7 Easy Protein Hacks to Help Meet Protein Requirements After Bariatric SurgeryNovember 29, 2018
This post is sponsored by PREMIER PROTEIN®.
Protein Requirements After Bariatric Surgery
As a bariatric patient, you will advance through various phases of a post-bariatric nutrition plan given to you by your bariatric center’s dietician or nutritionist. The phases might include clear liquids, full liquids, pureed foods, soft foods and then your lifelong plan. The phases and what is allowed on them can vary per surgery type and per the surgeon’s office. Your surgeon’s office will have you advance through these phases gradually, allowing your body adequate time to heal. One of the important requirements that help with healing is getting your protein in!
During those various phases, it can sometimes be difficult and overwhelming to try and reach the protein requirements that have been set for you. We’re sharing 7 easy protein hacks that many successful post-op patients have used during their phases! To boost your protein just mix it, add it, buy it ready to drink, sub it, freeze it, heat it, or dish it! Most of all, we recommend having fun and experimenting with your protein.
Protein Hack #1: Mix It!
One of the most common ways to use protein powder is to mix it and make it into a shake. When you’re first starting out with protein powder after bariatric surgery, you may have a lot of questions about how to mix your protein powder. You might be asking... What do I use as a base? How do I get rid of the clumps? What’s the best way to mix it? A lot of this comes down to experimenting and your personal preferences!
For the Base: Mixing it with water is almost always mentioned in the directions on the package and is an easily accessible calorie-free base. Some bariatric patients prefer to use their favorite milk for a creamier texture, just make sure to be mindful of added sugars and calorie counts. A favorite is unsweetened almond milk!
Eliminating Clumps: Not all protein powders clump, however, if you run into clumping there are a lot of different ways to smooth them out. A favorite WLS community tip is to create a slurry first! To do this, mix your protein powder with just a small amount of the liquid and create a paste-like texture then combine and mix into the rest of your liquid.
How-To Mix: There are a lot of methods and preferences for mixing. Some people use a spoon or whisk, others favor a “shaker bottle” with a blender ball, some like to use an immersion blender, and others prefer to add ice and use a high-powered blender. Figuring out your preferred method and texture may take some experimenting!
Protein Hack #2: Add It!
As a bariatric patient, you have a protein goal to meet that usually ranges from 60-80 grams of protein daily. Depending on the phase you are in and your bariatric surgery center’s protocols, you may have been told to begin supplementing your protein intake with protein powders in order to adequately meet your protein needs.
Most patients share that this is especially difficult to accomplish in the beginning when struggling with taste buds changing, food intolerances or nausea, and simply not being hungry.
It’s time to be creative and look to see where you can add a little more protein in throughout the day. Some people in the bariatric community find that adding a little protein powder into the foods or drinks that they are tolerating well can help them better reach their protein goal for the day.
Some Add-In Ideas:
- Add protein powder to Greek yogurt to change up the flavor.
- Add protein powder to sugar-free pudding.
- Add protein powder to soup, after heating, stir in thoroughly.
Protein Hack #3: Buy It Ready To Drink!
If you are pressed for time, Ready to Drink (RTD) protein shakes are a great solution. A favorite of ours is PREMIER PROTEIN® Shakes. They come in a variety of great flavors, are packed with 30g of protein and taste great!
Ready to Drink protein shakes are the perfect compliment to your on-the-go lifestyle. You can take them to the office, the gym, or any time you’re on the run. Having an RTD protein shake on hand is an easy and convenient way to give your body the protein it needs to keep your energy going throughout your busy day. Just grab and go!
Protein also provides satiety which can decrease hunger throughout the day! Planning ahead with a ready to drink shake can help you to avoid impulsive eating and grazing that can slow or stall weight loss. You can enjoy a shake as a nutritious meal replacement, pre or post-workout fuel source, or a healthy snack option.
Ready to Drink PREMIER PROTEIN® Shakes contain 24 essential vitamins and minerals and all of the amino acids for 160 calories. They can be your go-to for weight management after bariatric surgery. Part of embracing your new bariatric lifestyle is figuring out what works best for you!
Protein Hack #4: Sub It!
If you’re watching your carb count and total calories for the day, you can use ready to drink protein shakes and protein powders as a substitute! The ways you can substitute into food and drinks are endless.
A Favorite Substitution: PREMIER PROTEIN® RTD Shake as a Coffee Creamer!
This is a really popular swap in the ObesityHelp community! If you’re a coffee lover and you’ve been cleared by your surgeon’s office to reincorporate them, then you’re going to love this protein hack. Instead of using a sugar-filled flavored creamer in your coffee, swap it out with a flavored RTD protein shake or protein powder. This makes a delicious protein coffee!
Per the American Diabetes Association, a two-tablespoon serving of liquid coffee creamer typically contains 11g carbohydrates, and a whopping 10 grams are from sugar. That’s huge!
General nutrition information for a comparison:
|PREMIER PROTEIN® RTD Caramel||2 T.
(1 fluid ounce)
|Popular liquid flavored
(1 fluid ounce)
Those two tablespoons can really be a hit on your calorie count for the day, not to mention if you drink more than 1 cup of coffee a day! With this protein hack, you change those numbers dramatically!
Protein Hack #5: Freeze It!
Getting bored with protein shakes? Try totally switching up the texture with your freezer!
Protein Infused Flavored Ice Cubes: Get creative by making protein infused flavored ice cubes. Get out your ice cube tray or freezer friendly silicone mold, pour a PREMIER PROTEIN Clear® Protein Drink into the molds and freeze. Once frozen, pop out the protein ice cubes and either add them directly to your drink or pulse them in the blender for a flavorful slushy.
For coffee lovers, you can skip the watered down iced-coffee by making protein coffee iced cubes. Just take your favorite coffee, add in a ready to drink protein shake as the creamer, then pour into your ice cube tray and freeze. Protein coffee ice cubes will help keep your iced-coffee at the strength you love.
Protein Frozen Treats: Looking for a tasty frozen treat? Make a healthy protein based version! You can make Protein Ice Cream, Protein Popsicles, and Frozen Protein Yogurt! Check out our top three favorite frozen protein treats, the PREMIER PROTEIN® Orange Cream popsicle which reminds of us of a creamsicle, then the delicious flavor combo of PREMIER PROTEIN® Raspberry & Vanilla Cream, and last but not least the PREMIER PROTEIN® Pineapple Whip!
Protein Hack #6: Heat It!
Did you know that you can heat your protein? You can! With this protein hack, think of the possibilities of having a warm protein drink vs a cold shake. Sometimes changing the temperature of a drink can be soothing on the stomach, not to mention warm in the hands, which is perfect on a cold day!
Warm Protein Drink Ideas: You can create warm protein drink recipes for a soothing, comforting boost of protein. No need to limit enjoying your favorite holiday flavors to just a couple months out of the year! After pouring the protein shake out of the bottle, you can enjoy a rich, warm protein infused eggnog or an aromatic peppermint mocha protein drink any time of the year. Think about all the combinations of hot chocolate you could make, one of our favorites is the decadent PREMIER PROTEIN® Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate, delicious! Click here to find that recipe and other warm PREMIER PROTEIN® drink recipes.
Read more here about heating your protein.
Protein Hack #7: Dish It!
When you're cleared to move beyond the initial phases after bariatric surgery, you can have fun and be creative with your favorite dishes. When it comes to protein, think beyond a drink, you can add protein to many of your favorite recipes. You can even bake with it! The possibilities are endless with baked protein goods, homemade protein bars, mug cakes, and more. Every gram of protein counts!
Some of our favorite recipe dishes:
- Key Lime No-Bake PREMIER PROTEIN® Cheesecake
- Crustless PREMIER PROTEIN® Pumpkin Pie
- Layered Caramel Chocolate Chia PREMIER PROTEIN® Pudding
- PREMIER PROTEIN® Banana Cheesecake Parfait
As you can see, adding protein to your diet with these protein hacks can be easy and add variety to whatever you’re eating. Make sure the protein you use is high-quality (like PREMIER PROTEIN®) and always check the nutritional info for carbs and sugar ratio to the amount of protein per serving. From the beginning phase of your bariatric surgery journey and beyond, think about how you can add protein for a boost of nutrition and flavor.
NOTE: If you have specific dietary restrictions, allergies or a nutrition plan that you are following, make sure to read the ingredient list prior to consumption. This information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional. Check with your medical team for any questions or concerns you may have with meeting your protein requirements after bariatric surgery.