Whilst I am busy finishing my Christmas recipes and newsletter my colleagues across the pond are preparing to start their Thanksgiving Holiday. I’m sometimes more than grateful that I don’t have the two to contend with in quick succession because holiday eating can be fraught. It needn’t be in reality but the thought of it can send shudders down the spine. Christmas or Thanksgiving, it doesn’t matter, we all tend to strive for the ‘perfect’ event or ‘best ever’. I therefore related to Alex Brechner’s post below about making it the best you can, the healthiest, the happiest and the best for you. Read on for some great tips ….. oh and have a great time!
Six Tips for Making This Your Best Thanksgiving Ever
“The Holidays.” Those two words can make any weight loss surgery patient shudder. It seems like there’s nothing but food everywhere. It’s delicious, tempting food, and it’s high-calorie, high fat, and never-ending. But it doesn’t have to get the best of you.
Here are six tips for keeping Thanksgiving – and the weeks leading up to it – in check this year. They’re simple tips, but they can help you stay on track and keep the scale moving in the right direction.
1. Eat Well
Yes, this can be the best Thanksgiving dinner you’ve ever had – as long as you don’t define “best” as “biggest.” Instead, why not define “best” as “healthiest,” “happiest,” and “best for your confidence?”
After weight loss surgery, here are some ideas for how you can “eat well.”
- Eat slowly, just like you always do.
- Depend on salad and turkey, not on stuffing and potatoes.
- Bring (or serve) at least one dish of something healthy, such as roasted Brussels sprouts or a cranberry kale salad so you know there’ll be something you can eat.
- Take second helpings only of salad or turkey breast.
- Allow yourself one small serving of a carefully chosen treat, whether it’s creamy casserole or pecan pie.
- Savor everything: the food, of course, and also the company.
2. Be Thankful
Holidays can make you feel down when you’re focused on weight loss surgery. If you’re pre-op, you might still be deciding whether to get surgery, worrying about surgery itself, or trying to lose a little extra weight on the pre-op diet.
If you’re post-op, there are a lot of foods that just aren’t on your diet anymore. You may need to pass up old favorites like pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and cornbread stuffing. And eating until you’re beyond stuffed? Not an option!
Pre-op or post-op, it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and focus on what you’ve given up. But don’t forget all the wonderful things you have to be thankful for. What about your family? Your job? Your home? The friends who support you on your journey to health? WLS which gives you the chance to give you the life you want? Put on a positive face, and it’ll be a lot easier to see what you’ve gained without mourning what you’ve lost.
3. Remember What’s Important
Turkey, pie, holiday shopping and football are important, but if they are at the top of your list, it may be time to step back so you can remember what’s truly important at this time of year. It may be your family, your health, and your friends. Hint: if you’re having trouble remembering, you might want to try taking a walk or going to the gym…a little active time can get your mind going!
4. Give Back
There’s no better way to get yourself into a Thanksgiving mood than giving back. You could try packing bags at a food pantry, serving meals at a homeless shelter, or reading books to kids. You can quickly recognize how fortunate you are when you see others in need, and you can quickly recognize how useful you can be when you help them.
5. Take Care of Yourself
There’s delicious food everywhere. Even if you try to summon up the willpower to resist it, it seems like you’re sure to offend someone…maybe your aunt if you don’t want her famous green bean casserole, or your best friend who makes you a special batch of candied sweet potatoes, or your coworker who bakes pies every year to share with the entire office.
But you have the right and responsibility to take care of yourself. “No, thank you” is perfectly clear. If you feel the need to explain, you can say, “My doctor doesn’t let me have that.” That gets the message across and provides an excuse to refuse that’s not personal against the kind person who offered you the food.
6. Get in the Game
And we don’t mean Fantasy Football! Find an activity, and participate in it. Over Thanksgiving weekend, the exercise will burn a few extra calories. It will also help keep you focused on your weight loss goals and clear your head so you make healthy food choices, too.
Yes, it’s cold…but it’s going to be cold for the next several months. Your best bet is to plan a winter-friendly workout schedule and stick to it. That could mean a few days a week at the gym, or staying indoors at home with workout DVDs and a few dumbbells. Most days, you can also get outdoors for a walk. Barring ice and severe snowstorms, you’ll be fine if you dress in layers and follow basic cautionary rules, like facing traffic and wearing reflectors.
You have the chance to make this Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season a healthy time. Just think how good it will feel to lose weight, not gain weight, this year…and have a better time doing it, too!
Feature courtesy of BariatricPal
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