Bariatric Food: The Best Foods You Can Buy Online After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Food

Bariatric surgery is a transformative procedure for those struggling with obesity and related health issues. But it's only the beginning of the journey. The real change lies in adapting to a new way of eating – a bariatric food diet. 

Topics Discussed:

  • What is Bariatric Food?
  • 4 Phases of the Bariatric Diet Progression
  • Why is Protein Important in Your New Diet?
  • Protein Types Found In Bariatric Foods
  • Bars
  • Shakes
  • Entrees
  • Shopping Online
  • Embracing Bariatric Food Through Cooking

What is Bariatric Food?

In essence, bariatric food is tailored for post-surgery eating. It's easy on your digestive system, low in calories yet rich in protein. Its portion-controlled servings avoid overeating and its nutrient density ensures you meet your body's requirements despite reduced food intake. This new diet is a balanced approach to post-surgery nutrition!

Key components of a bariatric food diet include:

  • Focus on high protein: Helps preserve muscle mass and keep you feeling full. Lean meats, dairy, eggs, beans, soy products are great options.
  • Limit fats, carbs and sugars: These nutrient-poor foods can hinder weight loss. Be mindful of hidden sugars in sauces, dressings and condiments.
bariatric multivitamins
  • Portion control: Small, frequent meals prevent overeating. Use smaller plates and focus on mindful eating.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink 64+ ounces of fluids daily to stay hydrated and prevent constipation. Opt for water, unsweetened tea, broths.
  • Take supplements: Custom vitamin and mineral regimens make up for reduced food intake. Calcium, vitamin D, B12, iron and bariatric multivitamins are commonly recommended.

4 Phases of the Bariatric Food Progression

4 phases of a bariatric food diet

After weight loss surgery, the bariatric diet typically follows four incremental food phases to allow your body to heal and gradually adapt to your new nutrition requirements and eating style.

Phase 1 - Clear Liquid Diet

For the first 1-2 days after surgery, your new diet will consist solely of clear liquids. This phase allows your stomach and intestines to rest while staying hydrated. Approved clear liquids include:

  • Water, tea, coffee (decaffeinated recommended)
  • Broth - chicken, beef, vegetable
  • Sugar-free gelatin, popsicles, Italian ice
  • Clear protein supplements or shakes
  • Fruit juices without pulp
  • Avoid milk, cream, soymilk, nut milks

Phase 2 - Full Liquids & Pureed Foods

After tolerating clear liquids for 1-2 days, you'll advance to 2-3 weeks of a pureed diet. Pureeing high protein foods allows your system to start receiving nutrition while still being easy to digest. Puree options include:

  • Pureed lean meats, poultry, fish, or plant-based proteins
  • Pureed soft cooked vegetables without skins or seeds
  • Pureed beans, lentils, tofu
  • Pureed scrambled or hard boiled eggs
  • Unsweetened apple sauce
  • Mashed avocado
  • Smoothies with protein powder and soft fruits

Phase 3 - Soft Foods

Over the next 2-4 weeks, your food choices expand to soft, moist foods that can be easily chewed and swallowed. Soft foods provide more texture and varieties:

  • Moist cooked fish, poultry, meat chopped into small pieces
  • Soft cooked or canned vegetables - carrots, green beans, beets
  • Soft fruits - banana, melon, peaches, cooked apples or pears
  • Low fat yogurt, cottage cheese
  • Cooked cereals - oatmeal, cream of wheat
  • Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Soft whole grain breads

Phase 4 - Solid Foods

After about 1 month post-op, you can gradually return to solid foods while being mindful of chewing thoroughly and eating slowly. Portion sizes will be much smaller. Continue focusing on protein, fruits and vegetables. Some solid bariatric foods include:

  • 3–4 oz lean meats, poultry, fish
  • 1⁄2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1⁄2 cup cooked grains or starchy vegetables
  • 1⁄2 to 1 cup fresh fruit

Why is Protein Important After Bariatric Surgery?

Protein should be the cornerstone of your new diet after weight-loss surgery.

protein in bariatric foods

Consuming 60-90 grams daily can help optimize weight loss, build muscle, support immunity and enhance recovery. Include a protein source at each meal and snack. Supplement with shakes and bars as needed.

High quality proteins to emphasize include:

  • Lean poultry and meats: Chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, pork tenderloin
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Low-fat dairy: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk
  • Plant-based proteins: Tofu, edamame, beans, lentils, nuts/seeds
  • Protein powders: Whey, plant-based, egg white

 Foods and Serving Sizes

Food Serving Size Protein (g)
Chicken breast 3 oz 25
Greek yogurt 6 oz 15
Egg whites 1/2 cup 15
Salmon 3 oz 19
Firm tofu 1/2 cup 10
Proti-VLC Fluffy Nutter Protein Bars 1 Bar 15
New Direction Cookies N Cream Shake 1 Shake 27
Bariatric Advantage Protein Shakes 1 Shake 27
Liquid Protein Shots 3 oz 15

Protein Types Found In Bariatric Foods

Protein Type Definition & Sources Pros  Cons 
Whey Protein Powder Cheese byproduct, high biological value and digestibility for bariatric patients. Rich in essential amino acids, supports muscle recovery, improves immune function, aids in weight management. May cause discomfort in lactose-intolerant patients, not suitable for vegans.
Casein Protein Powder Milk-derived, slow-release property, ideal for nighttime use. Steady amino acid supply, maintains muscle mass, aids in weight management. Not suitable for lactose intolerant or immediate post-workout recovery needs.
Soy Protein Powder Plant-based, complete protein, popular among bariatric vegans and vegetarians. Low in fat, supports heart health, aids in muscle recovery and growth. Potential gastrointestinal discomfort, concerns about phytoestrogens.
Pea Protein Powder Derived from yellow split peas, vegan-friendly option. Easily digestible, hypoallergenic, suitable for dietary restrictions, supports weight loss. Not a complete protein, potential taste and texture issues.
Rice Protein Powder Plant-based from brown rice, vegan-friendly. Easily digestible, hypoallergenic, mild flavor and texture, supports weight control. Not a complete protein, may be more expensive.
Protein Powder Blends Combines different protein types for balanced nutrient profile suitable for bariatric needs. Complete amino acid profile, fast and slow-digesting proteins, versatile and balanced approach. -

Bariatric-Friendly Protein Bars

One practical way to increase your protein intake is through bariatric protein bars. These bars are specially designed to be nutrient-dense, high in protein, and low in sugars and fats. Not all bars on the market are suitable for a bariatric food diet, so read labels and make sure you're choosing those specifically designed for low-calorie, high-protein diets.

Here's a list of some of the top-selling and highest reviewed bariatric-friendly protein bars you can buy online:

  • Caramel Crunch Bars

    caramel crunch bariatric protein bar

    A favorite for calming sweet cravings is the Caramel Crunch Protein Bars. Crispy nuggets meet rich caramel filling. Coat it all with smooth chocolate. A small treat with 15g protein and 170 calories. Perfect after a workout or as a tasty snack. Customer reviews show a lot of love for the caramel and chocolate taste. Many find they curb sugar cravings.

  • Vanilla Shortbread Bars

    vanilla shortbread meal replacement bars

    The Vanilla Shortbread Protein Bars are more than a delicious taste. They resemble the aroma of fresh shortbread cookies. Each bar contains 15g protein, 5g fiber, and only 160 calories. These bars assist your post-surgery weight goals. Packed with vitamins and minerals. These bars satiate and energize. Many gastric bypass patients praise the cookie flavor and light vanilla sweetness.

  • Divine Caramel Sea Salt Bars

    Bariatric Divine Caramel Sea Salt Protein Bar

    Taste the "divine" blend of caramel and sea salt. The Divine Caramel Sea Salt Protein Bar is not just about taste. 15g protein, 5g fiber, and a blend of soy, whey, and egg white in a 150-calorie bar. A perfect balance for a gastric bypass diet. Gluten-free. Customers love the taste and the high fiber content. Many note the absence of a typical protein bar aftertaste.

  • Fluffy Nutter Bar

    Fluffy Nutter Protein Bar VLC

    The Fluffy Nutter Bar is another treat. Peanut butter and marshmallow flavors are combined in this 160-calorie bar. 7g of fiber, 15g of protein. A blend of whey, soy, egg, and milk protein. A satisfying snack for bariatric patients. Soft and easy to eat, like a rice krispy treat. Customers commend the unique flavor. Many appreciate the texture.

The best bariatric protein bars offer a convenient, portable source of protein that fits perfectly into a post-surgery nutritional plan.

Bariatric Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are another excellent source of high-quality protein. These shakes can be incredibly useful during the liquid and pureed food phases when consuming solid proteins may be challenging. As you progress to later phases, they can continue to serve as a convenient meal replacement or snack.

The key is to choose the best protein shakes designed for bariatric patients, with high protein content, low sugar, and essential vitamins and minerals. Be cautious about commercially available shakes as they might contain high sugar and fats.

Here's a list of the top-selling and best customer reviewed shakes you can buy online:

  • 35g Meal Replacement Shakes

    35g Meal Replacement Shakes

    The 35g Protein Meal Replacements are designed to assist bariatric patients with their nutritional needs. With 35 grams of protein, over 18 essential vitamins and minerals, and 4 grams of fiber, these shakes are perfect for medical weight loss diets. Available in Chocolate and Vanilla flavors, each box contains 7 packets. A popular bariatric meal replacement shake, these are packed with nutrients and vitamins, making them a great choice for post-surgery weight goals.

  • Bariatric Advantage HPMR Shakes

    Bariatric Advantage HPMR Shake - Chocolate

    The Bariatric Advantage Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake is a convenient and nutritious option. Each 150 to 160 calorie serving offers 27 grams of protein from premium whey protein isolate, with only 1 grams of sugar and 1.5 grams of fat. Fortified with 23 essential vitamins and minerals, this lactose-free shake is perfect for those aiming to control calorie consumption. With 6 grams of fiber and just 1 gram of sugar, it's an ideal meal replacement shake for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Customers appreciate the delicious creamy chocolate flavor and the high-quality whey protein isolate content.

  • French Vanilla Protein Shake

    French Vanilla Protein Shake

    The French Vanilla Protein Shake is a classic creamy smooth flavored vanilla shake with 15g Protein and only 100 Calories. Enjoy its rich taste as a thick pudding or a creamy shake, with the benefits of a medical weight loss quality protein shake. This shake is low-carb and aspartame-free, fortified with 24 vitamins and minerals, and versatile for various medical weight loss diet plans. With 7 packets per box, it's a best-seller weight loss protein shake that many gastric bypass and sleeve patients enjoy for its delightful vanilla flavor.

  • Cookies and Cream Shake - New Direction

    Cookies and Cream Shake - New Direction

    Enjoy the taste of cookies and cream with the New Direction Advanced Protein Shake. This meal replacement shake delivers 27g of protein, essential vitamins and minerals, and only 4g of sugar. Enjoy it as a shake or a creamy pudding. It's not just nutrition; it's a delightful treat! With 7 servings per box, it ensures a week's worth of nutritious meals. Each serving supports muscle growth and recovery, aids in maintaining a healthy weight, and is packed with fiber for digestive health. Diabetic-friendly and a perfect portion-controlled meal replacement shake.

  • Chocolate Brownie Shake

    Chocolate Brownie Shake

    Here's a nice fusion of dark chocolate and brownie batter with the Chocolate Brownie Shake. This creamy meal replacement offers 15g of protein and only 100 calories. It's packed with 24 essential vitamins and minerals. Enjoy it as a shake or transform it into a creamy pudding. With 7 servings per box, it's a convenient and delicious option for sleeve and bypass patients. The calcium caseinate protein helps you stay fuller for longer. It's a quality meal replacement that supports your post-surgery weight goals and satisfies your sweet tooth.

Bariatric Entrees: Your New Dinner Food

Bariatric-friendly entrees are a big part of the new diet for people who've had weight loss surgery. These meals are made to be full of protein, low in fats and sugars, and have lots of important vitamins and minerals. The meals are typically prepared in smaller, portion-controlled servings. This approach is designed to prevent overeating, a common challenge for many. It also aligns with the reduced pouch capacity after bariatric surgery. Despite the smaller portions, these meals are dense in nutrients, ensuring that individuals meet their dietary needs.

Here are a few of the best bariatric food entrees that you can buy online:

  1. Vegetarian Homestyle Chili Mix

    12g Protein Vegetarian Homestyle Chili Mix

    The 12g protein Vegetarian Homestyle Chili Mix is a nourishing bariatric food option for those seeking comfort and flavor. With 12g of protein and only 100 calories per serving, this vegetarian and low-fat chili offers a hearty meal that aligns with the unique nutritional needs after surgery. The chili's spices and flavors provide a satisfying taste, while its individual serving packs ensure portion control. Quick to prepare via microwave or stove-top, this chili supports weight loss goals and offers a convenient, nutrient-dense meal for those on a low-calorie diet.

  2. Spicy Cheesy Pasta

    Spicy Cheesy Pasta Protein Meal

    The Spicy Cheesy Pasta is a protein-rich, low-calorie bariatric food that's perfect for various diets. It's a harmonious blend of parmesan, romano, and cheddar cheese with natural spices. With 12g of protein and only 130 calories, this meal is designed to help manage weight without sacrificing taste. Quick and easy to prepare with stovetop or microwave options, it offers a rich, cheesy flavor infused with natural spices for an extra kick. A great option for those looking to enjoy a satisfying and diet-friendly comfort meal.

  3. Numetra Buffalo Chicken Soup

    Numetra Buffalo Chicken Protein Soup

    The Numetra Buffalo Chicken Soup is a nutritious and satisfying pureed option. This high-protein, low-calorie meal replacement soup is made specifically for low calorie diets. With 20g of protein and only 160 calories per serving, it provides energy without extra calories. The bold flavors of buffalo chicken are captured in a comforting soup that's easy to prepare with hot water or in the microwave. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, this soup supports overall health and is suitable for most weight loss plans, including Bariatric and Diabetic diets.

  4. Macaroni & Cheese

    Macaroni & Cheese Bariatric Food

    The Macaroni & Cheese meal is a comfort food that supports medical weight loss and low-calorie diets. With 12 grams of protein and only 220 calories per serving, this classic macaroni and cheese flavor is made with real Cheddar, Romano, and Parmesan cheeses. Each single-serving packet ensures easy portion control. The preparation is simple and quick, making it a convenient option for those on a weight loss journey. Customer reviews praise the taste and ease of preparation, making it a favorite among bariatric patients.

Shopping Online for Bariatric Foods

buying bariatric food online

In our modern world, getting hold of good quality bariatric food is super easy through online shopping. Reputable online stores like AmBari Nutrition and Bariatric Food Source cater specifically to the dietary needs of bariatric patients. These types of specialty stores also offer the lowest prices because they don't have the costs and expenses of a medical weight loss clinic.

These online stores offer all kinds of foods and supplements. Online shopping for bariatric foods can not only save you time and energy but also give you access to a greater variety of products specifically designed for your nutritional needs. Happy shopping!

Bariatric Recipes: Embracing Bariatric Food Through Cooking

For weight loss surgery patients, control over food is paramount. Cooking at home provides this control, allowing you to tailor your meals to fit your specific dietary needs, preferences, and nutritional guidelines. Cooking empowers you to know exactly what goes into your food.

But it's not just about control.

Creativity in the kitchen can turn meal preparation into an enjoyable activity rather than a daunting task. By exploring different bariatric-friendly recipes, you can find joy in creating dishes that are as delicious as they are nutritious. You can adjust flavors, textures, and ingredients to suit your tastes.

Bariatric recipes focus on high-quality proteins, low carbohydrates, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Understanding the balance and interplay of these nutrients can enhance your post-surgical outcomes.

cooking bariatric foods

Home cooking allows you to select the best ingredients. Lean proteins, fresh vegetables, and whole grains become the building blocks of your meals. Portion control is easier to manage at home, ensuring that you're consuming the right amounts for your body's needs.

The act of cooking can be very therapeutic, creative, and empowering, providing a means to ensure that nutrition remains a priority in their daily lives.

Your Bariatric Food Journey Awaits

Bariatric surgery patients who follow the dietary guidelines can expect to lose 50-80% of their excess body weight within 12-18 months. Adhering to a careful diet high in protein, low in fat and carbs, with adequate hydration and supplements, is key for successful long-term weight management. So be patient and celebrate small victories. Each mindful decision moves you one step closer to your health goals.

Further Reading

For those who have undergone bariatric surgery and are looking for a structured meal plan, we recommend checking out this 7-Day Sample Bariatric Meal Plan. Authored by Dr. Kevin Huffman, this guide provides a detailed 7-day meal plan. It's an excellent resource for anyone looking to maintain a balanced diet post-surgery.

Author: Carrie H.

Carrie is a passionate health and nutrition writer who transforms complex medical research into accessible, evidence-based content to empower readers to make informed choices about their wellbeing. With a background in science and a dedication to helping others live healthier lives, she provides thoughtful analysis of the latest studies and practical, actionable advice readers can apply to their own lives.

Reviewed By: Dr. Kevin Huffman

Dr. Huffman is an accomplished board-certified bariatric physician with extensive clinical experience and expertise in treating obesity. He has trained countless healthcare providers and founded American Bariatric Consultants to develop highly sought-after protocols, training materials and continuing education used widely by medical societies, hospitals and physicians. Dr. Huffman's impact reaches far beyond direct patient care, as he actively prepares the next generation of physicians to achieve board certification in bariatrics, thereby exponentially expanding access to this vital medical treatment.