Gastric sleeve surgery (VSG) is a powerful tool to cure obesity and its related health issues. However, the key to long-term success lies not only in the surgery itself but also in following the correct post-operative regimen and making changes to your activity level and diet plan. The best diet plan involves meticulous tracking of your macronutrient ratios. It can ensure you are on track for weight loss while tracking protein intake and helping you avoid nutrient deficiencies.

In this blog, we will define macros and explain how to track them after bariatric surgery to maximize weight loss without sacrificing your overall health.

Recommended Macronutrients for Bariatric Patients- Mexico Bariatric Center

What Are Macros?

Macros are short for macronutrients, which are the primary types of nutrients needed by the body for energy. Counting macros is essentially controlling and balancing the types of components found in the foods that we eat. In fact, it is a very simple way of measuring our diet to determine the most efficient intake for our individual goals. The three main macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fats.


Protein is one of the more important macronutrients after bariatric surgery. It is essential for healing and recovery post-surgery and will help maintain your muscle mass. For a bariatric diet, we recommend that 35% of your calories come from protein. Protein provides 4 calories per gram consumed.


Carbohydrates (carbs) include sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbs are broken down into glucose after consumption and are either used immediately or stored as glycogen in your liver. Your carbohydrates should be about 35% of your total calories. Carbs provide 4 calories per gram.


Your body needs fat for energy and critical functions like hormone production, temperature regulation, and nutrient absorption. Fats have the highest amount of calories per gram at 9 kcal. They should make up about 40% of your total calories.

Macronutrients for Weight Loss

When many think of losing weight (fat loss), they usually think of crash dieting and not balancing their macronutrient intake. They may think of the following:

  • Low carb diet
  • High protein, no carb diet
  • Keto
  • Diet pills
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Cut back on calories only
  • Boost up intense exercise with no change to diet

The issue with these fad diets is they do not effectively balance macronutrients to ensure the body gets what it needs. If you cut out or eat too much of a certain macro, it affects the way that your body stores fat and energy, as well as other health-related factors. This can result in regaining all the weight you lost and then some once you stop the diet.

Macronutrients for Weight Loss Patients

Bariatric macros are measured in percentage of daily calories from:

  • Fat (40%*)
  • Protein (35%*)
  • Carbohydrates (25%*)

* Recommended levels for bariatric patients

Macro Nutrient Chart - Macronutrients-Carbs, Proteins, and Fats

How to Calculate Macros

Figuring out your specific number of macros can be done manually, but it is tedious and error-prone. Luckily, there are many apps and websites available to help make it a smoother process. A few great options are

To calculate your macros manually, you need to calculate your overall calorie needs based on your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). First, use the equations below to find your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) for your gender, weight, and age:

Males: calories/day = 10 x weight (kilograms, or kg) + 6.25 x height (centimeters, or cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
Females: calories/day = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161

Then, take your REE number and multiply it by an activity factor representing your level of bustling to get TDEE.

  • Sedentary: x 1.2 (limited exercise)
  • Lightly active: x 1.375 (light exercise less than 3 days per week)
  • Moderately active: x 1.55 (moderate exercise most days of the week)
  • Very active: x 1.725 (hard exercise every day)
  • Extra active: x 1.9 (strenuous exercise two or more times per day)

The calculated TDEE number is the total amount of calories you need. Now, you can add or subtract from this number based on your goals. For weight loss, you will need to consume less than this amount, and the reverse is true for weight gain and building muscles.

To find out your specific macro components, you will need to divide your percentage of calories for each macronutrient by the amount of calories that the macronutrient provides. Here is an example of protein, carbs, and fats based on a 1,200-calorie diet.

Protein (4 kcal/g)

  • 35% of 1,200 = 420 calories of protein per day
  • Total g of protein daily = 420/4 = 105g

Carbs (4 kcal/g)

  • 25% of 1,200 = 300 calories of carbs per day
  • Total g of carbs daily = 300/4 = 75g

Fats (9 kcal/g)

  • 40% of 1,200 = 480 calories of protein per day
  • Total g of protein daily = 480/9 = 53g

You can track the amount of macros per meal by weighing all your meals and dividing the weight of a certain food by its respective macro value. Generally, for the first 18 months or until you reach your goal weight, we recommend you follow these macros.

  • Calories: 1000-1200
  • Protein: 75g-105g (35%)
  • Carbs: <100g (25%)
  • Fats: 30-45g (40%)
  • Sugars: <25g
  • Fiber: >20g

How To Calculate Macros- Mexico Bariatric Center

Gastric Sleeve for Weight Loss

Obesity is climbing at such a high rate, and there are so many toxic and processed foods out there that we are led to believe are okay when they, in fact, contain harmful ingredients. It is now becoming a necessity for many to undergo weight loss surgery as a means to overcome the struggle to eat right with a busy lifestyle or health issues.

Weight loss surgery procedures, such as gastric sleeve,  gastric bypass, and duodenal switch, are an accessory for those who struggle with weight loss regardless of how carefully they plan their efforts. Today, with all of the unhealthy foods, busy lifestyles, and lack of time to properly cook and prepare healthy meals, gastric sleeve is a way for people to adapt to modern-day society to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

See If You Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery Macro Blog- Mexico Bariatric Center

How Macros for Fat Loss Tie Into Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Even after you have undergone weight loss surgery such as the gastric sleeve, it is important that you calculate macros, not just calories alone, and that you make those macros count by eating healthy sources such as olive oil for fat, oats for carbohydrates, and lean chicken for protein.

Here at Mexico Bariatric Center, we, in fact, have a bariatric nutritionist who can help you plan your macros and your diet before as well as after undergoing bariatric surgery in Tijuana, Mexico.

Failing to adhere to a balanced diet, whether you have undergone surgery or not, will hinder achieving successful weight loss results.

The gastric sleeve is a fantastic tool that will allow you to lose fat at a faster rate than just through diet and exercise alone and even injectables. But it is important that you make sure to eat the proper portions and macronutrients alongside vitamin and water intake to support your health best.


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