It’s no secret that you will need to adapt your diet heavily after you have bariatric surgery. Whether you go through with a gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve surgery, you’ll have a smaller pouch and you will need to change your nutritional intake. This will help you with healing, it will help to ensure that you will meet your daily and long term nutritional needs despite the fact that your physiology has changed, and it will also help you meet your weight loss goals.
That’s one of the reasons that they call it a weight loss journey, after all. Some people think of bariatric surgery as a cure for weight gain, but it isn’t. It’s nothing more than a tool that you can help to propel yourself to success. You will still need to go through with everything else it takes to make it a reality. You will still need to commit to an altered lifestyle and diet to see it through.
It’s also no secret that a bariatric post-op diet will represent a drastic shift from what you are used to. A post-op diet would be a big change for anyone, much less anyone who had just undergone bariatric surgery.
We’re not going to get too much into the details right here in this article, because we have different ground to cover, but the post-op diet, if you are yet to experience it, is made up of multiple stages, starting with a full liquid diet and composed of many very small portions, with the intent to wean your smaller stomach back onto solid foods. You can’t just jump right back into solid foods after bariatric surgery and you won’t be able to take large portions either.
But liquid foods and smaller portions aren’t the only change you’ll need to adapt to after you undergo bariatric surgery. You’ll also need to get used to taking vitamin supplements to ensure that your nutritional needs are met, just the same. In addition, you’ll probably notice that there are foods that are considered no-gos and foods that are sanctioned for use in bariatric diets and meal plans.
Among the foods that you’ll be commonly told to avoid are processed sugars, foods that are high in carbs, and foods that are high in oils and fats. You’ll also be told to avoid some foods like certain nuts and other things that can be difficult to digest.
On the list of foods that are acceptable are many lean meats like chicken and fish, soft cheeses, eggs, milk, and other soft fruits and vegetables that are easier to digest than others. Oh, and one more thing - you’ll probably get used to eating lots and lots of protein, or protein-rich foods. Bariatric patients are no stranger to suggestions to take protein powders for shakes, protein supplements, and bariatric protein bars.
This is true. You do need a lot more protein after bariatric surgery, but it might not be well understood why. So, in the first place, just why do you need so much more protein after bariatric surgery?
Why You Need Extra Protein
As it turns out, there isn’t just one simple reason why you need extra protein after bariatric surgery. There are a few of them and they work together to ensure holistic health, nutrition, and recovery.
- Protein helps you heal - After surgery, your entire body will be stressed and will need all of the help it can possibly get with recovery. Systemically, you will be in “healing mode” and especially your now smaller pouch will be susceptible to any changes you make to your lifestyle. Taking extra protein will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair damaged tissues and fibers, and it will also support the rest of your body’s systems.
- Protein provides you with a lot of nutrition and helps to form critical compounds in the body - Protein is critical for the health of your hair, nails, and other systems, but it also is crucial for overall nutritional health. Some amino acids cannot be synthesized in the body from other foods, for one thing, but at the same time, many proteins can be digested, broken down, and reassembled into other crucial nutrients.
- Protein helps with feelings of fullness and satisfaction - There are plenty of clinical studies that suggest that, for some reason or another, protein is better at delivering a feeling of fullness or satiety than other nutrients. Even though it might seem like it should make more sense that you’d feel more full after eating a lot of fat or sugar, the opposite, in fact, is true. Eating a lot of protein with a meal is one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll feel full and satisfied.
- Protein helps you burn fat - Even as compelling as all of the above points are, protein has another trick up the sleeve that makes it even more useful as a component in bariatric diets and meal plans. As it turns out, protein actually can help you burn fat. An unfortunate reality is that your body naturally wants to preserve fat, so oftentimes, when you are eating less, it will conserve fat and burn muscle tissue as energy. If you keep up your protein intake, you will repair your muscle tissues as they are broken down for energy, which will force your body to start burning fat.
There actually are quite a few reasons, as you can see, that high protein diets are essential after bariatric surgery. It might seem like they’ve been formulated simply to keep you from eating foods that are high in fat and sugar, but that is really only a part of the picture.
This is why, among other things, bariatric patients are supposed to take protein supplements, protein shakes, and bariatric protein bars to keep their protein intake sufficient.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Tasteless!
At this point, you might be thinking “the lesson was great, but I still hate the taste of bariatric protein bars.” If you were, you wouldn’t be alone in the sentiment. Bariatric patients are, unfortunately, all too familiar with supplements, protein bars, and other so-called “snacks,” that are little more than flavorless pastes and doughs. Some of them are even worse than this.
Lucky for you, it just doesn’t need to be this way. Everything we produce and promote here at BariatricEating.com is meant to provide more than just nutrition. It’s meant to stimulate your appreciation for your sense of flavor and satisfaction. Our bariatric protein powders, bars, vitamins, and other foods may be formulated with adequate protein and bioavailable nutrients, but to be frank - they’re also delicious.
Some Highlights from Our Bariatric Protein Bars
If you’re looking for bariatric protein bars that are, to be blunt, better than the rest, you’ve come to the right place. We created one of a kind snacks and protein bars for our customers that are tested and approved, not to mention designed to keep you full and happy between meals.
Here are some of the highlights from our collection of bariatric protein snack bars and what they can offer.
Inspire Coffee Cake Crisp Bars - Regular coffee cake might be a favorite of yours, but now that you’re in the right place for delightful treats you won’t need to give up on that spicy, sugary goodness that the real thing can bring you. You won’t even notice the difference between our Inspire Coffee Cake Crisp Bars and the real thing.
If the description on that product page doesn’t make your mouth water, then we have no good idea what will. With a cookie dough center that is dipped in cream cheese flavored icing and then rolled in crisps for a pleasant crunch, these protein bars fire on all cylinders. Sweet, a little savory and with the perfect balance of crunch and doughy goodness, they please more than one sense at once.
Best of all, each bar is perfectly formulated with the ideal balance of protein and carbs to provide you with energy throughout the day or between meals so you’ll be happy and satisfied all day long. With 15g of protein per serving and individually wrapped to assist with portion control, they’re the perfect sweet treat for anyone with a soft spot for coffee cake.
Inspire Peanut Crisp Bars - Peanut butter is a weakness that plenty of us have. The good news is that the unctuous goodness of peanut butter is loaded not only with a large portfolio of nutrients; it’s also packed with protein which lends it perfectly to protein bars.
Our Inspire Peanut Crisp Bars are much more than just a deliciously sweet and satisfying treat. Just read the ingredients and you won’t believe your eyes. These protein bars are made with a crunchy peanut butter cookie dough center that is dipped in milk chocolate, rolled in crisps, and then accented with a peanut drizzle that delights the eyes and the palate.
Flavorful and immensely satisfying, these protein bars, just like the bars mentioned above, are loaded with 15g of protein per serving (1 bar) and also individually wrapped. If you love peanut butter, this ride has just pulled up to your station.
Now, it’s worth noting that these are just a couple of the options we provide in our collection of bariatric snacks and bars. We would be remiss if we didn’t call your attention to the other wonderful snacks and delectable treats in the assortment.
In the same collection, you can see via the link above, you’ll also come across unforgettable treats like our Inspire Fudgy Brownies, Cinnamon Iced Oatmeal Squares, Peanut Butter Cups, or Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows that will have you delighted from here on out. We might not call them protein bars, categorically, but they are formulated with the needs of bariatric patients in mind - oh, and they are delicious.
Don’t Miss Our Recipes
The good news just keeps coming in here at BariatricEating.com. Understandably, you might have come here looking for protein bars and other snacks to keep you held over throughout the day or between meals, but there’s more to bariatric meal planning than that alone.
Any long term bariatric meal plan or late-stage adaptive diet needs a lot more than protein bars and protein supplements for long term success. That’s why here we offer you a lot more resources than ready-made bariatric meals and snacks alone. We have one of the best collections of bariatric recipes on the web. (Also, since it’s Christmastime, you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss our collection of specially themed Christmas bariatric recipes - which you can find at the link above!)
Our collection of bariatric recipes has entries that turn your head for sure, especially if you’re used to bland, unimpressive bariatric staples. We’d love for you to check the recipes at the link above, but if not, please feast your eyes on some of these titles: Roasted Prime Rib of Beef; Chocolate Lava Cakes; Gingerbread Men; Signature Antipasto Salad. If it sounds like those are recipes that are bursting at the seams with complex flavors, it’s because they are.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you still want to learn more about why keeping up a protein intake is important after you have had bariatric surgery, feel free to consult some of the resources in our learning center. You might find the aptly named entry, “Why you need protein” to be particularly helpful.
If you still have specific questions, please feel free to reach out to us for more information. You can contact us if you have additional questions or concerns and we would be glad to help you.
Otherwise, take a good long look through our collection of bariatric recipes, protein bars, and hot meals for bariatric patients, and get ready to reintroduce yourself to flavors that you didn’t even know were still out there for you to find! Make sure you come back, too, because we are always adding to our collection of recipes!