Protein: What is all the fuss about?

Why is protein important following weight loss surgery

Protein, protein, protein! We have it drilled into us by our dieticians that getting enough protein after weight loss surgery is crucial. But why? Read on to discover the truth behind the hype!

Simply, when we lose weight it’s not just fat we’re losing, but muscle, as well. The human body cannot make protein without food, and has no way to store protein, so it is super important to consume it daily. 

Getting the right amount of protein for you is the best way to minimise muscle loss and there are some other compelling reasons too:

  • Losing muscle mass can slow down metabolism, decrease strength and energy levels
  • Our bodies use protein to help repair tissues, build muscle, and prevent disease. Without enough protein, our bodies will not function properly.
  • Protein plays a role in serotonin production (that makes us feel happy), melatonin (that’s connected with good sleep), and dopamine (that assists with our behaviour).
  • Adequate protein levels assists with the prevention of sagging skin, hair thinning and nail flaking that is common after WLS

How much protein is right for me?
Let your dietician guide you on a protein goal that is right for you; this may change as you progress. A rough guide is 60-80g for women, and 80-100g for men, or, approx 1g per 1kg of body weight. 

How much protein is in the food we eat? 
We’ve compiled a list of common foods and their protein content to give you an idea of how much protein is in everyday food. There are apps and protein calculators available online to help with this.

1 egg = 6g protein
1 avocado = 3g protein 
1 My New Tum protein shake = 30g protein
1 (most other brands) protein shake = 22g protein
100g of greek yogurt = 10g protein
100g of cottage cheese = 11g protein
100g of chickpeas = 19g protein
100g of potatoes = 2g protein
100g of lentils = 9g protein
100g of chicken = 27g protein
100g of steak = 25g protein

*Quantities and protein content is approximate and intended as a guide only

Tips for meeting your daily protein goals
For the first few weeks, or even months, following weight loss surgery, you will get most of your protein from shakes. When you can eat more, you should! 

Examples of foods that are high in protein are: Beef, pork, chicken, fish, tofu, milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, beans, nuts, and quinoa.

Here are our best tips for meeting your daily protein goals:

  1. Split your daily protein goal across 3-4 meals. Then when preparing each meal, start with protein. Add fruits and vegetables second and finish with carbohydrates. 
  2. Think about food density. If your little pouch fills up quickly, consider eating protein rich foods that are less dense, like fish or tofu, vs steak or pork. 
  3. Fill your nutritional gaps with protein shakes like My New Tum’s wildly popular and totally delicious protein powder. 
  4. Add protein powder to food that otherwise may not contain a lot of protein. Try our recipes for: 

When in doubt, turn to your dietician for advice on a protein goal that is right for you, and ideas on ways to meet those goals, that works for you. 


Happy eating!


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