Weight Loss Surgery - Protein Shake Recommendations

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11-08-2005, 03:45 PM
Greetings! I'm a long-time 3FC lurker (who me post !?!?). I lost 50 lbs on Atkins in 2003-2004, which was when I did most of my posting and now that the weight has once again (!) crept back up I am pursuing WLS. I met with the surgeon yesterday and am now waiting for insurance approval. My surgeon is Dr. Ashley Vernon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and I'm going for the Lap Band. Their website has a really cool video of her performing the surgery.

Among other things, she wants me to lose 20 pounds before the procedure and to be on a liquid diet for 2 weeks prior to the surgery, not to mention post-surgery. They gave me a list of suggested protein drinks/powders - everything from lc Carnation Breakfast to EAS and HMR 500 (whatever that is).

I know which protein shake you like is a personal preference but I'd love to hear what people have tried and liked or disliked.


11-08-2005, 06:44 PM

one more thing to add: make sure that you buy your shakes from a place that has a 'no questions asked' return policy. even though they'll take it back, it's NOT polite to stand at the counter and tell them it's disgusting [i've done that and they've asked me to stop!!!!]

11-08-2005, 08:34 PM
Thanks guys - good advice. Nectar was the name of the fruit-based protein drink I was trying to remember from 2 years ago. And Jiffy, thanks for the return suggestion - I can see me at the front of a store explaining just how disgusting it is :-D

11-08-2005, 11:20 PM
I love Fitness Labs WheyFit Concentrate in chocolate. I've never tried the other flavors though. Try mixing them them with nonfat vanilla or plain yogurt. Delicious, like pudding!

11-09-2005, 01:46 AM
Haha, thank you! It's been posted before but I'm really into primates and am going to school for it.

That's all, I don't want to take over the thread! :tape:

11-09-2005, 12:28 PM
Hi Kim,
I'm a bandster - love my band and hope you will love yours too! My very favorite protein is Unjury. I use the unflavored, vanilla and chocolate. You can be very creative with them and since you won't dump, you can be a bit adventurous with juices and things to mix with it. It's available at the Unjury website. They also have sample sizes available so you can try it out.


Ms Spotdog
11-12-2005, 02:21 AM
Kim! Hi! Working the 'way back machine' overtime but I remember you from the Atkins boards! How the heck are ya! There are still a few of us around but we have scattered a bit: Jiffy & Chickadee over here at WLS. Leenie kinda flits around, Ruthie is on the South Beach board, me and Robin are over at low carb.

It is nice to 'see' you! Hope you and yours are well.

*waves* to Jiff, Pookie, Ageoldie, Chickadee (and anyone else I'm forgetting). So sorry I haven't stopped by lately - busy life with 2 (non-driving) teen boys, multiple accounting clients and *blushes* dating!

Love ya guys!


11-12-2005, 07:17 PM
I've been swamped the last few days but finally had a few minutes for the computer while supper cooks. I'm actually enjoying trying out the various protein shakes and I'm discovering they are a good breakfast choice since I am always on the run and am supposed to lose 20 lbs pre-surgery.

Chickadee - thanks for the info and I'm sure I'll have a million questions. I'm slowly telling people I'm getting this done - talking about it is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Even though intellectually I know I've tried everything else it still feels like I'm "giving up and cheating". bleh!

Ms. Spotdog - good to see you around!! I still lurk in the other groups from time to time so I'll have to drop in and say hi to the other chicks from back then. I have a 12 yo Dalmatian so I've always loved your avatar photos.

Dinner just dinged, back into the fray!!

11-18-2005, 07:24 AM
Kel ROFL !!!!

Is there such a thing as a REALLY high protein drink thats low cal, like 100 calories ?

Oh and it can't taste like doodoo :D sorry it just cant lol.

11-18-2005, 10:37 AM
nectar protein, leenie.... 90 calories, 0 g carbs, 23 g protein. and it makes good ice pops!

11-18-2005, 10:52 AM
I just got that WHEY LIGHT-Chocolate Protein mix from the protein factory.com and love it, I mixed it with a banana and skim milk in the blender...wow I have got 45g of protein now just in my breakfast...that is something I never was able to do, and it tasted GREAT, I am going to skip the banana I added to it next time to get the calories under control since a 16oz glass today I did this:
8oz skim milk (90 cals, 9g protein) 7inch banana (105 cals, 0 protein) and the mix (180 cals, 35g protein) so my total shake was 375 cals, 4g fiber, 45g protein. So if I skip the banana tomorrow, I will have 270cal, 1g fiber, 44g protein. Not bad if you ask me. I usually stay around 200-250 cals for breakfast anyway so this will fit right in. I am curious to see if I am even hungry at lunchtime.

11-18-2005, 05:06 PM
Thanks Jiffy girl :)

11-18-2005, 06:00 PM
sounds like a great combination, gonnalooseitagain... unfortunately, those of us who've had WLS can't manage that huge protein load. we just don't absorb more than about 20-25 grams at any one time.

<sigh> at least, using your recipe, we'd end up with TWO meals out of it!!!!

11-18-2005, 07:02 PM
you could surely break it in half and have half in the morning and half in the afternoon.

11-19-2005, 09:31 AM
Thats true, or save some for the next day.

11-19-2005, 04:31 PM
...wow I have got 45g of protein now just in my breakfast...

That is a lot of protein all at once- I would be careful since too much protein can be really hard on the kidneys & liver, plus it makes it harder for your body to absorb enough calcium. Because of the extra work by the kidneys, too much protien can actually dehydrate you- which is something we want to avoid when dieting. 45 grams of protein is enough for the entire day for someone who weighs 125 pounds (0.8gr per kg body weight or 0.36gr per pound body weight) and at your current weight (182), you should be aiming for 65-70grams protein per day. I only have one kidney (lost other one due to congenital defect that wasn't properly diagnosed/treated) and even though I have very normal kidney function- to the point they never suspected I only had one functioning kidney until it was discovered on an ultrasound- the nutritionist recomends no more then 15grams protein at one time. She said even people with healthy kidneys shouldn't take in more then 20-24 grams at a time, which is in line with what JiffyPop said for individuals who are post WLS.

Another issue with a lot of the protein powders is that they only have protein and no other nutrients. Our bodies need a variety of nutrients to fuction properly. sorry...accidently clicked post :(.... Typically we should be aiming for 10% of our daily calories from protein, 15% if you are pregnant, lactating, during growth spurts for kids, or involved in high indurance activity. I'm not sure why you would want to eleminate the banana, as it is providing fiber & other nutrients, espeically potasium...which you may very well be low in if your kidneys flush too much out along with the extra protein. I'm not trying to lecture or anything- I'm just worried about the misconceptions some people have about protein. Due to my own medical issues, I've had to learn a lot about what we need nutritionally and how I can get it in since I can't eat a regular diet. I know how easy it is to focus in on one aspect of our nutrition too much and end up throwing everything else out of balance.

11-20-2005, 12:04 AM
christine - you've raised some excellent issues here. for a period of time after the surgery - and i'm talking about the bypass here - not the lapband, which doesn't have the absorption issues - we consume only about 500 calories a day. this lasts for about 6 months. soooo, in order to keep our bodies functioning during what's basically a period of starvation, most of us consume protein almost exclusively. especially for the first three months [after that we start adding veggies and a wee bit of fruit - and i DO mean a wee bit!]. we need it to keep our bodies going.

this high protein intake isn't meant to be a long-term thing, although we forever need higher than most people intakes because of the relatively poor absorption.

after about 12-18 months most of us settle into a program of 40% protein, 40% veggies, and 20% high-quality carbs. and that's by volume, not necessarily by calories.

i'm so glad you've joined us!!!!

11-22-2005, 04:27 PM
...although we forever need higher than most people intakes because of the relatively poor absorption...

I understand the poor absorption with my GI issues. I really do think I'm going to learn a lot from hanging out here...its all those little things of apply what we know to what we do that I need help with. That, and coming to terms with not being able to eat a typical 'healthy' diet. I was having a hard time with needing to use meal replacement bars so much; but when I consider I was able to survive on the enteral tube feeding formula, its not so bad in my case. I'm careful about which ones I eat- though my corn/corn syrup allergy elemenates a lot of them- but I've found some I really like. Besides, they work pretty well when I can only handle a couple bits at a time...some days it seems like I always have one sitting next to me. I've tried protein/meal replacment shakes, but I don't do well with them. Part of it is that I drink it so slowly that its hard to keep it cold...I may have to try freezing them, like I use to, and then running them through the grater on my KitchenAide Mixer to make them into 'snow cones'. I lived on them before I got my feeding tube...its funny how we forget some of these things.

11-23-2005, 09:16 PM
christine - every single time you post something about how you've managed to cope, i am simply AWED by your determination and positive attitude... you're on the highest pedestal i can find!!!!!

what kind of protein shake did you find that worked for you?

11-25-2005, 10:54 AM

I was using the ScanDiet meal replacement drinks...I might have to pick up a couple packets of them to see how I do since its been over 3 years now. I've also been thinking about using some of the protein powder or even meal replacement powders in some of my baking to increase the nutrional values. I've scene a couple recipes on-line...guess I need to look for some more to give me ideas as to what works & what won't. I really did like the fake ice cream/snow cone effect I got with freezing the drink & then grating it...thank goodness for having a Kitchen Aide mixer with all the attachments- I don't think one of those little kiddie snow cone makers would have held up too well. I supose you could make the drink in ice cube trays & put them in a good blender that can handle ice as another option. I've been checking out some of the protein drinks you guys have been talking about, and I think I might have to Nectar brand one of these days...I bet they would make a good 'slushy'.

When your in those first few months post WLS, how do you make sure you get enough nutrients in? I know they recomend taking vitamins & using protein drinks, but that doesn't seem like enough. I would immagine that you have to have blood work done frequently to check on your metabolic status- I went through that early on with my feeding tube and still get it done every couple of months or so, just to be safe. I'm so glad I finally realized that I had a lot in common with those who've had WLS- its so hard for most people to understand all the issues that come severe gastroparesis.

11-25-2005, 03:25 PM
christine - in a word, the first few months, we really don't get all the nutrients we need, not even with supplements. BUT, we generally have enough stores to get us through for awhile. it's LATER that the vitamin deficiencies hit, and it's individual for everyone.

depends on many factors, including diet, and the amount of bypassed intestine, and genetics and all kinds of other things. and some people wiht the bypass never develop deficiencies [haven't figured that one out!!!!]

we have to get blood work done at least annually, but most docs check every few months, especially if we're borderline.

you're right - it's not easy!!!!!

and nectar-based slushies - great idea!!!!

11-26-2005, 10:32 AM
7inch banana (105 cals, 0 protein)

Just curious where you got this...everything I have says a banana has between 1-1.5 grams of protein (and 3-3.5 grams of fiber).

11-26-2005, 03:03 PM
What type of stores would carry the Nectar brand? I'd like to try some of the different flavors, but with shipping, it gets pretty expensive. I checked at my favorite health food store, but they didn't carry it.

11-26-2005, 10:46 PM
i've been finding it at the vitamin shoppe. maybe your local store could order it?

11-27-2005, 11:14 AM
Vitamin Shoppe worked for me too. They had a couple of flavors in stock and were happy to order others for me - took about a week to come in. They also have a good return policy where you can bring it back if you just didn't like the taste/consistency/whatever.

I just got the kiwi-strawberry and it tastes good - a nice change from milk-based shakes.

11-28-2005, 12:09 PM
Darn, none near me....closest is 1 1/2 hours away :mad: I wonder if any other places would carry it locally?

11-28-2005, 01:57 PM
you'll have to let your fingers do the walking!!! but i can promise you that GNC DOES NOT CARRY THIS. they only carry their own company brands.

good luck!

12-07-2005, 12:43 AM
Hellol, I was so pick with my protien drink. I used the powder form mixed it with 4 oz of cold water and 4 oz of skim milk (instead of 8 oz of water) I used CarbSoultions creamy vanilla.. Its awesome.. its 20 grams of protein per drink.. and its easy on the tummy. Hope you find one you like.

indigo child
12-07-2005, 02:07 AM
This whole thread has been very interesting.

I've been using the Isopure drinks, sipping them all day long (40gm protein, 160 calories for 20 oz.) It works as my fluid, too.

I can't seem to take any other shakes but Atkins Advantage, with 170 calories and 20 gms protein. I like the orange creme and the strawberry.

12-12-2005, 06:47 PM
I've been having problems drinking my shakes too. They were really tasting nasty. I've been using the powdered shake from GNC. I asked my doctor if it would be alright to use a different brand. He said that I could look around, but the reason why he recommends this brand is because a lot of the protein drinks are for bodybuilders that are trying to increase their muscle, and therefore have added fat and sugars.

He suggested adding a little bit of banana like others have suggested on this forum. I add about a third of a banana. I have been adding ice to it in a blender as well. Last night I didn't have any ice in my tray so I used an orange sugar free popscicle. It tasted pretty good. It almost tasted like an orange julius. I think I'm going to try it again tonight.

12-12-2005, 07:25 PM

This site carries a large number of protein drinks and even sells a sample pack so you can try all of their best sellers. As near as I can tell, since they're a weight loss surgery related site none of their protein drinks are full of a lot of added sugars and totally empty calories.

12-12-2005, 11:27 PM
goth: i found the protein shakes just too thick and full of air for me to tolerate. so, i started pouring them over ice rather than blending the ice into them. AND, i used a spoon to consume them. both techniques reduced the amount of air and that awful GAG factor i had...

01-05-2006, 06:24 PM
The amount of air in the protein drinks was a big problem for me too!
Then I started "pulsing" the blender instead of just starting it...and it kept me from getting all that air in it.

I like all of the flavors of the Designer Whey protein that I have tried...French Vanilla, Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Caramel, and Natural....but once I accidently bought the old version of the powder and it was terrible (the new version of Designer Whey says "New and Improved" on the front of the container). I mix my protein powder with milk because it adds additional protein...I also add about a half of a banana and it COMPLETELY changes the flavor of the shake. Sometimes I put banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter but you have to watch the sugar amounts!

indigo child
01-05-2006, 08:25 PM
I've just discovered Nectar Protein and all of my Protein Shake problems have gone by the wayside. I *love* it.

01-07-2006, 07:34 PM
You know what?? I like Walmart's Body Fortress protein. They have chocolate and vanilla-the chocolate is good with some skim milk and a little ice in the blender-the vanilla is good with crystal light-and some frozen fruit. It's only $12. for a jar and YUM YUM-110 calories and 20g protein.

02-05-2006, 09:46 PM
Take a look at Andrew Lessmans SECURE weight loss/meal replacement shakes.
They are offered on HSN. I ordered them the last time they were on. I got all four flavors. Choc, Van, Pina Col and Mixed Berry. I hated the Choc but the Pina and Berry are great. The Vanilla I mix up with bananas and yogurt.


mama annie
02-06-2006, 11:07 PM
I have a problem with whey and soy protein drinks. I get so constipated! I discovered a shake from Slim Fast that I like. It's their low carb, high protein shakes. They have 40 grams of milk protein and about 2 grams of carbs. They taste good and come in three flavors.

02-07-2006, 02:35 AM
We get the Body Fortress here in the UK. I had resisted buying protein powders because I thought I wouldn't like it. But it's good, I got the chocolate. It makes me cross though. In the UK the Body Fortress is normally £21.99 so that's like $30 US!!!! I did get it for £9.99 on sale though, so I can't complain!!

02-12-2006, 02:57 PM
NewLifestyleDiet dot com. I've tried the double chocolate pudding and the chocolate shakes. Both delicious and you don't have to use a blender, they mix fine with a spoon and no lumps!

02-12-2006, 03:53 PM
Hi everyone. I'm not looking to do WLS or anything but I am looking to add more protein in my diet. Would it hurt if I did a shake as a snack or lunch?

02-12-2006, 03:59 PM
I haven't had WLS either, but use protein shakes post work out for muscle repair.

I would be discinclined to meal substitute with them. I count them into my daily calories (1500 per day I shoot for 300 for breakfast 300 for lunch 500 for dinner and then a shake in the mid morning or afternoon)

The reason I wouldn't subsitute for a meal is that you are only getting protein from a shake, no fibre (unless you add some which would then throw your calorie calculation a bit, if you are math challenged like me!!! :D) And very little in the way of vitamins.

But having them as a snack is fine, I make mine with semi skimmed milk and a banana, and it fills me up for ages!!!

02-12-2006, 05:12 PM
I haven't had WLS either, but use protein shakes post work out for muscle repair.

I would be discinclined to meal substitute with them. I count them into my daily calories (1500 per day I shoot for 300 for breakfast 300 for lunch 500 for dinner and then a shake in the mid morning or afternoon)

The reason I wouldn't subsitute for a meal is that you are only getting protein from a shake, no fibre (unless you add some which would then throw your calorie calculation a bit, if you are math challenged like me!!! :D) And very little in the way of vitamins.

But having them as a snack is fine, I make mine with semi skimmed milk and a banana, and it fills me up for ages!!!

That sounds good.. I might do it as a snack after dinner so I won't be inclined to snack late!

02-12-2006, 05:46 PM
I had WLS, my DH did not. He has been enjoying my protein shakes almost as much as I. He has lost 30 pounds and uses one for breakfast-with some fruit added-and one after dinner to keep the munchies away. Most of us who have had WLS take 2 kiddy mulivitamins per day, along with other supplements and B12 shots from the Dr. So for us-protein is the way to go. You cannot get protein in a pill or a shot. Also-I add frozen fruit-especially strawberries to mine.