1. Stick to your nutrition plan, the best you can
Focus on getting enough protein and fluids. After you have weight loss surgery it is essential to keep your nutrition up and your mood stable! You can do this with festive, bariatric friendly meals too. Misti, our in house R.D., has delicious bariatric friendly recipes here: http://www.weightlosssurgerysc.com/category/recipes/
- Decrease Sugar
Avoid sugars, especially if you’ve had Gastric Bypass or are watching your weight. You can adapt most of your favorite holiday desserts to low-sugar versions using Stevia, Splenda or Monk fruit to replace regular sugar. Don’t forget to check your nutrition labels and the recommendations for baking and cooking!
- Practice Portion Control
Pre-portion your meal onto your plate before you sit down to eat. Studies show that using smaller plates and utensils can help you to feel more satisfied on less. You might not even notice that you’ve decreased your intake!
- Eat Mindfully – sit down, breathe and eat slowly
Put down your utensil between bites, chew slower and focus on the flavors of the meal you are eating. The more you chew your food, the more satisfied you are likely to feel.
- Listen to your stomach; stop eating when you’re satisfied!
Just because it’s a holiday does not mean forgetting your portion sizes! It’s important to listen to your body and STOP eating when you begin to feel satisfied. Full often results in over-full. Be a savvy eater and save the rest for a snack.
- Water, Water, Water
A baseline goal for most weight loss surgery patients is to consume 64 oz. of non-carbonated, decaffeinated fluids daily. That means eight 8 oz. cups of fluid daily. For a treat, you can also try sugar free hot chocolate or no sugar added apple cider! Decaffeinated spiced herbal tea garnished with a cinnamon stick is also a wonderful holiday choice. The more sugar free fluids you consume between meals the easier time you will have controlling your weight!
- Avoid Temptations
If the temptation of having leftovers is too great and you find yourself munching unnecessarily, give them to a friend or family member or donate them to the local food bank or shelter! Now that’s the Holiday spirit!
- Have fun without food!
Treat yourself to a movie, to a music or Broadway show, meet friends at the ice skating rink, for a walk or for a time out at the spa. Donate gifts, toys or clothes to charities and shelters, go window shopping and see the holiday displays, view the beautiful neighborhoods adorned with Christmas lights and don’t forget to take some moments to feel grateful for the good things. Good things also come in many non-food related forms.
- Exercise to live a healthy lifestyle, not to eat more
Food and exercise go hand in hand to maximize your results after WLS but when you start negotiating calories for minutes on the treadmill you may find that you are headed into the New Year with an unexpected weight gain. Stick to your meal planning and regular exercise and you will come out a winner!
10. Down in the Dumps for the Holidays?
Many people feel an increased amount of stress and even depression around the holiday time. If this is you, consider talking to a counselor, socializing with positive people who share similar values and remember that volunteering for those in need may inspire inner feelings of accomplishment and gratitude for the good things in your life.