Holiday survival tips

Tips to help you stay on track at any holiday gathering

Every year as major holidays roll around, post-op bariatric patients fall victim to setting themselves back in their weight loss progress. During these celebrations, we are surrounded by family, friends, happiness, stress, and most of all food. If you find yourself struggling already with the change in season, or predicting that you’ll be tempted to cheat on your diet this holiday, then these helpful tips can keep you in line with your weight loss progress no matter what “day” it is.

It’s not a secret the road to weight loss is a roller coaster in terms of losing and gaining weight. Uncoincidentally, weight loss surgery patients find themselves gaining more weight around big events/get togethers. However, your weight loss journey doesn’t have to include major setbacks around these gatherings. One major contributor to gaining weight around this time is overeating or not properly monitoring your portion sizes. 

Thankfully here at WLS Afterlife, we’ve put together a few helpful tips on how to monitor and feel in control of your food portions for any holiday event. 

  1. Use Smaller Dinnerware

Whether it’s seasonal or all year round, many post-op weight loss surgery patients have found that using smaller dinnerware has helped them monitor their intake when it comes to eating. Most appetizer plates are about 4 to 5 inches in diameter, by reducing the size of your plate, you are more in control of the amount of calories you eat. 

  1. Eat Protein Before The Event

Prior to your big family feast, fuel your body with protein beforehand. As a bariatric patient, you already know the importance of consuming protein consistently during your weight loss journey. By consuming protein before your holiday dinner, you’ll show up not feeling as hungry nor will you be as tempted to consume slider or high calorie foods. Just be sure you’re also monitoring your water intake so you do not feel dehydrated. 

  1. Have A Low-Cal or No-Cal Drink With You

Attending a big holiday event? Choosing water or showing up with your own water or flavored water is a simple and effective way to help you not overeat or drink your calories. Water, in general, is known to help people feel fuller. If you’re looking to add some flavor to your drink, infusing your water with fruit or a powder or liquid that is low in calories, can help you cut back tremendously on unwanted sugars while helping you feel fuller. Just remember the rules your doctor gave you about eating and drinking together

  1. Walk Around The Dinner Table – Don’t Deprive Yourself

Simple and yet effective, walk around the dinner table before serving yourself a plate. Some bariatric patients will do their best to avoid going anywhere near the dinner table because they don’t want to be tempted to eat something they’ll regret. By avoiding the dinner table you’re depriving your body and mind which can result in your snacking or nibbling on slider foods or foods that will cause you to develop dumping syndrome. Instead, get a scope as to what’s available and what’s best for you and your newly restricted stomach. By walking around the dinner table you’re subconsciously making yourself aware of your food options, which is a proactive strategy. Once you’re ready to fix yourself a plate, you’ll be in the right mindset and even more motivated to monitor your portion control. If you are going to choose something that isn’t normally on your diet, take the time to watch your portion and make time to enjoy/savor the treat. 

  1. Don’t Hang Out With Food

Be in control of your environment. If the conversation has shifted away from the dinner table to the living room or patio, go there. Distancing yourself from being within arms’ reach of food is something to keep in mind anytime you are faced with such temptation. If you are hovering around the table, it’s too easy to go back for a second plate or nibble on unnecessary calories. By moving away from the temptations, we are in control of not falling victim to overeating or consuming more calories. 

  1. Reflect On Your NSVs

Take time to revisit some of your top non-scale victories moments from the year. Reflecting on your NSVs is a great way to remind yourself of all the progress you’ve seen throughout the year. Being able to zip up your boots, or wear your favorite rings are all motivational reminders that can help keep you focused on staying on track in your weight loss journey and help you monitor the calories you eat before your holiday dinner party.

Without a doubt, there are a lot of different ways you can monitor your portion control at holiday parties. Every person’s weight loss journey is unique, along with the resources and strategies they turn to in order to live their best life after bariatric surgery. Have a helpful tip that’s not on our list? We want to hear about it! Sign up on our WLS Afterlife website and create a discussion within our forum with people in our weight loss community! 

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