Bariatric protein shakes are the foundation of the diet for at least the first 2 months post op because it will be physically impossible to get the required protein from real food.
60-80 grams of protein per day is typically the assigned protein goal. Note: Follow your surgeon’s guidelines.
Read more on the High Protein Bariatric Diet
One 3oz chicken breast has approximately 20 grams of protein. So you’d have to eat 3-4 chicken breasts per day to hit your protein goal.
With a new stomach the size of an egg or small banana (depending on which surgical procedure you have), and the inability to eat solid food in the beginning, the ONLY way to hit those big protein numbers in the beginning is to drink your protein.
Enter the “bariatric diet protein shake.”
While bariatric companies make protein shakes specifically marketed for weight loss surgery, there are plenty of over-the-counter products that can be used if you know what you're looking for. If a protein shake meets the following criteria, then it qualifies to be called a “bariatric diet protein shake:”
1. Protein dense: At least 20 grams protein per 8oz
Get the most protein in the smallest volume. You’re more likely to hit your protein goal if you can do so by drinking 2 shakes vs 3 because of the limited ability to drink a lot in the beginning.
If you pick an 11oz protein shake that only has 10 grams of protein, then you need to drink 6-8 of them (66-88oz) to hit your protein goal, right? Not happening!
2. Low sugar (<5 grams)
3. Low fat (<3 grams)
4. More protein grams than carbohydrate grams
5. Calories are less than 10 times the Protein grams:
To get the best quality protein and most protein dense
shake, using whey isolate protein powder and mixing your own shake is the best
way to go.
But given our on-the-go lifestyles, ready made protein drinks are a desirable, convenient option.
*Note: These aren’t as protein dense as the “milky” types
These are the most common
barriers to drinking your protein shakes, and my suggestions of what to do.
Don’t Like the Taste