Thanksgiving After Bariatric Surgery

Thanksgiving After Bariatric Surgery

Thanksgiving After Bariatric Surgery

Your first Thanksgiving after bariatric surgery (or weight-loss surgery) is an ideal time to set new, healthy traditions. When you think about it, the foods you eat at Thanksgiving, like turkey, yams and cranberries, can all be highly nutritious—it’s just how you prepare them that matters.

Omitting ingredients like butter and choosing healthy alternatives are keys to having a healthy, enjoyable and fulfilling Thanksgiving after surgery. Here are some bariatric eating tips to help you experience the most enjoyable and healthy holiday yet!

Find Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

When planning your Thanksgiving menu this year, look for ways to make your favorite recipes healthier, if possible. For example, top your yams or sweet potatoes with pecans instead of marshmallows or brown sugar. Serve fresh cranberries instead of canned versions that contain added sugar.

Examples of other healthy Thanksgiving alternatives include cauliflower mashed potatoes, low-carb stuffing and sugar-free puddings and gelatins. Search online for other ideas using keywords like “healthy Thanksgiving sides” and “low-fat Thanksgiving side dishes” to build out a tasty and satisfying menu without the extra sugar, salt and calories.

Know What You Should and Shouldn’t Eat

Cook according to your current post-surgery diet phase if you recently had weight-loss surgery. This is essential to ensuring your body fully heals and that your results aren’t compromised. For example, if you are in Phase 2, consider serving butternut squash soup and healthy dessert shakes that you and everyone else can enjoy and that fit in with your Thanksgiving theme.

Consult your bariatric surgeon if you’re not completely sure what you can and cannot eat following surgery. Your surgeon can talk to you in greater detail about the ideal bariatric diet after surgery.

Focus on Protein and Veggies

Start with protein—such as turkey—and follow it up with vegetables. Focusing on nutrients before sweets is vital when you have a smaller stomach pouch, and it helps ensure you’re getting the right amount of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in your diet. Green beans, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are among the top vegetables for Thanksgiving.

Serve Small Portions

Stick to small portions to avoid overeating and stretching your small stomach pouch. Practicing good portion control is key to sticking to your weight-loss plan and preventing feelings of stomach pain and discomfort. Consider using a small plate and choose only the healthiest foods first.

Eat Slowly

Focus on chewing slowly and thoroughly, which can promote good digestion and help you avoid overeating. Eating slowly can also help you savor your food and enjoy its flavor. While eating, take time to give thanks for your health and the benefits of bariatric surgery—including the opportunity it has given you to meet your long-held weight-loss goals.

Request an appointment with Advanced Laparoscopic Associates today if you are interested in learning more about weight-loss surgery. We can talk to you in greater detail about your treatment options and help you choose the right surgery for you.