Holiday Happiness and Health: Expert Tips for Bariatric Surgery Patients
The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it can also present unique challenges for individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery. With tempting high-calorie foods and potential social pressures, it's important to have strategies in place to maintain a healthy lifestyle and protect your wellbeing. In this article, we will share some valuable tips for successfully navigating holiday gatherings after bariatric surgery.
Stick to Your Plan
One of the key strategies for successfully managing holiday gatherings is to stick to your normal eating plan. Avoid the temptation to "save calories" by not eating before the event, as this can lead to overeating and making poor food choices. By continuing with your regular routine, you can maintain control over your food intake and make healthier choices.
Focus on Yourself
Instead of worrying about others' opinions or reactions, concentrate on what you do and say. Prioritize your health and wellbeing by smiling and sticking to your healthy intentions, such as opting for nutritious options like cocktail shrimp. Remember, your journey is personal, and it is important to celebrate your achievements without feeling discouraged by insensitive remarks or pressure to deviate from your plan.
Prepare Your Own Options
While it may be tempting to rely on the host to provide healthy food options, it's best to come prepared with your own dishes. If the gathering is a potluck or a casual dinner, consider bringing something nutritious to share, such as a salad, a tray of vegetables with dip, or cocktail shrimp. For sit-down dinners, pack a few items for yourself, such as a protein bar, string cheese stick, or a handful of cashew nuts. By taking responsibility for your own choices, you can ensure that there are suitable options available.
Blame Your Doctor (in a Good Way)
If you find it difficult to refuse offers of food or feel uncomfortable doing so, simply attribute your choices to advice from your healthcare professionals. Politely thank the person offering and explain that your doctor or surgeon has advised against consuming certain foods. This approach allows you to decline politely while avoiding potential hurt feelings or judgment.
Attending holiday gatherings with a supportive friend or family member can make a significant difference in your experience. Having someone who understands and encourages your weight loss journey can provide a sense of comfort and security. Stick together during the event to navigate any challenging situations together, giving you the confidence to stay on track and dismiss insensitive remarks.
Change the Conversation
If a conversation becomes uncomfortable or focuses on sensitive topics such as your weight loss, eating habits, or health, it's important to redirect the discussion. Guide the conversation towards lighter topics like current events, sports, or popular TV shows. If you struggle with small talk, prepare a list of conversation starters before the gathering to help steer the discussion away from sensitive subjects.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the event serves multiple purposes. It keeps you hydrated, keeps your hands occupied, and helps you avoid mindless snacking. By having a glass of water in hand, you're less likely to be tempted by unhealthy foods, and it provides a socially acceptable reason for declining food and drink offerings.
As you prepare for holiday gatherings, it's essential to prioritize your health and wellbeing as you navigate the festivities after bariatric surgery. By sticking to your plan, focusing on yourself, and coming prepared with healthy food options, you can confidently celebrate without compromising your progress. Remember, you have the support of BariatricPal throughout your journey. Stay proud, stay healthy, and enjoy the holiday season!