Controlling your portions during the holiday season
It is officially the holiday season which means there is food everywhere we go. This can be a really challenging time for bariatric patients. Being around a lot of food after weight loss surgery takes time getting used to and it is important that you keep yourself on track. If you are not careful, you can experience significant regain during this time of year. As a bariatric patient, one of the most important things you need to learn after surgery is how to live a balanced life without letting food consume your brain. The holiday season really tests this and it is critical that you are prepared on how to handle it.
I think one of the biggest lessons you can have as a bariatric patient is the importance of controlling your portions after surgery. This is directly correlated to how successful you will be because if you start overeating, you will experience regain. In the beginning, you will not be able to eat much at a time. However, as you get farther out on your journey, you will be able to consume more food and it will be important that you portion control. If you have not mastered this before the holiday season, it can make it really challenging to stay on track. After all, there literally is food everywhere you turn during this time of year. It is so important that you portion control during the holiday season because you will more than likely be eating out of your normal routine and you will need to make sure you are not consuming too many calories. The great thing is that there are so many tools and resources available to help you with this.
When I was really early in my journey, I found it extremely helpful to portion out everything I ate. I did not want to chance it by overeating and it helped me learn on the size I needed to look for with each type of food. I weighed all my food and placed it in individual Tupperware containers and that way I did not eat more than I needed to. So, if you are wanting to enjoy a little holiday food this season, I think that is totally acceptable. However, you must be smart about it. Do not overdo it. Measure your food and make sure you are not eating more than your stomach can handle. In addition to the Tupperware containers, I also found some amazing bariatric products that give you images on a plate on how much needs to be your protein, veggies and carbs. Sometimes I struggle with putting too many carbs on my plate, so this helps me stay on track. I think eventually you will get used to eyeing it and being able to determine the portion control that is appropriate, but in the beginning of your journey, these tools can really help you see what you should be eating at each meal.
The holiday season is a beautiful time and you should not dread it just because there will be food involved. Make sure you educate yourself on portion sizes for where you are at on your journey and focus on eating your protein first, followed by veggies then carbs. This new lifestyle is about balance and being able to look at food differently. Try not to obsess over it and just enjoy this time with your family without letting food take over. Always hold yourself accountable because the last thing you want is to experience regain and then feel like you are starting all over. Stay focused because this is the time that it matters the most!
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- Kimberly H.