Here’s a story of a man who lost a lot of weight – 200 lbs. – without surgery and without medical supervision, and the surprising effect on his heart. This story, along with recent medical research, sends an urgent alert to bariatric patients
The story was in the Medical Mystery section of The New York Times in 2004. This man invented his own diet—very low in calories, and almost certainly too low in protein. He lost weight incredibly quickly – but he did it without the proper intake of calories and protein. He didn’t know that losing weight was not the same as losing fat.
Ultimately, he was hospitalized with severe chest pain, and eventually the doctors discovered that, “The walls of the left side of the heart -- the side responsible for most of the push -- were thin and weak.”
He had not consumed anywhere near enough protein and calories. The article notes: “Malnutrition can eat away heart muscle the same way it wastes other muscle.”
He thought he was losing fat but he was really losing a lot of muscle. In effect, his body was “eating” his skeletal muscle, his skin, his liver, even his heart in order to survive.
What does this have to do with bariatric patients?
A lot. During periods of rapid weight loss, no one really knows how the body decides how much muscle to use, but new research says it’s common for WLS patients to lose 25% of skeletal muscle during the first-year post-op. Some lost 40%.
What to do?
Try to minimize your muscle loss, during the first year…and forever. Get at least as much protein as is indicated for the general population over aged 40:
30 grams of high-quality protein, 3 times per day.
The whey protein in UNJURY® has a 100 PDCAAS protein quality score, AND it is the highest in leucine. Leucine-rich high-quality protein is best for preserving muscle mass. That’s why you cannot do better than UNJURY®.
We will finish up this story in our next email. Stay tuned, and please get your protein: 30 grams at a time, 3 times per day, high quality protein, ideally whey.
Co-Founder & President, UNJURY® Protein