Just when you’ve fully recovered from bariatric surgery and made positive changes in your diet, along come the holidays. Family feasts and holiday parties are packed with tempting dishes, tantalizing desserts, and heaping portions, threatening to reverse the results of weight loss surgery.
To minimize temptations and maintain weight loss, here are a few tips to help you get through the holiday season.
Stick to The Basics
It’s important to adhere to the basic rules and guidelines you started following immediately after surgery. These basics include portion control, maintaining a routine, and making healthy eating decisions. When you’re at a party, don’t let large plate sizes fool you into piling on excessive portions. Remember what you learned in the early days after surgery and keep in mind the results you’ve seen.
Build a Support System
Who you surround yourself with will have a large impact on your overall success. Spend time with individuals making healthy lifestyle choices to help you stay motivated throughout the holidays.
Ask a few friends or family members to be part of your support system, particularly during the holiday season. You could also do your part to encourage them to pursue weight loss goals.
Practice Mindful Eating
Though you don’t need to say no to holiday dishes, be mindful of your eating habits. Maintain healthy portions and take the time to savor every bite by chewing slowly and enjoying the various flavors.
Avoid Socializing Near Food Tables
When attending holiday festivities, avoid engaging in conversations near the food tables. When you’re in the middle of a great conversation, it can be easy to fall into mindless eating, particularly if you’re standing next to the appetizers table.
Constant snacking can make it difficult to remember how much you’ve already eaten and what foods should be avoided.
Water fuels important bodily processes and also helps curb food cravings. When making drink choices at a holiday party, replace the soda and sugary drinks with water. Avoid sugary juices and creamy beverages. These types of drinks are loaded with empty calories and can lead to dehydration.
Consuming alcohol after weight loss surgery can lead to unexpected side effects, such as getting intoxicated more quickly than before or only needing a small amount of alcohol to feel its effects.
Bring Your Own Food
If you don’t know how healthy the food will be at a holiday party, bring a few healthy snacks or an entrée to share with others.
Another option is to eat a light meal at home so you’re not hungry at the party. This will help curb your appetite and reduce the risk of overeating.
The holiday season is a busy time of year for everyone. Schedules are packed with parties and events, making it difficult to stick to an exercise routine. If necessary, schedule time to exercise on a regular basis to prevent other responsibilities from completely eating up your time.
You may need to temporarily lengthen your exercise routine, especially if you’re eating out more often than usual. Consider taking walks during your lunch hour or parking your car farther away from the stores to help you keep moving throughout the day.
Plan to exercise earlier in the day, so you’re not too tired after an evening event or tempted to skip exercise entirely.