For vegetarians who are considering weight loss surgery, concerns about a post-surgical diet are common. After bariatric surgery, it is necessary to focus on eating protein, but sources of protein are a little more difficult to come by for people who are following a vegetarian diet. The good news is that you don’t have to choose between weight loss surgery and sticking to your vegetarian lifestyle. Here is what you need to know about managing your protein requirements after surgery.
Make a Plan with Your Bariatric Surgeon
Before you have your bariatric surgery, discuss your dietary limitations with your surgeon. He will have experience in helping people stay healthy and achieve their weight loss goals while maintaining specialized diets. It is important to work closely with your surgeon to determine how you will get protein in way that adheres to your diet and supports your recovery after surgery, so make him a partner in this planning well in advance of the day of your surgery.
Know Your Protein Needs
Your bariatric surgeon will explain how many grams of protein you need to try to get per day. This number varies depending on a range of factors, including your activity level, age, and current weight. In most cases, people need anywhere from 45 to 100 grams, so it’s important to know your exact needs, so you can plan your food choices accordingly.
Plan Options for Each Post-Operative Stage
You will go through several stages of reintroducing foods to your diet after surgery, so be prepared with options for each one. In the clear liquid stage, choose veggie broth. In the full liquid stage, protein shakes and yogurt are good choices. Pureed beans, and tofu are good for the pureed food stage. For soft foods, soft cheese, cooked veggies, and soft fruit are ideal—avoid pasta, peanut butter, and hard cheese at this stage. When you reach the solid food stage, you can eat a normal diet of vegetarian proteins, while avoiding empty calories.
Bariatric Care Centers offers comprehensive post-surgical support, so you’re never alone as you recovery from surgery and build a new, healthy lifestyle. Get more information about bariatric surgery in Houston by calling (713) 339-1353.
Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.