protein serves many vital functions, and getting enough high-quality protein is especially crucial for bariatric patients. Here are some of the key reasons protein should be emphasized after weight loss surgery:
The specific protein target varies based on the bariatric procedure, but most post-op diet guidelines recommend getting 70-100g of protein daily. Meeting protein goals is where high quality bariatric protein supplements can play an important role.
There are several categories of protein supplements tailored for bariatric post-op diets. Each has its own advantages:
In addition to these specialized products, everyday foods like Greek yogurt, eggs, nut butters, beans and tofu are great sources of protein for bariatric patients. Variety is important to get complementary amino acids from different foods.
With so many protein supplement options, it can get overwhelming deciding which are best after bariatric surgery. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting products:
Focus on identifying a few protein supplements that check the right boxes for your individual nutritional requirements, health status and lifestyle factors. Having a rotation of diverse options prevents taste fatigue. Continue to experiment until you find your personal favorites!
Some excellent protein powders to start with are Whey Isolate and collagen peptides. Leading bariatric shake brands include Bariatric Advantage and New Direction shakes. For bars, AmBari Nutrition Protein Bars and ProtiDiet Protein Bars are smart choices.
Once you have selected high quality protein supplements tailored for your post-op bariatric diet, it's equally important to pay attention to how you consume them. Here are some tips:
"It’s not only about finding the right protein supplements, but also learning techniques to properly prepare and consume them after surgery." - Dr. Kevin Huffman, MD, Bariatric Physician
The bariatric diet progression changes substantially from the initial post-operative liquid stage to the long-term maintenance plan. An open dialogue with your bariatric care team allows adjustments to protein supplements and lifestyle habits as needed throughout the weight loss journey.
Getting adequate high-quality protein is a crucial priority after undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery. Protein supports healing, preserves lean muscle mass as the body sheds fat, keeps you feeling fuller longer, and facilitates hitting your weight loss goals.
The daily protein target for post-bariatric patients ranges from 60-80g daily. Achieving these levels consistently through diet alone can be challenging. Specialized protein supplements solve this problem.
Choose products that work within your individual nutritional needs, preferences and lifestyle. Factor in taste, mixability with liquids, types of protein sources, added ingredients, dietary accommodations required, and cost.
Equally important is paying attention to proper preparation and consumption — mix powders thoroughly, sip shakes slowly, advance textures gradually in line with your post-op diet schedule. Track progress in the early months to ensure adequate protein intake.
An arsenal of diverse, well-tolerated protein supplements, combined with intentional consumption techniques, primes bariatric patients for the best possible surgical outcomes. As the foundational macronutrient for health and wellness, fueling your post-op body with ample high-quality protein deserves focused attention in your weight loss journey.
Allison, a certified nutritionist and research author, brings over 15 years of experience in the health and weight loss industry. Allison's influence extends through her authorship of multiple health and wellness journals, where she shares her expertise and research on medical weight loss and bariatric medicine.
Reviewed By: Dr. K. Huffman
Dr. Kevin D. Huffman, D.O., is a board-certified bariatric physician renowned for his expertise in treating obesity. With over 10,000 patients and a reputation as a national leader in bariatric medicine, he has trained hundreds of healthcare providers. As the founder of American Bariatric Consultants, Dr. Huffman develops protocols and training materials sought after by medical societies, pharmaceutical companies, patients, and hospitals.