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To Protein Drink or Not To Protein Drink



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From what I've read my bariatric surgeon has a very different outlook on Protein than most that I've heard about. He only approves Protein drinks as a part of the pre-op diet and advises that protein post-op should come from "real food". He also does not recommend the use of any artificial sweeteners. So far, I've been really on board with both of these tactics. I prefer "real food" and cutting out all sweet stuff for months has really helped me not crave sweets at all.

That said, I'm nervous about getting my correct amount of protein in. Another tactic I have been using is to only eat three meals a day, to stop myself from getting into the habit of grazing (also surgeon recommended practice). With what my pouch can handle, there just doesn't seem to be a way to get the needed protein in three sittings without severe food type restrictions. (I have been tracking through MyFitnessPal, and yep... it's pretty hard, if not impossible) I'm very tempted to give Protein shakes a try. I know you should always follow your surgeon's directions, and I do plan to discuss with him, but wanted to talk with people who have been down this road before. Do you think Protein Drinks helped you? What were the pros and cons of adding or subtracting them from your diet?

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It seems like it would be VERY hard to meet Protein requirements in the liquid phases without Protein shakes. My nutritionist was very insistent on me switching over to getting protein from "real food" as quickly as possible, but I was allowed shakes in the early days/weeks post-op. Definitely have a conversation with your surgeon about some potential options for liquid, puree, and soft food stage food that can get you to your protein goal.

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So you are post op, right? How many grams of Protein do you get?

Every program is different, I was coached to have 5 mini meals per day. I settled on 4 per day. The idea is not to graze but also to eat often enough that you can eat "small" and still be nourished. I have gone through no Protein Drink phases, but I can't meet my 80-100g a day goals without them. I am 4 years post op and maintaining. I think everyone needs to find what works for them, but I believe very strongly in "eating small" habitually to help keep that feeling of restriction over time.

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So you are post op, right? How many grams of Protein do you get?

Every program is different, I was coached to have 5 mini meals per day. I settled on 4 per day. The idea is not to graze but also to eat often enough that you can eat "small" and still be nourished. I have gone through no Protein Drink phases, but I can't meet my 80-100g a day goals without them. I am 4 years post op and maintaining. I think everyone needs to find what works for them, but I believe very strongly in "eating small" habitually to help keep that feeling of restriction over time.

Yep, I am 4.5 months post op (probably should have led with that!). My goal is 70-80 grams of Protein a day and I admit most of the time I can barely squeak in the minimum, if that. The eating "small" without grazing does makes sense to me. Something to think about to! Thanks!

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I consider my Protein shakes as just another tool that I need to learn to skillfully weild.

I don't think I could meet my Protein levels consistantly with out them.

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There is no way I would meet my Protein goals without 1 shake a day. I am very restricted and I use my shake for Breakfast. Then I have 2 very small Snacks on top of 2 other very small meals. This is the only way I can get between 70 and 80 grams per day. My calories are usually between 900 and 1100.

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I do great with Protein Bars. I know not everyone advocates them. Some have too many carbs. Some have too much saturated fat. Some people treat them like "candy" and eat too many or too often. But they have served me very well. I find that, unlike shakes, they keep me full feeling all the way through to my next scheduled meal/snack. They are high in Protein. And they are the perfect amount of food for my sleeve in one sitting. I never feel overfull on them, but also am not still hungry after eating one. Long term you have to figure out what works for you! I highly recommend that everyone follow their surgeon and nutritionist's guidelines through the post-op food stages while they are healing, but ultimately, you are the one who has to be able to live the rest of your life.

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I drank a shake everyday for the first year. I couldn't eat enough Protein and my surgeons said to do it so I got enough.

Haven't really had one since.

Edited by Postop

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Shakes!! Great subject I also think it would be very hard to meet your Protein without the shakes, I love muscle milk shakes

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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I agree with previous posters - I don't know how you can be expected to get your minimum Protein on a liquid diet without Protein Shakes. Even at a year out I drink a shake in the morning because a) it's an excellent source of protein but B) more practically it's so that I don't have to wait half an hour to have breakfast after taking my Vitamins since my breakfast is a liquid. I eat 3 ounces of protein (usually chicken or pork) for lunch and dinner. I also have a Quest bar once a day. Total I get about 100 - 115 gram of protein a day.

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I am going to be 7 years out in April and I've been drinking a Protein drink every morning since I got banded in 06. I love them. You can put all sorts of things in them, besides Protein powder.

If I didn't drink one for Breakfast, I doubt that I would eat much of anything before 2:00. I don't get hungry and nothing sounds good other than a shake until about that time.

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I have been wondering about this also. I'm supposed to get 60 grams of Protein while staying under 20 grams of fat. To keep the fat consumption that low is tough without shakes. If I ate chicken every meal I might be ok.

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I have been wondering about this also. I'm supposed to get 60 grams of Protein while staying under 20 grams of fat. To keep the fat consumption that low is tough without shakes. If I ate chicken every meal I might be ok.

20 grams of fat? That seems pretty crazy. I have a general rule of making sure everything I eat has more grams of protein than grams of fat, but that's about it. What reason we're you given for keeping fat that low?

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I mix 1 tablespoon GENEPRO Protein Powder (30gm protein) in 1/2 cup lactaid milk when I get up. That has just over 30gm Protein before I leave the house. I try at meals to eat protein. If I am short at the end of the day, I repeat with another 1/2 c lactaid with another scoop of Genepro. Bottom line, you need your protein.

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I have been wondering about this also. I'm supposed to get 60 grams of Protein while staying under 20 grams of fat. To keep the fat consumption that low is tough without shakes. If I ate chicken every meal I might be ok.

20 grams of fat? That seems pretty crazy. I have a general rule of making sure everything I eat has more grams of Protein than grams of fat, but that's about it. What reason we're you given for keeping fat that low?

I honestly never asked as it hasn't really been an issue. I will ask the next time I go the NUT.

It really hasn't been a issue during the first two months. Now that I can eat more variety it is a little harder. I've mostly eaten skinless chicken breast, which have practically no fat. Lately I haven't been sticking to that 20 gram number spot on. I focus on eating lean protein and tend to stay pretty close. I am only eating 700 calories a day, so eating lean protein is pretty important. If I eat something high in fat I will go over 700 calories pretty quickly. I typically eat a fat free Greek yogurt and use Fairlife milk for my shake. Between the shake, milk and yogurt I am at 54 grams of protein with hardly any fat.

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