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Friday, September 2, 2011

The Need for Protein Following Weight Loss Surgery

By Jim Duffy

You see them in magazines. You hear about them on television talk shows. They are the main topic of conversation at the office. Every time you turn around, there is a new fad diet that claims to be the best and fastest way to lose weight. Some claim that if you eliminate carbohydrates, not eat any fruits or double your protein intake, you will lose weight quickly. Others offer a miracle pill that will melt the pounds off. Others have you drink foul-tasting concoctions that are supposed to help you lose weight while you sleep. And one of the most recent fads is the magic berry that will make you thin in thirty days.

These fad diets are mostly gimmicks and do nothing but offer a quick fix for a long term problem. If you are overweight, you have probably tried a number of these diets and found that they didn't work. You may have lost a few pounds in the beginning, but you always gained them back, along with a few extra. This is because once you went off the diet you probably went back to your old eating habits.

Many people have unrealistic ideas when it comes to dieting and think that the diet they are on is going to make them lose pounds and inches in just a few weeks. This is why many people give up on their diets too soon, because they are discouraged about not losing weight as quickly as they would like. Do you know what the best way is to lose weight and keep it off? Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. Weight loss, when done in a healthy way, is a long process, but it's also a rewarding one because you will look and feel great.

The US Obesity Epidemic

Did you know that in the United States, more than 60 percent of all adults are considered to be overweight, and that they have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of more than 25? And more than 30 percent of all adults are considered to be obese, with a BMI of more than 30. Obesity is a condition that can lead to a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart attack and even some cancers. And the more obese a person is, the more likely they are to develop one or more of these conditions.

People who suffer from obesity tend to have a shorter life expectancy than those who are of a healthy weight, and they are also more likely to die from some of the above conditions than people who have a BMI of 25 or lower. Some surgeries, especially cosmetic procedures, will not be performed by many physicians until the patient loses enough weight to make the surgery less of a risk. In many cases, patients who are extremely obese and wish to have gastric bypass surgery are ordered by their physicians to lose weight before the surgery. The risks involved are too great, both during the surgery and the recovery period.

Gastric Bypass Surgery When Nothing Else Works

Sometimes there are cases when diet and exercise are just not enough. Some people are extremely overweight, and in order to kick-start their weight loss, they opt for gastric bypass surgery, the most common being the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Like any surgical procedure, gastric bypass surgery is dangerous. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous types of surgeries one can undergo, but for many, it is their only hope for a normal and healthy life.

There are a number of things that a doctor will consider before performing a gastric bypass surgery like the Roux-en-Y, such as:

- The patient has a BMI of 40 or higher

- The patient has another condition that is associated with their weight and is life-threatening

- The patient has been obese for more than five years

- The patient does not have any problems with alcohol or drugs

- The patient is not being treated for depression or any other major psychiatric disorder

- The patient is between the ages of 18 and 65 years

In addition to the Roux-en-Y, there are other types of gastric bypass surgery. One of these is the sleeve gastrectomy, which is used with patients who are considered to be too overweight and have a BMI that is too high for other procedures. This type of surgery involves a second procedure. Once the patient has lost a specific amount of weight, they will have another surgery, which will convert their surgery to a conventional gastric bypass surgery.

The Need for Proper Nutrition Following Gastric Bypass Surgery

We all need protein in our diets, no matter what our age or level of health. People who are recovering from gastric bypass surgery tend to need more protein than the average adult, but it is also possible to get too much protein. It is important to find a healthy balance, and your physician or nutritionist can help you to plan your diet according to your particular needs. Sometimes you may need to use protein supplements in order to get the protein that you need without adding extra fat, carbohydrates and calories to your diet, which will be extremely restricted.

Gastric bypass surgery patients need additional protein in order to help them in the recovery process as well as to provide energy. Because protein helps the muscles and tissues to recover following surgery, having the right amount of protein in the diet will help to lessen the appearance of scars from the surgery. Protein also helps you to feel fuller and more satisfied, which will help curb cravings.

It is essential that anyone who is considering undergoing gastric bypass surgery learn as much as they can about diet and nutrition. This will help before and after the surgery to help patients learn how to eat a healthy diet that is still filled with great-tasting foods, as well as protein supplements, which can include liquid proteins, protein powders, protein shots and protein bars and other snacks. It will also help if the patient's families learn about nutrition as well so they can support them in their weight loss efforts.

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