Handling the Holidays after Bariatric Surgery

Nov 18, 2019

When it comes to the holidays, one thing comes to the mind of many…food.  Holidays are ritualistic events that include serving a variety of “favorite foods,” and overindulging is often and unfortunately part of the game plan.  Holidays are also closely linked to memories…memories of happy times and of loved ones who may have passed on.  To add insult to injury, Southern culture associates preparing and serving food as a way of showing love for others.  The emotional ties associated with holidays coupled with the difficulty of telling relatives “no thank you” when being offered tempting foods make the holidays especially difficult for the bariatric surgery patient.  But there is hope…you can survive the holidays with a little willpower, strength, and keeping a focus on your goals.  Here are some tips to help you as you endure the holiday season. 

When it comes to “food pushers,” or friends and relatives who try their hardest to get you to eat foods that are not part of your weight loss plan, first realize that they are not bad people.  They simply think they know more about what you should eat than you do.  Start with a firm “no thank you” without any explanation.  Excuses only open the door to arguments.  If that doesn’t work, try saying, “Thank you, but I’m on a special diet” or “Thank you, but I’m trying to lose a few pounds.”  As a last result, remember that “little white lies” are okay in these situations!  Saying no to loved ones can be hard, but you can be nice AND stay on track with your weight loss plan.

When preparing to attend holiday parties or events, don’t “save your calories.”  Instead, stick to healthy eating patterns to avoid overindulging.  Remember to plan ahead for hydration by coming to the event extra-hydrated so that you can avoid drinking within 30 minutes of eating.  And bring a healthy dish to share so that at least ONE item will be on your meal plan.  During the holidays, stick to your exercise regimen…this will help to combat any small overindulgence that might occur.  Many people like to eat before they arrive at the party…a technique that helps you to avoid eating tempting foods once there.

When you are at the party or event, you should separate socializing and eating so that you can focus on what and how much you eat.  Staying away from the buffet or kitchen will help you avoid mindless nibbling.  One of the best tips we can give is to take a look at all of the items on the buffet before putting anything on your plate.  Decide what you really want to eat and eat only those items.  You’ll eat less than if you take a “little bit of everything.”  Finally, be the last in line…a picked-over buffet looks less appetizing.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to overcome the holiday temptations like a champion!  Most importantly, if you end up sampling a few too many goodies than you should, forgive yourself.  Recommit to your goals and move on.

Questions or Concerns?

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