This blog is written by Kimberly H, a bariatric patient who discusses being a mother, eating well, working out, and trying to lose weight after weight loss surgery. Aside from sharing her experience with WLS, she discusses motivation, self-love, and mental health.
High Protein Snacks after Bariatric Surgery
Protein is so critical after weight loss surgery, and it is extremely important that you find ways to incorporate it into your diet as much as possible. It can be challenging to find ways to get 80-100 grams a day, especially since we can only eat a limited amount of food at a time. One of the best things you can do is add smaller meals or snacks into your routine that are high in protein. As someone who is over 8 years post-op, I have found many creative ways to hit my protein goal each day.
Lately, I have been enjoying hard-boiled eggs. These are a great source of protein and B vitamins, an essential vitamin we need to watch for after weight loss surgery. When I add eggs to my diet, I always feel satisfied longer and do not feel the need to go for junk as often. Hard-boiled eggs are also great because you can prepare them ahead of time then have them ready to take when you're out and about. Also, I love putting hot sauce on them to give them more flavor.
Another favorite high-protein snack of mine is just straight-up peanut butter. I like to add fruits to give myself a well-balanced diet, but sometimes just a little bit of peanut butter is all I need to get a little bit of energy. Sometimes I get a little lightheaded, and this always seems to help pick me up.
Low Carb Snacks
As a bariatric patient, you must always be aware of the sugar and carbohydrates in your food. Often, it just works out that things high in protein are low in carbs, but that is not always the case. You must always pay attention to the entire nutrition count of food items to ensure they are appropriate for you after weight loss surgery. Turkey roll-ups are at the top of my list for low-carb, high-protein snacks. They are so easy, and I can eat a good amount of them without feeling sick. It is rich in protein from both the turkey and cheese that I add to it. I often do these for lunch or when I am just a little munchy.
A few years ago, I found a love for jerky. Growing up, this would have never been something I went for, but I have found it an excellent low-carb snack for bariatric patients. There are so many flavors out there, and you can do turkey jerky as well if you want to stay away from beef. Just be careful to watch for those with added sugar because we all know we need to be very careful with dumping syndrome.
Bariatric Eating On-the-Go
Greek yogurt has really turned into one of my favorite snacks. I enjoy adding a little bit of granola, but I love that there are so many flavors, and they are all packed full of protein. For me, it was an acquired taste, but now I feel like I get my craving for sweets out of the way if I incorporate Greek yogurt every day. Also, like most of these high-protein snacks, Greek yogurt is pretty easy to take with you on-the-go. I love throwing one in my purse and taking it with me to work or even out to run errands.
Another snack that I like to take with me on-the-go is trail mix. Nuts are a fantastic choice to add to your diet after surgery. I tend to lean towards keeping sweet items on me because I am always very tempted when I am out to grab candy bars or other unhealthy items. Again, you must be careful with the sugar, so do not go crazy with the store-bought trail mixes. Instead, make your own at home and get creative with it so you can take that out and about with you. I like to use dried cranberries for the sweetness, but I focus on incorporating a variety of nuts like walnuts and almonds to give me the most protein. When I am prepared and have items like these with me, I am a lot more likely to stay on track.
Will I Be Able to Eat Sweets after Gastric Sleeve?
Many people think that you cannot enjoy sweets after Gastric Sleeve. That is just not the case. You can enjoy treats; you just have to be more thoughtful about it. Instead of going to the store and grabbing M&Ms, take something with you that you know will satisfy your sweet tooth. By far my favorite thing to keep on me is a tasty chocolate protein bar. Keeping protein bars on you at all times will ensure that you stay on track after your surgery because they are high in protein and give you the boost of energy you need to be successful on your journey. When you find the right protein bar, you will not feel deprived. You will feel like you can enjoy a special treat without feeling guilty, which is exactly what you want as a bariatric patient. This is a lifestyle change and it is all about balance. Once you learn to incorporate these healthier alternatives into your diet, you will feel so much stronger.