In a fast-paced world, mealtimes can feel rushed, and grabbing something quick on your way home is the only option. Meal prepping will help save you money, time, and stress from making last-minute decisions. After bariatric surgery, planning your meals will keep you from sliding off track and help you eat more wholesome, nutritious meals.

10 Ultimate Bariatric Meal-Prepping Hacks

Here are the ten most outlandish tricks to whip up your meals to live your healthiest, happiest life.

10 Bariatric Meal Prepping Hacks Mexico Bariatric Center

1. Weigh Meals to 4-6 oz

After weight loss surgery, like the gastric sleeve (VSG) or RNY gastric bypass, stomach sizes can range from 4-8 ounces. Weighing your meals to 4-6 ounces will stop you from overeating while getting all the necessary nutrients. We recommend you measure your meals to the following proportions:

    • Protein: 3 ounces
  • Fat: 1-2 tbsp
  • Carbohydrates: 2 ounces

2. Stay Under 1,200 Calories

The ideal caloric intake after bariatric surgery is about 1,000-1,200 calories daily. If you are eating three meals a day with no snacks, this allows 300-400 calories per meal.

3. Drink 64 oz of Water Daily

Staying hydrated after bariatric surgery promotes weight loss as oftentimes, thirst cues can be mistaken for hunger, causing patients to eat more. Drinking adequate fluids after surgery also encourages nutrient absorption, which is limited because of digestive changes.

Avoid using straws to prevent the addition of gas into your digestive tract, which can cause gas pain.

4. Prioritize Protein First

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, especially after weight loss surgery. Make sure to prioritize protein in your meals, aiming for at least 75-105 grams per day. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, and plant-based options like tofu and legumes.

Since stomach size is greatly decreased after gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, protein should be prioritized first at every meal. Protein is a nutrient-dense food source that causes you to feel full, reduces hunger, maintains muscle mass, and prevents you from overeating.

5. Just Start

You don’t have to jump into meal planning every meal for the week. You can simply start by cooking a little extra for dinner and having leftovers for lunch. Once you feel confident, you can cook meals for the whole week.

6. Individualize Your Meals

Every weight loss surgery patient differs from lifestyle to preferences, so why should all your meals be the same? Personalizing your meal prep is important to meet your individual health goals. For example, if you are focusing on gaining muscle, you should increase your protein goals to be in a range of 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Daily Protein Goal Mexico Bariatric Center

7. Cook Once, Eat Twice

When cooking, make larger portions and save the leftovers to have for future breakfast, lunch, or dinner meals. You can also batch-cook things like quinoa or cauliflower rice and use them as a base with different protein sources.

Easy Meal Prep Ideas For Bariatric Patients Mexico Bariatric Center

Some versatile high-protein options include:

  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Beans
  • Tofu

8. Pre-pack Snacks

Bariatric Meal Prep Snacks -Mexico Bariatric Center

Healthy, pre-portioned snacks will keep you from making impulsive decisions to eat full meals when you only need a quick bite. Depending on your post-op diet phase, some healthy snack ideas after bariatric surgery include:

  • Vegetables: baby carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios
  • High-Protein yogurt: ratio.Protein, Oikos Triple Zero, Chobani Zero Sugar Yogurt Drinks

Bariatric Meal Prep from Patient-Mexico Bariatric Center

Here are some nutritionist-approved snacks for post-op!

9. Don’t Drink Your Calories

Staying hydrated is key for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall well-being. Aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, and avoid sugary beverages like soda and juice. People often miscalculate their macro count because they forget to include liquid calories. High-calorie, sugary drinks are easy to hit a stall while losing weight. Opt for healthier choices like naturally flavored water or sugar-free beverages. Some perfect drinks to add to your meal prep include:

  • Powerade
  • Gatorade Fit
  • Crystal Light
  • Unsweetened Coconut Water
  • Herbal Teas
  • Protein waters

10. Freeze Leftovers

If you make a large meal you can’t eat within the week, freeze individual portions of it. You can unfreeze a portion in a few weeks for an easy meal. This will not only save you time and money, but it will also prevent food waste.

Freezing leftovers is a great way to have a quick and convenient meal on hand for those busy days when you don’t have time to cook. Just make sure to label and date each portion before freezing to keep track of what you have. Additionally, freezing leftovers can help you avoid the temptation of ordering takeout or eating unhealthy convenience foods when you’re in a pinch. So next time you have extra food, don’t hesitate to freeze it for later use.

Important Eating Tips

Eat Slowly: A good rule of thumb is to spend about 30 minutes per meal after weight loss surgery. Take small bites and chew food thoroughly to avoid large chunks causing severe stomach pain and discomfort. Make sure not to drink 30 minutes before and after eating.

Eat Mindfully: Eating while distracted will make you miss fullness cues, causing you to overeat and even get hungry sooner.

In conclusion, meal prepping after weight loss surgery will help you save time and money while ensuring you meet your health goals. Overall, meal prepping is a great way to support your weight loss journey and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember to listen to your body, eat slowly, and be mindful of your food choices to achieve long-term success.

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