Do I Still Need Protein Shakes?

Steph Wagner

November 20, 2015

Do I STILL Need Protein Shakes?? Weight Loss Surgery FAQ with Steph Wagner, Dietitian

Every bariatric program out there is totally different. In fact, it really amazes me all the different approaches and opinions!

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading about weight-loss surgery online or on social media groups, I’m certain you’ve realized this quickly. “My dietitian told me THIS” but “MY doctor told me THIS!”

If we lined up 10 doctors, 10 nurses, 10 dietitians…they would all have different things to say. Hopefully the most important things are agreed upon, but some of the smaller things (decaf tea vs herbal tea) are likely to be all across to board.

This past month I’ve been working in a bariatric program in a new city. I’ve previously been in two other bariatric programs in Oklahoma (who did things a bit differently) and now find myself in a totally new situation in Kansas City. I’ve been surprising patients all month long when I say something that’s (GASP!) different than their book says.

One of the biggest questions I’ve gotten all month long is Do I really still need to drink protein shakes???

Why is this the big question?

This program in particular is very focused on protein shakes of high quality for best nutrition. Nothing wrong with paying attention to high quality protein. BUT…

Sometimes the emphasis on protein shakes overtakes the importance of good FOOD based protein sources.

Patients are eating whatever they want at meals….but drinking high quality protein shakes in between meals.

Good for nutrition. Not good for weight-loss results.

So what’s the answer then?

Especially when a patient is totally burnt out from protein shakes my answer is YES – you can break up with shakes but only if you are focusing on high quality FOOD based proteins instead.

Better for your weight-loss anyway!

Why is it better for weight loss?

I have several videos to illustrate why more solid textured foods (chicken, beef, pork) are better for weight-loss results than protein shakes or soft proteins like tuna salad, scrambled eggs and beans. (You can watch more of those if you are a member to the website.)

But how will I get enough protein if I don’t drink my shakes?

The goal for each of your meals (3 meals per day) is to have 70% from a good protein source. That would be 2 bites of chicken to every 1 bite of vegetable. If you keep this ratio at each of your three meals per day – it’s highly unlikely you would ever have a protein deficiency, especially if you are healthy and not healing from an injury or infection. (As always, take this with a grain of salt and refer to your doctor as your individual health situation may be different).

But isn’t this good news?!?!

If you are SICK and TIRED of protein shakes….kiss them goodbye! Break up with them! Look to protein sources in your foods instead! And remember to keep your bite sizes teenie tiny to feel comfortable after your meals and prevent your food from hitting “heavy” or “dry” in your stomach. Think of a pencil eraser….yep…that small!

For more bariatric hot topics and weight-loss tips, be sure to subscribe to the email list and/or consider joining us on the membership side!

– Steph :)

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