Holiday Meal Planning After Bariatric Surgery

Turkey, cranberries and Christmas cracker on tableThe holiday season is a time to celebrate with friends and family, give thanks, and, of course, enjoy a great meal. For those who have recently undergone bariatric surgery, however, navigating the waters of group dining can prove to be problematic. This is especially true in situations when indulging in high fat foods is encouraged. Instead of giving up on the fun of the season, focus on these healthy holiday eating tips to help you stay in shape while still enjoying the spirit of the holidays.

Keep Portions Small

A post-surgical diet may be strict, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a few bites of your favorites. Once you’ve been cleared to eat a full range of solid foods again, it’s perfectly fine to have a few holiday treats. While you may not be able to eat a full plate anymore, there’s still room for a little excitement in your diet.

Post-surgery, our healthy holiday eating tips caution you  to avoid foods high in sugar and fat, like cranberry sauce or sweet potatoes with marshmallows. You’re welcome to have a few ounces of turkey, fruit salad, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. You can even indulge in a teaspoon or two of gravy. Be sure to pace yourself as usual. Make sure to avoid filling up on beverages and carbs.

Refuse Leftovers

Leftovers are a big part of holiday dining. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re obligated to partake. Stick to our healthy holiday eating tips, and firmly refuse offers of leftovers. This is especially important when the portions are larger than you’re permitted to consume. A piece or two of turkey won’t hurt. However, filling your home with pie, cookies, and sugary foods only makes it harder to stick to your diet. When the host starts pushing take-home containers, keep yourself occupied elsewhere to avoid the temptation.

Bring a Dish to Share

Not sure your hosts understand your restrictions? That’s okay! Our healthy holiday eating tips say it’s okay to bring food with you! Many holiday dinners take the form of potlucks, giving everyone an opportunity to pitch in. Make sure you get a full meal no matter the circumstances. Come prepared with diet-friendly dishes, such as salad, roasted vegetables, sugar-free mashed potatoes, or fresh fruit. Check with the host first to see what you can do to help. Be sure to bring enough to share!

Avoid Alcohol

A big glass of eggnog might be tempting, but it’s best to abstain. Alcohol is generally not recommended after bariatric surgery due to the changes in your body’s digestive processes. Instead, consider non-alcoholic alternatives. Alcohol-free ‘nog, sparkling grape juice, or club soda and lime can help you feel festive without ruining your diet.

Weight loss is an accomplishment to be celebrated, not an obstacle that should stand in your way. With the right planning and perspective, healthy holiday eating tips can help you make the most out of this year’s holiday season. Want more diet pointers? Contact Olde Del Mar Surgery today online or at 858-457-4917 to learn more about post-surgical diet and exercise.

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