Preparing for Thanksgiving
It’s that time of year again. The time that a lot of bariatric patients dread because food is everywhere. Thanksgiving is a wonderful celebration with family and friends, but after weight loss surgery, it can be quite challenging. Life can be very different for bariatric patients because the way we look at food has to change. It takes time to truly learn your new lifestyle after the procedure, which can make the holiday season a little harder. As we are approaching Thanksgiving, I have a few tips and tricks to hopefully help you as you are preparing for the holiday. Here is a list of things I recommend that you incorporate on Thanksgiving Day.
- Make sure you get moving! You will be eating out of your routine and you need to account for the additional calories you might be consuming. Before you head to any event, go for a walk or do some sort of physical activity. This will set you up for success and give you a boost to make healthy decisions. I know for me personally, anytime I put in the work with exercise, I am less likely to make unhealthy eating choices.
- Don’t starve yourself. You might think that it is best to avoid eating all day until the big Thanksgiving meal. However, I would recommend that you do not do this. If you starve yourself all day, you will be more likely to overdo it when the time comes to eat. Make sure you eat throughout the day and choose high protein foods to help you reach your goal for the day.
- Cook yourself. This helped me so much on my journey. I found that when I host the event and prepare the meals myself, I am able to be honest with myself on what I am putting in my body. I actually have a lot of fun with this. I try my best to make healthy alternatives to popular Thanksgiving foods and I do not feel guilty.
- Choose high protein options. There is going to be a lot of food around you on Thanksgiving. Although you should do your best to avoid high sugar foods, there are plenty of foods that you can enjoy that are rich in protein. Eat that turkey up!
- Try not to focus so much on food. I know this can be hard, but I promise you if you can start to change your mindset, you will have a better experience. We have spent our entire lives focused so much on food, but it cannot be that way any longer. Change your focus to your family and friends and be in the moment. Remember what this season is all about.
It can be an adjustment after weight loss surgery getting used to the holiday season. You must do your best to stay focused and not get off track. Do not use this time to make excuses for yourself. You must hold yourself accountable and not overdo it. However, do not overthink it. I have learned throughout the years how important it is to have a balanced lifestyle after bariatric surgery. You do not have to stuff your face any longer, but you can enjoy this time of year if you are smart about it. Above all else, just remember your triggers. Stay away from the things you know will harm you and do your best to just take a deep breath and relax. If you need to walk away while people are eating, do that. You might even find that bringing your own food helps you, especially if you are still on the liquid diet during the holidays. You deserve to enjoy this time of year without the added anxiety. So, go enjoy this time with your family and remember to live in the moment. Happy Thanksgiving!
- Kimberly H.