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Tijuana Bariatric Center Blog

Increase Protein Intake before Bariatric Surgery

High-protein lunch with chicken and vegetablesMen and women who are about to undergo a weight loss procedure at our Tijuana, MX practice will be asked to follow a specific diet before bariatric surgery. This will help reduce the amount of glycogen in the liver and promote tissue and muscle repair.

Today, our team at Tijuana Bariatric Center will explain why patients should increase protein intake before bariatric surgery.

The Importance of Protein before Bariatric Surgery

In simple terms, protein helps to curb hunger. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in protein, triggers the part of your brain that signals fullness. Therefore, when you eat more protein, you are less temped to snack.

Protein intake also helps support healthy muscle function. The more muscle you have on your body, the higher your metabolism. In turn, you burn more fat, even when you are resting.

In fact, lean muscles burn 25 times more calories compared to fat. To further break down this information, consider this:

  • One pound of fat can burn two calories per day, totaling 14 a week.
  • One pound of muscle can burn 30 to 50 calories a day, totaling 350 to 500 every week.

Suggested Intake

Keep in mind the specific recommendations provided by your doctor will depend on your unique circumstances. However, a typical pre-operative diet consists of approximately 800 to 1,000 calories per day. Of these daily calories, we typically recommend about 70 grams of protein for women and 120 grams for men.

Recommended Proteins

When it comes to obtaining your daily amount of protein, many doctors and dieticians recommend protein drinks, which are widely available. When shopping for these shakes, you want to choose a brand that is high in protein but low in sugar.

In addition, you can incorporate these foods into your diet:

  • Lean meat
  • Skinless chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Low-fat cheese

Sample Menu

When planning their pre-operative bariatric diet, many patients only eat one solid meal per day, while replacing the other meals with protein shakes. In some cases, your dietician may recommend alternating your shakes with fruit or low-calorie beverages throughout the day.

Benefits of Following a Pre-operative Diet

There are numerous reasons why a pre-operative diet is beneficial for those about to undergo weight loss surgery. Following these guidelines can:

  • Reduce body fat: Any amount of weight loss prior to bariatric surgery is helpful. When you decrease the amount of fat in the abdomen and around the liver, it is easier for your surgeon to perform the procedure.
  • Preserve muscle: A high-protein diet encourages your body to use fat as an energy source, rather than your muscle.
  • Prepare the body for surgery and recovery: A healthy diet and an increase in protein will help your body heal more efficiently following bariatric surgery.
  • Prepare the patient for a post-operative diet: Once your bariatric surgery is complete, you will be expected to follow a diet that is low in fat and carbs and high in protein. A pre-operative diet can help prepare you, physically and emotionally, for your new lifestyle.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

When preparing for weight loss surgery, your pre-operative diet is just as important as your post-operative lifestyle. To learn more about incorporating protein into your meals, reach out to one of our team members. You can contact us online anytime or call one of our three office locations.

Tagged In: Bariatric Surgery

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