By making the choice to get weight loss surgery you’ve drastically changed your life for the better, but making such excellent choices doesn’t stop once you’re home from the hospital. Chances are your doctor has been discussing your post-op diet with you in serious depth, and for good reason. Now that your stomach is hardly larger than a ping-pong ball you can’t go stuffing it with your old favorites, no matter the circumstances. The holiday season is one such circumstance no food lover can ignore, but you must take caution. If you give in to temptation you’ll quickly realize why your doctor has been stressing this subject at such length. Eating solid foods too soon, or even just overeating recommended foods can cause you great pain (and vomiting) and defeat the purpose of this righteous— and likely costly— procedure you’ve gone through to improve and extend your life. Now matter the indulgent eating habits of holidays past, you absolutely must stick to the advised diet of your surgeon in order for your body to heal properly.
Here are some holiday meal ideas for each diet stage post surgery:
Liquid Stage (1 oz. at a time): Try a light butternut squash soup (plus unflavored protein), and a low-carb, low-sugar vanilla yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon for dessert.
Puree Stage (1-2 oz): Pureed turkey or ham combined with low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese and a small spoonful of light gravy. Pureed steamed green beans or carrots on the side. And for dessert, mix canned pumpkin with vanilla protein shake and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Soft Food Stage (2-4 oz): Tender, moist white or dark meat turkey with light gravy, roasted acorn squash on the side, and bread pudding for dessert.
Regular Food Stage (1 cup): Moist baked ham, pork tenderloin or roast beef. Sautéed asparagus or roasted sweet potatoes. Sugar-free pumpkin pie (without crust) or sugar-free low fat cheesecake.
More tips and tricks to help you survive the holidays:
- Don’t go to a party on an empty stomach. Have a small protein snack before you leave; protein will satisfy your appetite and help you eat less.
- Offer to bring a food item to a party you know you will be able to eat.
- Never eat directly out of a box, bag, or bowl.
- Decide what you’re going to have and dish up on a small plate.
- Sit down and focus on the food. Standing and talking, especially next to the food table makes it easier to nibble and lose track of how much you’ve eaten.
- Pace yourself, take very small bites and “savor the flavor” of each bite.
- Gastric bypass patients, have a beverage 10-15 minutes before you decide to eat, then wait 30 minutes after eating before having another beverage