While bariatric programs differ on the postop diet progression, most anywhere you go will require a liquid diet after surgery.
The trouble for many, many postop patients is that everything is way. too. sweet.
If you’re a postop patient yourself, you may have experienced this. If you are not but are headed towards surgery, it’s something to be mindful of.
So what to do when you’re on a liquid diet and you can only have Crystal Light and protein shakes all of which are horribly sweet?
It’s a game of guess and check, but here are a few suggestion to play around with:
– To meet your fluids needs:
Utilize any herbal teas you may like. Programs differ but I’m okay with a sweetener added to herbal (caffeine free) teas.
Broths of different varieties may be a good option when you can’t do sweet things. Try chicken, beef or vegetable broths. **Also, you can create your own soup by adding all sorts of veggies and flavors and then straining off the broth to drink as a liquid. This allows your more flexibility in the flavors you desire. Jalapeño, tomato, etc.
Be creative with other ways to infuse flavor in your water. Infusion water bottles are popular now and sold most anywhere. Try kiwi, pineapple, cucumber, grape, lemon, lime and so on. You won’t be drinking any of the fruit or vegetable itself…instead infusing the water with a little different flavor.
– To meet your protein shake needs:
Unflavored protein powder is a great option to have on hand. The brand I’m most familiar with is Unjury which is what the clinic I work in sells. Other programs may offer it or something similar. I have a great recipe using half unflavored protein and half vanilla for a Not Too Sweet Vanilla Shake.
Unflavored protein powder can be added to several options including warm beverages. While you do need to keep the temperature of the liquid to less than 140F to proven the powder form clumping, it’s a great option. Try adding unflavored protein powder to broths and herbal teas.
Many companies also have savory flavors or protein shakes. Try chicken soup, beef bouillon, cream of tomato and so on. These are only products approved by your dietitian and have been made to be a protein source and different from canned soups sold in stores. Popular companies include Robard, Healthwise and Unjury. The clinic I work for sells a variety of these items. See what your clinic has to offer or try online options like this one (Aff Link): Great Prices On Diet & Weight Loss Soups – DietDirect.com
For some patients, the aversion to sweet will never leave them. For others it will become a more faint memory of the past. Regardless of your journey, keep lots of options on hand to combat the distaste and struggle with taste aversions. It may not be fun…but it’s all a part of this amazing journey you’re on!