Today is Thanksgiving here in the US. That means tables full of the traditional holiday fare and most of it not very post-op friendly. I encounter quite a few WLS post-ops who get frustrated because they still struggle with their food addictions and feel deprived because they can not gorge on food during the holidays. They are literally limited by how much they can eat at any a given time by the size of their pouch. (this is their tool in action!) But that doesn’t mean they can’t still try to eat around the tool, or manipulate it to eat more than they should: yes, food addictions can make folks do crazy things, all for the sake of a few bites of dressing or pumpkin pie!
With a little planning, you can still enjoy a nice holiday meal that is post-op friendly. There are many WLS specific cookbooks on the market and a web search will turn up as many free recipes floating around web forums and email lists. Here’s one recipe for you Kabuki’s Sugarless Pumpkin Pie
Try these simple tips to help you through the holidays:
- Remember the first rule of WLS eating: protein first
- Stick with sugar-free/low-sugar, lower-carb, low-fat choices: make them and bring them to ensure that you have those choices!!
- Avoid drinking your calories.
- Drink your water!
- Don’t forget to exercise, even though you’re busy – you need to do it!
- Don’t forget to take your supplements
- Drink a protein shake before you leave home to keep you satiated so you won’t feel the need to overeat.
- Keep a protein bar with you at all times, in case there isn’t any post-op friendly food available and you were not able to bring a post-op friendly dish yourself.
- In case you are tempted by a sweet treats or something you shouldn’t: remember, your tool is there, and you may not have dumped in a long time, but you may very well this time and believe me, it’s not worth it. Put that sweet monster down and run the other way!
- Remember that the holidays isn’t really about focusing on food; it’s about time spent with our family and the people we love. Shift your focus on them and you’ll feel better in the morning when you haven’t overloaded on carbs and when you won’t see the scale creeping up.
If you would like to discuss your struggles through the holidays, to help you stick to your goals, there are many fine message forums at ObesityHelp.com, there’s also the LivingAfterWLS forum, WLS Butterfly Network forum, and several email lists at Yahoo Groups: Christian WLS Friends, GastricBypass-InfoCentral, and Graduate OSSG to name a few. Plug-in and get connected to some support to help you through not only the holidays, but for long-term post-op success.