Undergoing your actual surgery is only half the battle when choosing a bariatric lifestyle. After you recover comes the hard part: bariatric eating. The quality, portion and type of food that you put into your body is vital to your success at losing weight. The emphasis on your diet is important because weight loss is essentially 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise.
As you may know, much of your post-operative diet will be centered around protein. You’ll hear your dietician always repeating that word: protein, protein, protein. High-protein foods are one of the most important nutrients needed for bariatric patients. Protein will help your body heal, burn more calories, maintain proper muscle and organ function, and keep you full longer. The key is to get the highest nutrient intake in the smallest volume possible.
Sometimes it can be hard to follow all the guidelines and rules that come with this lifestyle. That’s why it’s helpful to get creative and start making bariatric eating a fun, exciting task. Try new foods, mix up your meals and use these five protein tips to make your diet something to be enthusiastic about!
1. Protein Shakes. There’s a reason many people shy away from protein shakes. Sometimes they taste awful, sometimes they’re really chalky, and sometimes they smell terrible. However, not all protein is the same and there are tons of delicious recipes that you should try before shunning protein shakes from your diet. There are many different varieties of high quality protein that you can take in ready-made shakes or with powder. Shakes are great because you can tailor their ingredients to your tastes by only putting in the foods that you like. There are so many recipes out there, so don’t be afraid to try them and make sure that you keep track of the recipes that you absolutely love. To get started, try this amazing blueberry, banana, almond protein shake recipe from Bariatric Eating. Use this guide from Bariatric Foodie to learn how to mix perfect protein shakes.
2. Fruit Smoothies. Fruit smoothies make great alternatives to shakes. The difference? With smoothie recipes,
you can choose to add protein shake powder if you want. Fruit smoothies are typically sweeter and allow you more wiggle room when adding ingredients that you love. You can often add the protein powder and not even know it’s there with smoothies! Add yogurt, zero-calorie sweetener, fruit, almond milk, powder and ice to the blender for a healthy and refreshing snack that will give you fuel for the day.
3. Power Snacks. Thinking of new meals to center around protein every single day can be daunting. Even though these snacks have smaller portions, they are packed with protein and nutrients that will help with post-op eating even in the early stages.
4. Protein-packed Meals. You can easily add protein to any meal that you want to make with a few key ingredients. Sneak them into your meals for an extra protein kick or make them a highlight ingredient. Make sure you keep them in your pantry for easy access, so that you can make adding them a long-term habit.
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Parmesan cheese
With these protein tips, your next meal (and every one after that) should be a delicious, protein-packed bariatric eating success. It’s not hard to get your daily recommended protein intake if you get a little creative and think outside the box! You just have to find what foods you enjoy preparing and get you excited about cooking and eating. With that mindset, your transition to a bariatric lifestyle will be a breeze. If you have any questions about weight loss surgery or your bariatric diet, contact Riverside today!