If you read our post on what to expect diet-wise after bariatric surgery, you’ll know that immediately following surgery, you will be on phase 1: protein shakes for two (2) weeks.  To start, we want to explain why is protein so important.  Protein is beneficial for healing (really important after surgery) and it’s critical for cell repair and satiety (also really important!).  If you aren’t getting enough protein, it can make healing harder and longer, but it can also make you feel weak.

post bariatric surgery diet

Many of our clients ask how to keep things interesting…keep reading for our tips on maximizing protein shakes after bariatric surgery.

  1. Decide if you are going to make your own or purchase pre-made shakes.
    • For some people, the ease of pre-made shakes cannot be beat.  But for others, being able to customize their drinks is key. Do what will work for you.
  2. If you are making your own shakes, purchase multiple protein powders.
    • You might remember this post about our favorite protein powders?  Stock up!
    • The more variety you have, the better. Two weeks of vanilla shakes will be boring.
  3. Break out your blender.
    • The more mixed your shakes are, the better they will taste.
    • If you like yours extra frothy, add some ice and blend very well.
    • If you don’t have a blender, consider purchasing a blender bottle.
      • This will help to blend and incorporate the liquid and powder.
  4. If you are purchasing pre-made shakes, buy multiple flavors.
    • It’s hard to know what will appeal to you after surgery, and you want to be prepared.
  5. Drink the shakes cold.
    • In our experience, cold protein drinks always better.
    • Refrigerate or add ice to keep them chilled.
  6. Be sure you are staying hydrated between shakes.
    • Dehydration is never a good thing.  Be sure you are drinking throughout the day to meet your water goals.
    • The hydration you get from the protein shakes should not be your only liquid intake.  Water, water, water!
  7. Take it slow.
    • Try not to gulp down your shake, eating slowly will be important from now on
  8. Use almond milk.
    • Unsweetened almond milk (a few options here and here) is a great alternative to water.
    • Almond milk is creamy and imparts a very slight almond taste.
    • Many varieties are offered in unsweetened plain or unsweetened vanilla.

What’s your favorite way to drink protein shakes? We’d love to hear from you! Share in the comments below…

If you’re considering bariatric surgery, or if you’ve just had surgery, you might be curious about what your diet will look like in the weeks immediately following the procedure.  It’s important to understand that you will not be able to return to your “normal” eating habits right after surgery.  Following the modified post bariatric surgery diet will help your body to heal and recover, and will also keep you feeling full and satisfied.  Remember: with any of the phases (and after this initial six week period), it’s important to stay hydrated! Water is key – but you must drink between meals – we do not recommend eating and drinking at the same time.  You’ll need to pay extra attention to your hunger and thirst cues!

Keep reading for our post bariatric surgery diet.


At Weight Zen, we follow a very clear six (6) week modified post surgical diet.

  • Phase 1: Two (2) weeks following surgery, you will be on protein shakes.
    • This is exactly what it sounds like – protein, protein, protein.
  • Phase 2: Two (2) weeks after protein shakes, you will be on pureed food.
    • In these two weeks, you can eat almost anything you want – so long as it’s pureed.
    • You’ll want to consider which foods blend best, and what will be most palatable for you.
  • Phase 3: Two (2) weeks after pureed food, you will be on soft food.
    • This phase is all about texture.
    • Think about the foods you love that are already soft, and you’ll get through these two weeks easily.

Keep us posted on how you’re doing! Remember – as always, we are here to help!