Tips for Enjoying Your Holiday Meal After Weight Loss Surgery
The holidays are a great time to be around those you love and celebrate the culinary traditions handed down from generations before us. But if you are a weight loss surgery patient, holiday meals can be a real challenge.
If you’re on a restricted, post-weight loss surgery diet, there are still ways to enjoy seasonal gatherings without hindering your goals. We’ve gathered some great diet tips to help you practice moderation without compromising on taste this holiday season!
Do make sure you focus on how far you have come and how far you are going. Give yourself a pat on the back for the tremendous accomplishments you’ve already made in your journey!
Don’t give yourself a hard time if you do not lose additional weight during this time— you probably won’t during the holidays, and that’s okay! Do your best to focus on maintaining your weight during this time.
Moderation is the Key
Do remember to enjoy yourself—it’s the holidays, after all! There’s no reason you have to avoid all of your favorite dishes. Enjoy a selection of holiday favorites by limiting your portions and eating little nibbles at a time. This will ensure you don’t feel like you’re missing out, even if you fill up more quickly than you used to.
Don’t overdo it when it comes to carbohydrates. Though a little probably won’t hurt, your focus should be on consuming foods high in protein. For our bariatric surgery patients, we typically recommend that meals consist of 75% protein and 25% fruits and vegetables. We know it will be hard, but try to avoid those mashed potatoes. Or take our next tip to heart and try whipping up your own mashed “faux-tatoes” using your favorite veggies (we recommend cauliflower).
Be the Boss in the Kitchen
Do offer to host a holiday meal or prepare some of the dishes. You’ll be able to control what goes into the dishes you make and partake in them without worry. And others are also likely to appreciate the healthy choices you added to the buffet!
Another great way to keep everything in check is to make a game plan for each holiday meal you will attend—including any snacks or indulgences you will be likely to want, such as a small, heavenly bite of your aunt’s holiday cheese dip (plan for it). If it’s not on your meal itinerary, don’t put it in your mouth!
Don’t assume a dish is healthy based on how you would make it—many holiday favorites are especially high in fat, empty calories, and sugars. Ask the host or hostess ahead of time about what foods are being served, so you can learn about which dishes fit best in your meal plan.
Don’t Drink Your Meal
Do be sure to drink lots of water, which will help you feel fuller, keep you from thoughtless snacking, and ensure you are hydrated. To give your H2O a little extra oomph, find a no-calorie sparkling spritzer and add a twist of citrus to it.
Don’t drink alcohol and carbonated beverages! Both have tons of empty calories, and alcohol could cause you to forget your best laid plans for eating right.
Take Your Time
Do be mindful throughout the meal. Savor small bites and take plenty of time to enjoy the flavor of each morsel you eat. Conversing with the people around you between each bite can also help your healthy portion last the whole meal, even if others overindulge.
Don’t get too caught up in the moment.At festive gatherings, it’s easy to get excited and quickly swallow items without chewing them properly—and after weight loss surgery, this can leave you nauseous for the remainder of the evening. One great rule is to avoid eating and talking at the same time; let your plate wait while you and your favorite relatives catch up a bit.
You Can Do It
Weight loss is a difficult task at any time of the year, but remember that you have the strength and mindfulness to keep on track.
If you’re wondering more about best eating practices after bariatric surgery or are looking to transform your body in the new year, contact us. We’d be glad to help you navigate your journey to your new self!