With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, you may be feeling more than a little nervous about managing your new healthy diet after undergoing a Gastric Bypass surgery. You’ve worked so hard to maintain a healthy weight loss and the last thing you need is a setback.
After having weight loss surgery, you understand the necessity to approach the holidays and other celebrations that are centered around food differently than before. Changing the focus of Thanksgiving and other holidays is not as hard as it sounds. Instead of spending the holiday in a kitchen or at a table, you should stay mobile, taking this time to make family and friends the primary focus.
Whether this is your first or fifth Thanksgiving after weight loss surgery, don’t stress too much about what you can and cannot eat. Remember to control your portions and eat very slowly, stopping before you are completely full. Avoid drinking your calories and stay away from alcoholic beverages. Below, you will find a list of traditional holiday fare with nutritional tips for those who have had Bariatric surgery.
Bariatric Surgery and the Holidays
- Oven Roasted Turkey: Most often, the dark meat is more moist and easy to swallow than the white meat portions. If you use the giblet gravy sparingly, it should be okay to enjoy either the white or dark meat without concern. If your doctor has you eating only soft foods, you can still enjoy turkey and gravy after pureeing it in the food processor.
- Baked Ham: While baked ham contains protein, this meat also has high levels of sodium and sugar – thanks to traditional ham glazes made primarily of brown sugar. Additionally, be sure to cut your ham into very small bite-size pieces or puree, depending on doctor’s orders. If you are the cook, check out our great Sugar Free Ham Glaze.
- Mashed Potatoes: While mashed potatoes are on your list of high calorie high carb foods to avoid, offering very little protein, you can have a small serving. Use good self-control and enjoy a bite or two, especially if you are still on the soft food phase after weight loss surgery. For added nutrition, add a small amount of unflavored protein powder.
- Green Beans: You need to consume protein rich foods first, but a serving of green beans are a nutritious addition to your holiday meal. Regarding cooking methods, steamed is better than fried with bacon or green beans prepared in a casserole but a small serving should be fine. You can also puree them for a soft food diet.
- Sweet Potatoes: If your holiday table includes candied yams with marshmallows on top, avoid this traditional dish. Those high levels of sugar could lead to dumping syndrome. If it’s just not Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes, bake one in the microwave until it’s soft and enjoy a few bites.
- Corn: Because you have a limited amount of room in your stomach after Bariatric surgery, you may want to skip this starchy food as it offers very little in nutrition. However, it’s okay if you decide to have a spoon or two.
- Pasta and Fruit Salads: You are far better off to say no to this high carb holiday offering, even if the salad was prepared with low fat dressing, as many brands have significant amounts of sugar in their ingredients. Fruit salads, high in both natural and processed sugars due to fruit, whipped topping and marshmallows, should be avoided.
- Dinner Rolls: To maintain your healthy diet after weight loss surgery, it’s best to avoid breads all together due to their high carb low protein offerings. After gastric bypass surgery, it can be very difficult to swallow bread and an episode could ruin the rest of your holiday meal.
- Cranberry Sauce: While it may seem healthy, cranberry sauce is actually quite high in sugar content. Prepare your own sauce using Splenda or a similar sweetener option.
- Pumpkin Pie: This is another holiday offering that seems like a healthy option, but pumpkin pie is high in sugar and carbs. After the main course, you probably won’t miss the dessert table that much anyway. If you are craving something else, consider sugar free desserts flavored with pumpkin spice.