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Tiny Tummy Tips, Issue #004-- Cheese After Bariatric Surgery: Is it a Good Choice?
April 13, 2022

Cheese After Bariatric Surgery: Is it a Good Choice?

Tiny Tummy Tips, Issue #004 -- Is Cheese Good for Me After Bariatric Surgery?

In This Issue

1) Is cheese considered protein or fat?
2) Is cheese sabotaging your weight loss?
3) How to have your cheese and eat it too.

Cheese: Protein or Fat?

I see cheese being touted as a great go-to protein source in many Facebook posts and bariatric support groups.

Recipes like “cheese” crackers, vegetables doused with cheese sauce and keto recipes with lots of cheese get perpetuated as bariatric friendly because “cheese has protein.”

YES. Cheese has protein. AND cheese is even low in carbs. BUT…cheese has MORE FAT than protein. It’s therefore quite high in calories. (We had a similar conversation about peanut butter a few newsletters ago.)


You lose fat and keep fat OFF, only when you keep calories down. Theoretically a smaller stomach should help. But it’s possible to pack too many calories in a tiny tummy if you’re not careful. It’s smart to know where calories can sneak up on you.

1 ounce of cheese has 100-120 calories so it’s a high price to pay for ~7 grams of protein.

You can get the same amount of protein for fewer calories by eating deli turkey, jerky, egg whites, plain nonfat Greek yogurt, or even lowfat cottage cheese.

Cheese is NOT a “diet” food nor a food that will speed your weight loss just because it has some protein.

And FYI: If you have high cholesterol, cheese one of the biggest offenders.

Is Cheese Sabotaging Your Weight Loss?

In my professional opinion, cheese is one of two foods that are the most common weight loss saboteurs. (Tune in to the next newsletter to find out what the other one is!)

Here’s a scenario I hear all the time: You eat a pound of cheese a week but forgo the crackers and think you’re being “healthy.” It IS protein, right? And you ARE skipping the carbs, right?

Well, yes…but that’s not all that matters.

Weight loss (meaning fat loss…not water loss), is NOT a matter of eating protein and skipping carbs. Once again, it boils down to reducing calories.

So… Buzz kill: Cheese is NOT a great go-to protein source. Sorry :(

Full fat cheese shouldn’t be consumed regularly and especially not multiple times per day because you justify that it’s “protein.”

Conclusion: How to Have Your Cheese and Eat it Too

Reduce, Remove, or Replace. Here’s how:

Reduce how much full fat cheese you eat by using a SMALLER PORTION when you eat it, or eat it LESS OFTEN.

Think of cheese as a condiment…NOT your protein source. Sprinkle it on salad vs eating it as a snack. Or think of it as a special treat you only eat occasionally. It shouldn’t be on your regular grocery list.

Remove. If using smaller amounts of cheese is too difficult, simply remove it from your diet altogether. Sometimes abstinence is the best approach when a food is too much of a temptation.

Replace full fat cheese with lowfat or nonfat cheese to reduce the calories. Or try shredded carrots in place of shredded cheese when you can…like in salads!

Reframe your thinking and consider cheese an “accessory,” a “condiment,” or the “bling” you add to your meal. Kind of like “the cherry on top.” It should never be a significant part of your meal nor the ONLY think you eat at one time.

Sitting down to a brick of full cheese and justifying you’re getting your protein is a fast path to slowed weight loss or weight regain.

Just sayin’.

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In Health,


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