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Protein intake requirements change over time following weight loss surgery. This is based on the requirements imposed on our body by a number of variables. These include, activity level, muscle mass, over all health condition to name a few.
A very young muscular athletic male with a BMI or 30 will require much higher protein intake (and absorption) that an inactive older Female with the same BMI. The same young athletic male will require much higher protein intake is he is recovering from a surgery than his baseline.
As we have stated in the past, the protein intake, should be adequate and not excessive. High level of protein intake that are not accounted for based on muscle mass and activity level, will eventually result in weight gain. The best measure of protein intake in a stable weight patient over 3-4 years post op is their albumin and protein level. Following your yearly laboratory values at a minimum is an important part of weight loss surgery follow up care.
You also need to adjust protein intake when necessary. Protein needs increase depending on physical needs, infection, healing, pregnancy, surgery, age, injury, etc. Plastic surgery requires higher protein needs for appropriate healing.
Information on protein sources and quality here.
The basic formula for protein intake is 1gm/kg of ideal body weight. The calculator below will provide a guide for the protein into based on your stable weight in lbs.
Not all proteins are created equally. The protein that we digest serves as the source of the essential amino acids, (the building blocks which make up a protein). The essential amino acids can not be made in out body. Protein sources can be animal or plant based. We’ve written a in-depth explanation of protein sources in this previous blog: Protein Optimization
The proteins can also be decided into two categories:
1-High quality or Complete proteins
Complete proteins contain all the indispensable amino acids that we need. Animal based proteins for the most part are complete proteins. These include cheese, mean, fish, mild, yogurt, egg and poetry.
2-Low quality or Incomplete proteins
Incomplete protein are mostly plant based proteins. In most cases, the incomplete proteins either lack or have insufficient about of the one or a number of amino acids to be able to satisfy our nutritional requirements.
This is why we general recommend animal based proteins.
Following weight loss surgery there are some guidelines that can be helpful in our previous blog: Importance of Protein.
Chocolatey goodness and a sweet treat when you are craving something with chocolate. This is a healthy version of a chocolate shake. Always use protein powders that you tolerate well. These types of shakes are also great in the early post op period. They are easy on the stomach and are considered a full liquid.
Chocolate Monkey Flip Protein Shake
1/3 Cup almond milk, lactose free milk or water
1/4 of a banana
1 TBSP of peanut butter or other nut butter
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
2-3 Ice cubes
Possible add-in: unsweetened coconut flakes, cocoa powder (more chocolate flavor)
Blend until smooth and enjoy your healthy treat! Chocolate Monkey Flip Protein Shake
After weight loss surgery is can be challenging to get your protein requirements met on a daily basis. This refreshing and light Strawberry Lemonade protein drink is perfect for the spring, summer and warmer weather. It definitely satisfies any cravings for a specialty type drink. The right protein powder can be mixed with a spoon and doesn’t require any extra equipment.
You can find further information regarding protein needs after weight loss surgery or Duodenal Switch here.
Strawberry Lemonade Protein Drink recipe:
1 scoop Strawberry flavored 100% whey isolate protein powder (We used Unjury Strawberry Sorbet)
1 packet of Stevia sweetened lemonade powder (We used True Lemon Lemonade)
8 ounce cold water (you can add more or less to taste)
ice if desired
1 Strawberry or sliced Lemon for garnish
Mix the strawberry protein powder with the lemonade powder with the water
1-2 Strawberry mashed and mixed into drink
You could blend the whole drink with ice to make is slushy.
You could use 1/4C fresh lemon juice and stevia in place of Lemonade drink mix.
You could add 1-2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt to boost protein and make it creamy.
Freeze the above recipe or variations in popsicle forms for a frozen treat.
Adding unflavored whey isolate protein powder to anything is an excellent way to boost your protein intake. This is a protein boost to a condiment that can be added to a burger, fish, or chicken. It’s a great way to increase protein. Avocado Protein Spread by BiPro USA.
Avocados are a great food post Duodenal Switch but lack protein which this recipe counters with the addition of unflavored whey isolate protein powder. Nutritional Facts of avocados.
It’s almost Fall, even though here in California the temperatures aren’t reflecting that. But you can’t have Fall without pumpkin spice! This Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake brings all the deliciousness of fall without the carbs and sugar. It also gives you a nice protein boost to boot. Great for a treat, snack or breakfast. Weight loss surgery friendly and oh so good.
Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake Recipe
1/2 C unflavored unsweetened Almond Milk
1/3 C pure pumpkin puree
1 scoop unflavored or vanilla protein powder
1 tsp pumpkin spice (or to taste)
Stevia to taste
6-8 ice cubes
Place the first 5 ingredients in a blender of choice and top with the ice cubes. Blend until smooth and enjoy the season.
Craving delicious crunchy maple goodness? Here is your answer in Cinnamon Maple Protein Yogurt. It’s a perfect early post weight loss surgery choice because of the protein content and the probiotic benefits of yogurt. This decadent creamy breakfast or treat can help stave off those cravings and gives your body the protein it needs for healing and maintenance.
Cinnamon Maple Protein Yogurt Recipe
1 scoop vanilla whey isolate protein powder (low carb)
1/4 C almond milk
1/2 C Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp maple extract
for garnish 1 Tbsp sliced almonds & 1 Tbsp coconut flakes toasted
Mix together they yogurt, whey protein and almond milk in a bowl with a whisk or fork until well blended. Mix in one half of the cinnamon reserve the rest for garnishing the top along with the maple extract. You can also mix in the maple extract rather than using it for a garnish. Top with toasted almond and coconut flakes if desired or omit if you are not at the point of tolerating nuts.
Sometimes you just need to shakes up your protein shakes and give yourself a treat after weight loss surgery! This recipe for a Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Shake is refreshing and gives you a great protein boost while feeling decadent too! Protein is an important part of recovery and daily life after any type of weight loss surgery. Here is a link to a previous blog on the importance of protein.
Strawberry Cheesecake Shake
1 scoop of strawberry flavored whey isolate protein powder
4 ounces almond milk
2 TBSP of sugar free Cheesecake flavored pudding mix
6 ice cubes
Add almond milk, protein powder and pudding mix to a blender then top with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
You can also freeze this Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Shake in popsicle forms for a great frozen treat. Enjoy!