Macros Guide for WLS Patients (Plus 3 Delicious Recipes)

Article By: Gianna Soussan

Gianna is a seasoned Bariatric Patient & Peer Coach who has lost and maintained 120+ lbs on her journey to better health. She is an advocate within the bariatric community and has made it her life’s mission to share what she’s learned to be successful along the way! Follow her journey on Instagram (@vsgianna_).

Hello, fellow post-op warriors! It's been an incredible journey since my weight loss surgery back in 2020, and one of the key aspects that has contributed significantly to my sustained success is embracing macro-friendly meals as a staple in my daily life. As we navigate this path toward a healthier lifestyle, understanding macronutrients and maintaining a balanced intake becomes crucial to our short-term and long-term success. Today, I'm excited to share not just a few of the recipes that have fueled my new healthy lifestyle but also shed some light on the importance of balanced macronutrients in our post-op lives. Let’s get into it!

1) What are macronutrients? Before we dive into the kitchen, let's break down the term "macronutrients." These are the essential nutrients our bodies need in large amounts to function properly. They make up the energy content of every piece of food we eat and have different ways of functioning within our body. The three primary macronutrients are:

  • Proteins: Vital for muscle repair and overall body function.
  • Carbohydrates: Our main energy source.
  • Fats: Essential for nutrient absorption and hormone regulation.

Based on your daily calorie needs, which are influenced by factors such as age, sex, activity level, and specific health or fitness goals, your total caloric intake for the day is broken down into the above-mentioned macronutrients. It's important to note that not all sources of macronutrients are equal in terms of health benefits. For instance, choosing lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats can have different effects on health and weight management compared to processed or refined options.

Your macronutrient profile (the ratio of protein to carbs to fat) is different depending on your own specific needs, so to obtain personalized advice and accurate calculations tailored to your specific goals, consulting with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist is recommended. This is particularly important if you have specific health conditions or dietary restrictions, such as those associated with bariatric surgery patients such as ourselves!

2) Why balanced macronutrients matter post-op. After weight loss surgery, our bodies undergo significant changes, and providing them with the right balance of macronutrients is paramount for a successful recovery and sustained success. Here's why:

  • Sustained energy: Carbohydrates offer a quick energy boost, while proteins provide a more sustained release. Balancing both helps maintain energy levels throughout the day, crucial for an active and healthy post-op lifestyle.
  • Muscle maintenance: Adequate protein intake is essential for preserving lean muscle mass, especially as we lose weight. This not only aids in physical strength but also supports our metabolism.
  • Nutrient absorption: Healthy fats play a crucial role in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, ensuring our bodies get the most from the nutrients we consume.

3) Macro-friendly recipes: Fueling our health with flavor. Now, let's get to the good stuff! Here are three of my favorite post-op macro-friendly recipes that have not only satisfied my taste buds but also kept my nutritional needs in check:

Recipe 1 - Protein-packed chicken stir-fry.


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 cups snap peas, ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (low-sodium) or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
  • Cooked brown rice or quinoa for serving


  • In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and water to create the sauce. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the sliced chicken to the pan and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes (if using). Sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add broccoli, bell peppers, carrot, and snap peas to the pan. Stir-fry the vegetables for 3-4 minutes until they are crisp-tender.
  • Return the cooked chicken to the pan with the vegetables.
  • Pour the prepared sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Stir well to coat everything evenly. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you prefer a saucier stir fry, you can add a bit more soy sauce or water.
  • Once everything is well-cooked and coated in the sauce, remove the pan from heat.
  • Serve the protein-packed chicken veggie stir fry over cooked brown rice or quinoa.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

Recipe 2 - Balanced breakfast smoothie.


  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (vanilla or unflavored)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or any other plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1/2 banana, sliced (for natural sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Ice cubes (optional if thicker consistency desired)


  • In a blender, combine the protein powder, almond milk, Greek yogurt, frozen mixed berries, banana slices, spinach leaves, and chia seeds.
  • If you prefer a colder and thicker smoothie, add a handful of ice cubes.
  • Blend the ingredients on high speed until the smoothie reaches a creamy consistency.
  • Once the smoothie is smooth and well-mixed, pour it into a glass.

This smoothie is rich in protein, fiber, and nutrients, making it a satisfying and healthy choice for a morning meal that supports weight loss goals.

Recipe 3 - Avocado and grilled salmon salad.

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens (spinach, arugula, or your choice)
  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Dressing ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the salmon for about 4-5 minutes per side or until it flakes easily with a fork. Cooking time may vary based on thickness. Once cooked, set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine the mixed greens, sliced avocados, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion.
  • Flake the grilled salmon into bite-sized pieces and gently add it to the salad.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat all the ingredients evenly.
  • Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning or dressing as needed.
  • Serve the avocado and grilled salmon salad immediately, garnishing with additional salt and pepper if desired.

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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