It is extremely important, after weight loss surgery, to track protein and fluids to the best of your ability. According to our weight and wellness program here in Maine, we are tasked with making sure we get 60-70 grams of protein per day, and 64 oz. of fluids*. It is important for you to track protein and fluids, to make sure you are getting in the required amount. Even if you haven’t had weight loss surgery, if you are working toward a healthier you, consider adopting this protein and fluids goal as part of your path to wellness.
Related: What can I eat? Food planning for all 4 WLS stages
But how do you track protein and fluids to ensure you are getting what you need? It may seem daunting, especially in the first few days after surgery. No worries, you must remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Rest assured that you will get there if you are focused. These 3 ways to track your protein and fluids just may help you stay the course.
3 Ways to Track Protein and Fluids Better
1 – Get a notebook and pen (or pencil or crayon, just something to write with).
Keeping a running tally of all your stats is a really great way to stay on top of your goals and it may also help you see the many milestones you achieve. Sometimes it is so hard to see the progress. And, as we are our own worst critic, you may discover that by writing it all down, you are more kind to yourself as you navigate life after weight loss surgery.
Stuff to track:
- Weight (learn why weighing in daily could be causing you undo stress)
- Food intake
- Protein and fluids intake
You should be logging food, as well as your protein and fluids, daily. Weigh in no more than once weekly. Measurements can be taken weekly or monthly, as you shrink, you’ll know. I also know that if the scale is beating me up, taking my measurements and discovering that I’ve lost another … helps me stay on track and focused toward the goal! Using a notebook to keep track of all of it just may benefit you in ways you haven’t even thought of, yet.
2 – Use your phone as your notebook.
I prefer paper and pen for lots of stuff, but know that many folks are just as happy to log their daily, weekly, and monthly stats into their phone. There are a plethora (maybe too many??) of apps to help you do this and you will see the results in real time, helping keep you on track throughout.
Weight and Wellness Apps to try:
- My Fitness Pal
- Lose It
- My Weight
It is important to track proteins and fluids and any one of these apps can help you do this with ease. You can edit your settings to fit your goals and you may have a much better chance of reaching those goals by keeping track with your smart phone.
*I use Fitbit and My Weight and love the different features of both*
3 – Make a protein and fluids spreadsheet.
I have seen some pretty detailed spreadsheets that folks are using to track proteins and fluids.
More #OrganizationalAWEsomeness for all your life!
While I haven’t used a graph type sheet to track anything (yet), I see huge benefits in doing so. You have to put the effort in to see the results you want, right? So why not make it a fun spreadsheet to input your daily, weekly, and monthly stats.
Yours might look something like this:
- 7am: 4 oz fluids w/meds
- 7:30am: 4 oz protein shake
- 8am: protein snack (egg/cheese/deli turkey)
- 9am: fluids/protein…
…if you work up a spreadsheet in advance, all you are doing is inputting numbers. A healthy and smart way to ensure you are getting your required amount of protein and fluids. You may do this in your notebook, on the computer, on your leg (not recommended) – whichever one works best for you.
Also. As you get further out from surgery, your protein needs will increase. Remember to check with your health care professionals about how much you should have!
A couple bonus tips?
Use a measured water cup (for fluids and protein).
Mix protein shakes ahead of time.
Don’t log anything you haven’t put into your mouth. If you pull a 16 oz protein shake out to drink, wait until you finish it to log it in. You will find you are more accountable for keeping track in using any of the above methods for doing so. Remember: 60/64 and you may just discover that getting it all in is a whole lot easier than you thought.
For your health and mine,
*fluids – per our weight and wellness program, you can include protein fluids as part of your fluids intake (in the beginning, right after WLS, you may find this way less difficult for getting it all in). Clear soups, broth, and tea are also considered fluids and can be tracked accordingly. Don’t get too caught up in trying to scam the 60/64, you and your body will be thankful that you are dedicated to being healthier and the results will be a better you: mind.body.spirit. 🙂
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