Eat What Matters: Protein after Weight Loss Surgery
When you are trying to lose weight the food choices that you make are important. This importance becomes amplified when you have weight loss surgery. The reason for this is that after weight loss surgery the amount of space in your stomach becomes greatly restricted. You will only have a limited amount of calories that you can eat before you will become full, and eating too much can interfere with your weight loss goals, or even result in discomfort due to the changes to your digestive tract after your bariatric procedure.
Once you have weight loss surgery, you need to be extra cautious that the foods you do eat are delivering the right amount of nutrients to your body. Of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs, perhaps one of the most important is protein.
Protein is the building block of every cell, tissue, muscle and organ in the body. Every bodily process requires protein. As you move, digest food, even as you sleep, your body constantly breaks down these proteins, and as a result those proteins need to be replaced. Unlike fat, protein is not stored for later use. This is why when you cut down the amount of food that you are eating in a day it is so important that you make sure you are keeping your protein levels high.
You can find protein naturally in the following foods:
- Lean meats. Poultry items, including chicken and turkey, have high levels of protein—so you don’t need to opt for red meats to get your protein fix. In fact, lean white meats are lower in calorie and so are often more recommended. Make sure you are grilling your meats and are not frying them, as this increases fat and calorie content and reduces the health benefits.
- Greek Yogurt. Soft foods like Greek yogurt are great when you are in the early stages of recovery from surgery and your stomach isn’t ready for whole foods yet, just check with your weight loss surgeon that you are able to process dairy. Greek yogurt is a better choice than regular yogurt because there are 23 grams of protein per an eight ounce serving.
- Seafood. Halibut, tuna and salmon are all great sources of protein with more than 20 grams of protein in just a three ounce serving, which means that you can get a lot of protein in a very small portion—great for after weight loss surgery.
Talk to your weight loss surgeon before incorporating any new foods into your post-bariatric surgery diet plan. Getting the right amount of protein is essential for staying strong and healthy as you lose weight, so take extra caution to make sure you are following your post-weight loss surgery diet and getting the nutrients that you need to thrive.