Protein Requirements after Bariatric Surgery

Oct 08, 2011

There are often a lot of questions and concerns about how much protein we need after bariatric surgery. This is a link to a paper that appeared in Bariatric Times. This paper titled Protein and the Bariatric Patient by Laura Frank, PhD, MPH, RD, CD, October 2008 appeared in the Bariatric Times (

The conclusion of this discussion appears below: 

Protein Prescription for the Bariatric Patient 
Usual protein recommendations for the post-bariatric surgery patient are anywhere from 1 to 2g protein per kg of adjusted body weight—calculated as current body weight (CBW) minus ideal body weight (IBW) multiplied by 25 percent plus IBW [CBW-IBW x 25% + IBW]).25 A minimum of 60 to 70g of protein per day should be ingested.13 Many programs recommend a range of 60 to 80 grams total protein intake per day or 1.0 to 1.5g/kg IBW, although exact needs have yet to be defined. The use of 1.5g/kg IBW/day beyond the early post-surgical phase is probably above metabolic requirements for non-complicated patients and may prevent the consumption of other macronutrients in the context of volume restrictions. An analysis of the RYGB patient’s typical nutrient intake at one year postoperative found no significant changes in albumin with daily protein consumption at 1.1g/kg IBW.12 Following BPD/DS procedures, the amount of protein should be increased by approximately 30 percent to accommodate for malabsorption, making the average protein requirement for these patients approximately 90g/day.30

Here is a link to a Pound to KG conversion calculator you can use to determine your weight in KGs if you want to use the formulas above to determine the amount of protein necessary to support a healthy body post op.
  Please make sure to check with your Dr. or Nutritionist before making any changes to the protein levels in your diet. 


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Raleigh, NC
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Jul 27, 2006
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