The health benefits of weight loss surgery depend on how well you commit to making healthy lifestyle changes. These changes begin ahead of the procedure, as many bariatric surgeons require their patients to switch to a very low-calorie diet. Making this change helps to shrink the size of your liver, reduce the risk of surgery complications, and improve your overall health.
Switching to a very low-calorie diet can be challenging, as can obtaining enough nutrients such as protein. Implementing the following tips can help you make the change:
- Invest in a protein shaker bottle. Protein shakes are a simple and tasty way to consume enough protein while on a very low-calorie diet. However, using a traditional blender for every single drink is tedious, and basic spoons yield a clumpy texture.
- Use zero-calorie syrups and powders to add flavor. Protein shakes can be a sweet treat, but you’ll get bored of them quickly if you don’t diversify the flavor. While you can buy protein powders in a variety of flavors, this isn’t always cost-effective. Mixing zero-calorie syrups or -powders into your shake is an affordable alternative. You can make twists on your staple protein powders, such as adding mint or strawberry flavoring to chocolate shakes.
- Make it a milkshake. Blending your protein shake with ice will provide a milkshake consistency without all the calories. With the summer months rapidly approaching, this is also a great way to keep cool.
- Opt for smart coffee substitutes. You likely won’t be able to handle caffeine directly after surgery, and making the switch now can help ease you through the transition. Not only that, but many traditional coffee drinks are sugar- and calorie-heavy. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up the coffee flavor. Try mixing instant decaf coffee into your protein drinks to get the coffee taste without the caffeine and calorie punch.
- Snack on protein chips. Eating a very low-calorie diet doesn’t have to be boring or an endless rotation of salads. Protein chips can satisfy your salty cravings while providing a crunchy texture.
- Learn to read food labels. Reading a food label isn’t always a straightforward experience. Some labels can be deceiving about their nutrition information if the portion size is small compared to the contents. For example, a label may indicate the food is low-fat if it provides less than 5% of the recommended daily value for fat. However, that is per serving. If the package contains five tiny servings, you might eat all of it without realizing you just consumed 25% of your daily fat in one sitting.
- Eat on a schedule. Sticking to a very low-calorie diet is challenging. If you consume over half your daily calories by the end of breakfast, that challenge becomes near impossible. Planning out your meals and snack times can help you stick to the diet and avoid breaking the calorie bank early in the day.
Preparing for a bariatric procedure can be daunting, but it’s excellent practice for your diet after your surgery. To learn more about preparing for weight loss surgery, contact us.