One of the recurring themes of your post-surgical lifestyle change will revolve around protein. Protein is present throughout your body and plays an important role both immediately after surgery and over the long-term. As a weight loss surgery patient you will undoubtedly hear about the importance of meeting your protein requirements each and every day.
In the weeks after surgery, protein plays an important role in healing. Having enough protein will allow the body to heal at its most efficient pace and reduce the likelihood of protein deficiency-related complications. Over the longer-term, protein is a great tool to aid in weight loss. While fats and sugars are easily absorbed and digested, making you hungrier sooner, protein takes longer to break down, and in turn, keeps you fuller longer. Your body will expend energy and use lots of water to break down the protein you consume. As such drinking the recommended amount of water every day is very important too. As a side note, that extra water will help with hydration that can actually reduce hunger pangs. A patient whose diet is rich in protein and drinks plenty of water will have a better chance of losing more weight than a patient who sticks to empty calories such as those in high-sugar, high-fat foods and drinks.
Every bariatric surgery procedure involves restriction – limits to the amount of food that can be consumed at any given meal. This often means that a patient will have some difficulty consuming sufficient protein at mealtime alone. Bariatric patients have turned to low-calorie, low-sugar and low-fat protein shakes to fill that need. Speak to your surgeon and nutritionist about which protein shakes or supplements may be right for your particular circumstance.